Military, Unmanned

USAF Shows Interest in New Unmanned Sensors

By Woodrow Bellamy III  | December 28, 2016
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[Avionics Magazine 12-28-2016] The U.S. Air Force is seeking aerospace and defense industry proposals on low cost Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) sensor technologies. According to a Request for Information (RFI) released in mid-December, the Air Force is specifically interested in low cost sensor suites that can be integrated into drones that operate in Area-Denied (AD) airspace. 
Northrop Grumman’s Guardian Anti-Missile system. Photo: Northrop Grumman.
Specific mission cases of interest listed by the Air Force include neutralizing mobile surface to air missiles with platform agnostic sensor technologies enabled by agile design. 
“Opportunities exist for improving the cost, size, weight, and power (CSWaP) of sensor systems stemming from relaxed limited-life requirements and include reduced sustainment/reliability/durability requirements. Tradeoffs are needed for design and manufacturing development and capability vs cost tradeoff curves are needed to better assess existing and new capabilities,” USAF says in the RFI. 
USAF also sees opportunities to use new low cost ISR sensor technologies in non-military applications, such as law enforcement, border patrol and “recreational use,” the RFI states. 
To satisfy its RFI, the Air Force is seeking white papers that discuss technical approach, development and demonstration of low cost sensor technologies and identification of major sub-system developments needed to facilitate deployment. 

Check out the full RFI here

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