Long-Duration, Eye-in-the-Sky Monitoring for Airfield Threat Detection
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
In today's Urban-Warfare Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C2ISR) environment, current sensor platforms have a limited operational capability due to power consumption and recharge times. Many times these sensor packages are found to be unsuitable for many battlefield environments due strictly to their endurance limitations. Much of the research done to date has concentrated on minimizing the size/power consumption of these sensor platforms (ground-based and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)) in order to minimize the battery power required to complete a mission. There is now another possible solution, the development of a unique and innovative power system that will enable sensor platforms to provide long-endurance 24/7 operation to support non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NTISR). DRA is developing a power harvesting technique that utilizes existing overhead power lines to supply unlimited power to ground-based sensors platforms, as well as providing a self-refueling capability for a new class of UAS that will allow unlimited operational time with little to no "return-to-base" cycles required for refueling. With this innovative approach, these new platforms will be able to perform C2ISR-type missions with virtually unlimited persistence. BENEFIT: Persistent ISR has been identified numerous times as an area of critical importance to the Department of Defense (DOD) and other organizations. Development of sensor platforms that can supply extreme endurance through an autonomous recharging capability would be marketable to the DOD, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and to various commercial sectors. These platforms could be used in urban warfare, law enforcement, security in remote areas, immigration control, power line/pipeline maintenance, as well as for many other applications. The development of the Phase II prototypes will provide an opportunity to demonstrate representative power harvesting sensor platforms that are capable of performing NTISR for a nearly indefinite period of time in the field. The engineering aspects and results will be transferable to a future phase of ground-based platform developments as well as UAS sensor system developments that contain fully autonomous power line sensing and landing capability. Autonomous operation of a UAS sensor platform could be transitioned into many possible commercial sectors and military programs. A few of the commercial applications that would benefit from a sustained surveillance presence include border patrol, Agriculture, Merchant Marine & Shipping, Entertainment/News/Media applications, Railway/Pipeline/Power line monitoring, Commercial/business security, Aerial Surveying, and Search and Rescue Support.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Defense Research Associates, Inc.
3915 Germany Lane Suite 102 Beavercreek, OH 45431
Number of Employees: