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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

05 May 2015

AUVSI 2015: Seen & Heard on Day 1

Esterline (exhibiting on booth #2643) recently introduced new product lines following the acquisition of Barco’s aerospace, defence, and training businesses, completed in February 2015. With approximately 13,000 employees worldwide, the company is recognised as a trusted global supplier of high-quality products and solutions for the world’s major system integrators. This comes as a result of dedicated product and capability enhancements through investment in technology, as well as a steady stream of strategic acquisitions designed to complement the company’s core aerospace and defence offering. The integration of the previously Barco products enhances that reputation even further. The new lines are known as Esterline’s CODIS family of products and feature within the company’s Control and Communication Systems group. Esterline’s innovative new technologies include rugged displays, rugged computers, the VISTA range of operator consoles, and crewstation-over-IP network adapters. Together, CODIS products provide a world-leading ergonomic, high-resolution, multi-processing/multi-operator collaborative environment that can be used for a range of Ground Control Station (GCS) functions, as well as Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (C4ISTAR) applications. “CODIS provides Esterline with an integrated family of technologies and products that allow us to exploit a number of new markets in addition to expanding markets that we are already operating in,” said Ed Fulmer, CODIS US Market Director at Esterline. “When CODIS is integrated with other Esterline products, such as the Mason HaWC controller and Racal Acoustics headphones, we are able to provide customers with turnkey products that are aimed directly at UAS GCS requirements.”


Clear-Com, a global leader in critical voice communications systems, showcases its digital intercom technology line and how its devices work together at booth #1714. The systems include the new Clear-Com Gateway; the Eclipse-HX digital matrix; HelixNet Partyline intercom system; FreeSpeak II wireless intercom system; and the portable and flexible DX300ES wireless communication system. The Eclipse-HX platform can serve as the core of an integrated intercom system for large-scale operations. Clear-Com’s family of Eclipse-HX capabilities can support up to 64 matrix systems trunked over Ethernet and IP connections, for both direct (point to point) and one-to-many (group and partyline or conference) connections. Users of the Eclipse-HX have a wide set of control options: Key-panels, virtual panels on PCs, wireless beltpacks and mobile applications. “Today’s military, aerospace and government personnel require clear and reliable communications that work seamlessly together,” said Jennifer Cassidy, Sales Manager for the Military, Aerospace and Government division at Clear-Com.  “The interoperability of Clear-Com systems enhances teamwork and coordination and supplies superb audio clarity, which makes them ideal for unmanned systems, training and simulation, critical testing and evaluations, and command and control."


TE Connectivity's (TE) latest advanced systems and components for lighter, tougher, more capable unmanned systems that reduce weight, save space and boost capability. Longer mission deployments, greater fuel efficiency, and the ability to add additional surveillance and combat capabilities continue to drive the need for unmanned systems to be required to do more with less size, weight and power consumption (SWaP). Along with the New VITA 66.4 fiber optic module that provides reduced SWaP and increased bandwidth for UAVs, TE showcases a comprehensive set of end-to-end connectivity for all types of unmanned systems I think your audience would be interested in learning more about them. In addition, TE features its power distribution and harnessing products, including the recently added Polamco brand of backshells and connectors. At booth #2423 TE’s latest advanced systems and components for lighter, tougher, more capable unmanned systems that reduce weight, save space and boost capability, are exhibited TE showcases a comprehensive set of end-to-end connectivity solutions for all types of unmanned systems:

  • New VITA 66.4 fiber optic modules that meet VITA 66.4 standards provide reduced SWaP and increased bandwidth for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
  • DEUTSCH black zinc nickel plated D38999 connectors are rugged and corrosion-resistant mil-circular connectors for unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs)
  • SEACON MINI-CON connectors offer a small, high-pressure, dry-mateable connector solution for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs)

In addition to these advanced connector technologies, TE features the latest developments in sensor technology as well as power distribution and harnessing products, including the recently added Polamco backshells and connectors.

Troll is exhibiting their MT-300 or MT-200 aremulti-band, ultra-high-gain, tactical tracking antennas, designed to support forward operations in the harshest environments. They maximise the range and reliability of air-to-ground video and data for manned and unmanned air, land and sea vehicles. Troll's SkyLink Mini II is a multi-axis, stabilised, high-gain antenna that is continuously steered by GPS toward airborne or ground assets.  This allows the Mini II to focus all its signal energy in narrow beams, thereby increasing received signal level, reducing the need for amplification and maximising range.  The SkyLink Mini II incorporates an internal INS for self-calibration and stand-alone position, attitude and heading data. The INS improves tracking accuracy and eliminates the need for an external GPS or magnetometer, significantly reducing the cost and complexity of installation and certification. Troll's Video Network Server (VNS) is designed to decode, transcode and distribute secure, IP video and data over public or private networks. The VNS incorporates advanced server-side encryption to protect mission video and data on either side of the firewall. Troll's VNS decrypts and processes multiple incoming IP streams from multi-channel receivers at remote antenna sites. A typical scenario could include multiple airborne and ground vehicles simultaneously sending IP, video and data to one or more antenna sites.  Each site provides 360° coverage and can optionally track airborne or ground assets. The VNS manages these IP streams from multiple inputs and multiple locations merging each input into a cohesive data stream for every mission platform. This seamless hand-off of live video coverage between different antenna inputs and remote sites makes it possible to create uninterrupted, real-time streams of video and data over large operational areas.

Cobham’s booth #2543 showcases:
  • Advanced Electronics – for unmanned systems applications, including AESA radar components, digital receiver/exciters (DREX), threat radar components, Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) transmit/receive MMIC chop sets; Ka-band Longbow transmitters, 6-channel RF processor converters and 3-channel RF head transceivers for the Standard Missile and AMRAAM data links, antennas and microwave assemblies.
  • Antenna Systems – for unmanned systems and control stations, lightweight SwiftBroadband, anti-jam GPS and conformal antenna designs for unmanned aerial systems.
  • Surveillance Solutions – including the SOLO 7 standard and high definition nano transmitters, NanoVue high definition receiver and SOLO 8 transmitter, Phase III NETNodes capable of creating self-forming, self-healing MESH networks with reduced size, weight and power consumption characteristics.

KVH at booth 2625 showcases:
  • KVH's trio of fiber optic gyro (FOG)-based IMUs providing the precise navigation needed for unmanned systems and platforms.
  • Phoenix Aerial’s high-definition aerial LiDAR mapping system relying on KVH’s 1750 IMU for accurate navigation, position, and orientation. 1750 IMU is one of the leading navigation solutions for unmanned air, ground, and maritime autonomous platforms.
KVH gyros and inertial sensors are key to the accurate navigation of a range  of unmanned systems and platforms, from UUVs to UAVs, and from aerostats  to humanoid robots. 


Panoptes Systems is introducing eBumper4, an obstacle avoidance system that also makes drones smarter. For owners of popular commercial drones like the DJI PHANTOM who want to fly close to property or infrastructure, eBumper4 is a retrofit kit that helps them avoid collisions. Any drone equipped with eBumper4’s integrated sensors and software can not only autonomously avoid obstacles, but also allow the operator to intelligently control it, according to the company, who is exhibiting on booth 332.

Cobra Moto (booth #2249) has announced its latest venture – the culmination of a five-year plan that will, quite literally, take the company’s 20-plus year engine making heritage to stratospheric heights with the launch of Cobra Aero. Teaming with Hood River, Oregon-based Power4Flight and Australia’s Currawong Engineering, Cobra Aero and its globally-recognised engine design and engineering expertise will work to solve powertrain reliability, durability and affordability issues in the UAS industry with the introduction of its new A33 AXS core engine – the Little engine that plays BIG. “We are thrilled to be entering a market where we have the potential to really make a difference in the safety and security of our world,” said Cobra Aero’s Sean Hilbert. “Coming from a military family, this personally means a lot to me. The Cobra Aero team is well-versed in every aspect of small engine design, modeling and development,” said Power4Flight’s Ross Hoag. “Cobra Aero core engines and parts offer traceability, along with specified materials and tolerances – something that until now has been missing on the engine side of the UAS industry.”


Epson Electronics America is demonstrating how it can provide a hands-free, first-person view (FPV) from the DJI PHANTOM 2 Vision+ Drone video camera as a transparent display on the Moverio glasses. The transparency allows drone pilots to maintain a line of sight with their aircraft without having to look down at a smartphone or tablet to view the camera feed. With the transparent FPV image, pilots can also better avoid hazards such as trees, poles and buildings as well as more easily guide their crafts for desired camera views.  In addition to the FPV image, drone pilots can also view on-screen data such as remaining battery life, satellite locked and recording operations.


Wind River (booth #2242) provides one of the industry's most proven platforms for unmanned systems. From our collaboration with NASA JPL on their exploratory missions to Mars to the role our technology has played in the latest generation of autonomous aircraft, such as the Northrop Grumman X-47B and the Dassault nEUROn UCAS platforms (both powered by VxWorks), Wind River has helped make historic advances in unmanned operations for one of the world’s most challenging unmanned programmes.

Amimon is showcasing the superior capabilities of their innovative CONNEX wireless HD video transmission solution with support for Futaba’s S-Bus remote control protocol to demonstrate the precise camera gimbal control on aerial drones. The integration of Futaba’s S-Bus remote control system with Amimon’s CONNEX wireless video solution further optimizes operators’ abilities to frame the shots they need and want with extreme efficiency. CONNEX provides full-HD video transmission capabilities with zero latency up to 1,000m and is capable of displaying telemetry information using its built in OSD as well as sending control commands via Futaba S-Bus protocol to the gimbal on the air unit. CONNEX utilizes a robust 5GHz transmission frequency with sophisticated 2x5 MIMO and automatic channel selection to ensure resilient connectivity at all times – free from UAV control interference and other 2.4GHz radio links. CONNEX supports multicasting up to four screens simultaneously, while maintaining excellent HD video. The small and lightweight package includes all antennas, cables and connectors required for air and ground unit setup, allowing for quick plug-and-fly experience.

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