Army chooses aerial drone control stations from Micro Systems in $4 million contract
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla., 14 April 2014. U.S. Army target drones experts needed unmanned aerial drone command and control systems. They found their solution from Micro Systems Inc. in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Officials of the U.S. Army Targets Management Office in Orlando, Fla., are awarding a $4 million to Micro Systems for portable and transportable configurations of the Army's unmanned target drone command-and-control stations and related test equipment.
Micro Systems is a subsidiary of the Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. Advanced Drones and Target Systems Division. The Army Targets Management Office is part of the Army's program executive office for simulation, training, and instrumentation.
The Micro Systems command-and-control stations are for ground vehicles, sea surface vehicles, high-performance aerial target drones, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The company's systems are based on the original MOdular Networked TArGet control Equipment (MONTAGE) system that has supported more than 1000 live mission operations worldwide, Micro Systems officials say.
Command-and-control systems from Micro Systems are adapted to a variety of unmanned vehicle applications in a wide array of system configurations that include different form factors, number and type of controlled vehicles, and RF data links.
Systems can be configured to control as many as eight air vehicles or 16 sea surface vehicles or ground vehicles, with a simultaneous mix of vehicle types.
Company engineers have interfaced Micro Systems command-and-control systems to a variety of remotely piloted vehicles including: BQM-167 (I and XI versions), Firejet, MQM-107 D/E, BQM-74E, Chukkar, BQM-34 (-47 and -49), BQM-167, BQM-177, GQM-163, BROADSWORD, QUH-1 rotary wing target, QST-35 ship target, Falconet, and the High Speed Maneuverable Surface Target (HSMST).
Unmanned vehicle command-and-control stations from Micro Systems include the Portable Laptop Control System, Portable Unmanned Vehicle Control System, Transportable S280 Shelter Configuration, and Fixed Site Command Center Configuration.
Command-and-control system data links include the UHF-FM datalink, which is capable of controlling groups of vehicles to a range of 200 nautical miles line of sight (LOS), or over the horizon to 400 nautical miles using an datalink relay.
Other available data links include L-Band Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS), 2.4 Ghz ISM, IRIDIUM Satellite (satellite to satellite or gateway to satellite), and custom data links.