Video Captures Ballistic Missile Defense Capabilities of Northrop Grumman’s Distributed Aperture System for F-35
BALTIMORE, Nov 2, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) — Northrop Grumman Corporation /quotes/comstock/13*!noc/quotes/nls/noc (NOC 64.59, +1.08, +1.70%) today released a video showing the successful detection and tracking of a two-stage rocket launch at a distance exceeding 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) with the company’s AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS). The demonstration took place this summer during a routine flight test of DAS conducted aboard the company’s BAC 1-11 test bed aircraft.
A video accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?d=205705
“DAS is an omni-directional infrared system that can simultaneously detect and track aircraft and missiles in every direction, with no practical limit on the number of targets it can track. DAS truly revolutionizes the way we think about situational awareness,” said Dave Bouchard, program director for F-35 sensors at Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector. “In recent testing, DAS has proven to have applications and capabilities beyond its initial requirements for the F-35, including ballistic missile detection and tracking, and counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) capabilities.”
The video generated by DAS during the flight test has been magnified 10 times to allow clearer viewing of the rocket. Unlike other sensors, DAS detects and tracks the rocket at horizon-break without the aid of external cues. DAS algorithms continuously track the rocket through first-stage burnout, second-stage ignition, across DAS sensor boundaries, and through the rocket’s second-stage burnout at a distance of more than 800 miles. The video also shows DAS’ detecting and tracking the rocket’s first-stage re-entry.
The AN/AAQ-37 DAS is designed to provide advanced situational awareness capabilities, including missile and aircraft detection, track, and warning for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. DAS also gives a pilot 360-degree spherical day/night vision, with the capability of seeing through the floor of the aircraft. An operational DAS system is comprised of multiple DAS sensors whose images are fused together to create one seamless picture. Because DAS is passive, an operator does not have to point the sensor in the direction of a target to gain a track.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.