WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio – US Air Force researchers needed a company to test experimental technologies from the Multi-Spectral Sensing Technologies Research and Development (MuSTeR) program to detect RF and electro-optical sensors for offensive, defensive and integrated offensive and defensive systems. They found their solution in the Northrop Grumman Mission Systems segment in Linthicum, Maryland.
Officials from the Multispectral Sensing & Detection Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, announced a $840,429 contract to Northrop Grumman last week as part of the Multi-Spectral Sensing Technologies R&D (MuSTeR )-program.
MuSTeR aims to improve the state-of-the-art in US military sensor system research by leveraging the complete electromagnetic spectrum to deliver next-generation capabilities for continued global awareness.
For example, MuSTeR is developing infrared search and tracking technology (IRST), to enable US and allied aircraft to search for air targets without betraying their presence by emitting RF and microwave energy.
The project also focuses on improved RF sensing systems for situational awareness and targeting applications, as well as the development of an advanced large format high dynamic range long wave infrared (LWIR) digital pixel readout integrated circuit (DPROIC) for airborne and track infrared ( IRST) applications.
For this contract, Northrop Grumman experts will support the flight test of sensor systems. Other MuSTeR contractors are exploring low-cost infrared search and tracking (LC-IRST), cloud noise reduction algorithms and processing, and machine learning techniques with the potential to improve overall IRST detection performance.
Northrop Grumman will also take care of flight test support current and future developments in large format focal plane arrays, readout architectures, sensor chip designs, wide field of view optical designs, and advanced processing methods for remote and clutter target detection and tracking, taking advantage of the high frame rate advantages of a staring system.
Other focus areas of the MuSTeR program for which Northrop Grumman will provide flight support are multiband multifunction radio frequency detection; laser radar technology; passive radio frequency detection; and distributed radio frequency detection.