Pentagon evaluates new Lockheed Multi-INT sensor technology

New aerial sensor integration technology allows air crews to view real-time ISR feeds without needing a ground station.

Pentagon weapons developers are analyzing emerging airborne sensor technology designed to fuse and organize data from multiple sources to provide faster and more accurate intelligence information.

Lockheed Martin is testing computer processing improvements to an Airborne Multi-INT Lab (AML) technology which integrates electro-optical sensors with synthetic aperture radar and other kinds of electronic intelligence gathering mechanisms to expedite the delivery of decision-quality intelligence, a company statement said.

The AML system, which has been tested at altitudes from 15,000 feet to 40,000 feet, is currently configured to fly from a Gulfstream business jet; however, in the future, Lockheed plans to work closely with the military services to equip drones and fixed-wing aircraft with the technology.

New computer algorithms can transform raw data into intelligence by connecting disparate types of sensor data. Updates were made to AML’s on-board processing capability to enable this signal intelligence (SIGINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT) technology.

“Think of COMINT capabilities for direction-finding and geolocation and audio,” said Joe Suhr, chief engineer, research and development lead at Lockheed Martin. “The AML now has an autonomous sensor control mode that can coordinate operations between the testbed’s various onboard sensors. This mode allows operators to focus on mission planning and operational issues while detailed execution is handled autonomously,” Suhr explained.

Increasing autonomy of this kind represents continued emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) systems which allow computers to perform procedural functions without needing human intervention at each stage. Developers explain that human cognition is still needed to solve problems and, at times, respond to fast-developing unforeseen circumstances, but machines are now able to use algorithms and processing power to condense, align, organize and display combat-relevant sensor data by themselves.

The enhancement of real-time video coming straight off the sensor allows more efficient consumption of intelligence information. The direct video connectivity permits ISR video to arrive in the aircraft directly without having to first transmit through a ground station, Suhr explained.

The technology not only decreases time of video feed delivery, but also better organizes incoming ISR information, allowing for combined data consumption and improved sensor interoperability.

“Once the radar is on the platform, we can include the sensor system in an operational environment and change detection modes with SAR,” Suhr added.

The interoperable sensors are engineered for cross-cueing to fuse and interpret data streams. Antennas on the aircraft operate in a range of frequencies, to include UHF and other wavelengths other than Ku-band or Common Data Link, Suhr explained.

This kind of integration among otherwise disconnected sensors contains a clear parallel to the technology built into the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Described by operators and developers as sensor fusion, computer algorithms allow for information from a variety of sensors to be organized or fused onto a single screen for pilots to view. Sensor fusion for the F-35 also represents progress in the area of AI as it integrates ISR, targeting, navigation and radar warning receiver information autonomously.

The aircraft’s Distributed Aperture System places a 360-degree camera system around the plane, while the Electro-Optical Targeting Systems finds enemy targets. Information from the two sensors, along with navigational information and data from other avionics are synthesized together for the pilot.

This phenomenon is often referred to as easing the cognitive burden,  allowing pilots and aircrews to focus or prioritize attention upon the most significant mission details without having to consistently labor through manual computer processes to maintain aircraft functions and sensor integration.

 

 

 

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.