Updated facilities provide enhanced capabilities for EW and ISR R&D
November 16, 2011
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The U.S. Army has increased its state-of-the-art facilities and dedicated three facilities for use in communications-electronics research at locations here and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey in October.
The Seeker Effects Laboratory, the Laser Integrated Test and Evaluation Laboratory, and the CERDEC Flight Activity's new engineering facility are assets of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's communications-electronics center and provide increased capabilities for researching, developing, engineering and testing of systems and equipment for potential use by elements of the Department of Defense.
CERDEC's Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate will use the SEL lab, located here, to help the Army meet its objective of improving rotary-winged aircraft survivability, said Allan Chan, Electronic Warfare Futures branch chief.
The SEL supports various aircraft survivability programs to include Distributed Aperture Directed-Infrared Countermeasures System program; the Novel IRCM Techniques program; and the Counter Advanced Man-Portable Air Defense System program. SEL employees study the response of true missile hardware to novel laser interrogation waveforms and jamming techniques, said Chan
"The SEL is capable of simulating surface to air missile fly outs in a hardware-in-the-loop environment," said Chan.
Hardware-in-the-loop environments allow for developing and testing certain systems in real time.
"Testing is performed in a wide range of scenarios, and the missile response in each case is recorded and analyzed using advanced signal processing techniques," said Chan. "The results are then used to effectively design next-generation aircraft protection equipment that is optimized to defeat advanced missile threats."
The SEL lab was significantly upgraded during the Base Realignment and Closure transition, which moved the Fort Monmouth, NJ based lab to the C4ISR Campus here.
The SEL now incorporates a more advanced jam laser that allows for very high flexibility jam waveform design, which can be used to create and test novel jam waveforms that are expected to have higher effectiveness against advanced threats, according to Chan.
The LITE Lab, located here, will be used by CERDEC to test and evaluate DIRCM systems in support of CIRCM programs, said Oagaro.
CERDEC will support Project Manager-Aircraft Survivability Equipment in the design and operation of a pointer and tracker and laser characterization in the LITE Lab, according to Joseph Oagaro, CERDEC I2WD.
While Fort Monmouth had a LITE Lab, the new lab will have the ability to provide dynamic range capability; to collocate the Ultra Violet and Infrared sources to provide consistent source at all angles; to provide realistic and relative IR clutter such as fire, lamps or engines by addition clutter sources; to simulate changing angular rates for missile flyouts; to provide vibration capability to assess robustness of the pointer and tracker design; to assess multiple jam head architecture; and to assess more than one target at a time.
The LITE Lab will simulate a cluttered environment and will have vibration capabilities in order to replicate real-world scenarios. The lab will also have a vendor supplied Pointer/Tracker, which will measure point and tracking accuracy during test scenario motions where an Own-Ship-Motion Table will simulate helicopter motions while a Simulated Threat Box will simulate missile trajectory.
"These increased abilities are needed for the Army to evaluate potential vendors for next generation DIRCM solutions," said Oagaro.
In addition to being able to simulate helicopter motion, CERDEC has access its own aircraft fleet at its flight activity in Lakehurst, NJ at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
The CERDEC Flight Activity's new building will support all aspects of airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance subsystem integration, according to Charles Maraldo, CERDEC Flight Activity director.
The building will house the Persistent Surveillance Test Bed that will be networked to Army facilities here and CERDEC hangar facilities at Lakehurst and will contain equipment isolation rooms, secret compartmental information facility space, office, lab and conference space, said Maraldo.
The System Integration Lab elements will also be housed in the new CFA building. "Positioning SIL elements near the flight line and aircraft integration facility will streamline the process of complex ISR system integration and troubleshooting," said Maraldo.
The new lab and office space for CERDEC I2WD has increased the capabilities the organization had earlier this year.
"The new facilities at APG and Lakehurst make available to our employees updated capabilities that enhance research, development and engineering efforts for aircraft and aircraft survivability programs by providing efficient evaluation tools and methods which in turn increases protection of our Soldiers," said Mike Lombardi, acting director of CERDEC I2WD.