The results of a test of an intelligence system that enables warfighters to use handheld computers to obtain full-motion, geo-registered video intelligence have moved that system closer to deployment, says Northrop Grumman.
Support for deploying the system was achieved during a field exercise—held March 7 through 18—of Northrop Grumman’s Heterogeneous Airborne Reconnaissance Team (HART) system conducted by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah.
"The successful demonstration is the culmination of over six years of DARPA development,” said Scott Winship, vice president of advanced concepts-air and land systems at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “The goal of this program has been to develop technology that gives a warfighter in the field the ability to request what is needed, when it is needed most. Our recent successes put this advanced technology closer to theater deployment to directly serve the warfighter.”
The HART system autonomously manages a mix of manned and unmanned aircraft and sensors and distributes streaming video, surveillance and reconnaissance information on demand to soldiers in the field.
The system is expected to enable warfighters to use handheld computers to request full-motion geo-registered video of areas of interest such as suspected enemy positions or hostile territory. HART can either retrieve—in near real time—the required information from a catalog of geo-registered images or direct unmanned aircraft systems and/or sensors to collect updated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information.
The company said that during the exercise, the HART system software and hardware autonomously managed multiple tactical unmanned aircraft systems, including Shadow, Raven, Hunter and Bat, successfully completing DARPA’s primary test objective.
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The data will be moved across U.S. military wideband ground tactical communication networks.