MELBOURNE, Fla., 2 June 2005. Harris Corp. announced today that it has been awarded a $6.6 million research and development contract by the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) to develop and demonstrate the Jigsaw Laser Radar (LADAR) 3D-imaging test-bed system for use on a DP-5X Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
The ability to reliably identify targets -- tanks and other vehicles -- hidden under foliage and camouflage was successfully demonstrated by Harris and MIT-Lincoln Laboratories during an earlier Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-sponsored proof-of-concept Jigsaw study. This demonstration was followed by the recently completed initiative to design a smaller, lighter, autonomous, yet better-performing test bed system suitable for use on a medium-sized UAV.
During this latest phase of the DARPA-sponsored effort, Harris is providing systems integration services in cooperation with LADAR sensor developer MIT-LL and DP-5X platform developer Dragonfly Pictures Inc.
In addition, the Army Research Development & Engineering Command (RDECOM), Communications-Electronics Research Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), Night Vision & Electronic Sensors Directorate (NVESD) is providing test range services and UH-1 helicopter support for early flight testing; Sarnoff Corp. is providing sophisticated 3D-image registration algorithms; and L3Com/Wescam is providing a small, high-performance turret.
This phase includes full implementation of a UAV version of Jigsaw, followed by experimentation and demonstrations, and concludes with in-depth analysis of data collected with the airborne test bed during flight campaigns using the UH-1 helicopter and DP-5X UAV helicopter.
"We are proud of our relationship with DARPA and NVESD in advancing the state of the art in battlespace technologies," said Dan Pearson, president of the Department of Defense (DoD) Programs business unit of Harris' Government Communications Systems Division (GCSD). "Harris and these agencies share a common vision -- that airborne 3D LADAR will provide a vital intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capability on the battlefield of the future, providing operational value to the warfighter while saving lives."
Key elements of the Jigsaw system include: (1) the next-generation LADAR sensor subsystem (including a small, low-cost microchip laser and a photon- counting Geiger avalanche photodiode array) provided by MIT-LL; (2) complex, 3D image registration algorithms provided by Sarnoff; and (3) processing, pointing/tracking and high-throughput payload communications subsystems, along with 3D visualization tools/image analyst interface software provided by Harris.
Harris GCSD, one of four divisions within Harris Corp., conducts advanced research studies, develops prototypes, and produces and supports state-of-the-art, assured communications solutions and information systems that solve the mission-critical challenges of its military and government customers, while serving as the technology base for the company's diverse commercial businesses. Harris, which also provides tactical radio, microwave and broadcast products and systems, serves customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, see www.harris.com.