Bodkin Design to develop power-efficient light source for U.S. Navy COBRA nighttime multi-spectral reconnaissance

Aug. 9, 2017
NEWTON, Mass. U.S. Navy officials need an efficient and effective illuminator to assist with night operations of the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) system electronics payload carried on MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

NEWTON, Mass. U.S. Navy officials need an efficient and effective illuminator to assist with night operations of the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) system electronics payload carried on MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Bodkin Design & Engineering LLC in Newton, Mass., won the first phase of a $1.5 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 2 contract from the U.S. Navy to develop a power-efficient illuminator for nighttime operations of the.

The COBRA Multi-Spectral Illuminator will provide broadband light with sufficient illumination for the COBRA camera to operate under all light conditions. The new technology will permit nighttime operation, increasing the number of hours the COBRA system can be deployed and reducing overall operational costs.

The MQ-8 Firescout will carry the nighttime illuminator from Bodkin Design, along with other mission-critical payloads.

The mission of the AN/DVS-1 Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) system is to conduct unmanned aerial tactical reconnaissance in the littoral battlespace for detection and localization of minefields and obstacles in the surf zone and beach zone prior to an amphibious assault, according to U.S. Navy officials. The COBRA airborne payload is carried on the MQ-8 Fire Scout UAS, enabling operators and other personnel to remain at a safe distance from the mine and obstacle belts and enemy direct and indirect fire. COBRA is also embarked in the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) as part of the Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Mission Package (MP).

System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and ground test methods over the required range of landscapes and scenes. Bodkin Design plans to finish all three phases of development, which includes definition and qualification of the illuminator elements, prototype construction, lab testing, and manned flight testing.

The entire project is scheduled to be completed in September 2018.

This project is funded by the Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR), a program established by the Small Business Administration Office to ensure that the nation’s small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government’s research and development efforts.

Bodkin Design and Engineering LLC has been providing concept development, prototype design/build, and engineering services since 1992. Headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, the company serves the international OEM, commercial, military, and research communities. Specializing in electro-optic and mechanical systems, BD&E has overseen the successful introduction of products ranging from miniature infrared cameras to breaking systems for railroad cars.

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