L-3 EO/IR to provide visible-light and infrared sensors for Army tethered blimps

BY John Keller

LAKEHURST NAS, N.J.—U.S. Army officials needed a multispectral sensor system to be elevated on tethered blimps as part of the Army's Persistent Ground Surveillance Systems (PGSS). They found their solution in the MX-15HDi camera turret from L-3 Communications EO/IR Inc. in Santa Rosa, Calif.

The multispectral MX-15HDi sensor payload from L-3 Communications EO/IR will provide persistent-surveillance capability for Army tethered airships.

L-3 EO/IR won an $8.9 million contract for MX-15HDi camera turrets for use in the third phase of the Army's PGSS program, which mounts a broad variety of persistent-surveillance sensors on tethered 70-foot helium-filled blimps that are 25 feet in diameter and float as high as 3,000 feet off the ground.

Awarding the contract were officials of the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, N.J.

L-3 EO/IR will deliver 11 camera turrets and 15 custom cable kits for integration on PGSS blimps. The MX-15HDi turret packages one to six imaging sensors, which can include color daylight camera with zoom lens; laser designator; mono daylight camera with spotter lens; laser illuminator; infrared camera with high magnification; and eyesafe laser rangefinder.

The MX-15D turret has an onboard inertial measurement unit that uses solid-state fiber-optic gyro technology for target location.

FOR MORE INFORMATION visit L-3 EO/IR online at www.l-3com.com, and the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Lakehurst at www.navair.navy.mil/lakehurst.

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February 2014
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