EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – U.S. Air Force perimeter security experts needed passive sensing and sensor fusion for counter-intrusion and counter-unmanned-aerial-vehicle (UAV) capability. They found their solution from Anduril Industries Inc. in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Officials of the Air Force Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., announced a $31.1 million sole-source order to Anduril in December for the Wide-Area Infrared System for Persistence Surveillance SkyFence project.
The order provides for a passive sensing capability, sensor fusion, and artificial intelligence (AI) for the Air Force 412th Test Wing to provide situational awareness and multi-mission counter-intrusion and counter-UAV capability for perimeter security in sensitive areas.
Anduril has designed the Wide-Area Infrared System for Persistent Surveillance (WISP), which relies on artificial intelligence (AI) for passive full-motion 360-degree wide-area high-quality imaging for persistent automated threat detection and situational awareness.
The WISP counter-UAV system is built on an infrared imager design that combines real-time AI and a compact hardware frame to support several different kinds of perimeter security and defense missions.
WISP is designed to reduce response times and improves coverage of critical areas and blind spots, and provide 24/7 long-range wide-area passive surveillance of areas that previously could be monitored only intermittently, company officials say.
WISP can be adapted to applications like border and base security, counter drone missions, and maritime surface threat detection.
WISP emits no signal, and can detect without being detected while retaining radar-like capability for contested environments, Anduril officials say. The system can be configured to operate on several different platforms like fixed towers, tactical vehicles, boats and ships, or on a tripod fixed to a structure.
WISP is built using an open-architecture software design and can integrate with many other kinds of sensor systems. One person can operate WISP to provide day and night alarm-based security against ground and airborne threats, across 360-degree surroundings using only a laptop workstation.
WISP has an automated UAV detection range of about 3 to 10 miles, and can pick commercial aircraft operating at 12,000 feet from about 93 miles away. Its sensor field of view is 360 degrees horizontal and 125 degrees vertical, and uses infrared sensors that measure 15 by 15 by 22 inches, with a processor that measures 19 by 8 by 26 inches.
On this order Anduril will do the work in Fort Worth, Texas, deliver the system to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and should be finished by December 2027.