In this issue of the PSI newsletter, we highlight three technology updates: PSI's High-Strength Evacuation Litters, Q-Peak's High Pulse Energy Infrared Laser Delivery to SLAC, and InstantEye® Robotics Introduces New InstantEye Mk-3 Product Line.
PSI's High-Strength Evacuation Litters
Battlefield casualty evacuation is a critical concern. The U.S. Marine Corps has identified a need for a light-weight, high-strength evacuation litter for use in remote locations and during aerial transport. Existing litter designs date back several decades and cannot meet new air transport requirements such as the Joint Enroute Care Equipment Test Standard (JECETS). JECETS dictates maximum loads during an aircraft crash and covers fixed-wing, rotary-wing and tilt-rotor aircraft.
JECETS Testing on large centrifuge. Max load 12g's
PSI's litter design uses a truss cross-section to reduce overall weight by 50% and testing shows the litter will exceed JECETS load requirements, up to 12g's on the patient, their gear, and their life support equipment. Further testing using infantrymen at Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments (AEWE) subjected the litter to a number of real-world scenarios, including maneuvering through confined spaces and wall crossings. Gary Daniel, AEWE lead for the Maneuver Battle Lab, says "AEWE provides a credible and repetitive opportunity to experiment with small unit concepts and capabilities, to examine emerging technologies of promise and to accelerate capabilities development."
PSI has developed two related products: a flightworthy litter meeting NATO dimensional standards that will match up to existing aircraft stanchions, and an ultra-lightweight version for use by special operators. The low weight and compact size means it can be more-easily packed in and out of remote locations.
Q-Peak, Inc. High Pulse Energy, Infrared Laser Delivery to SLAC
Q-Peak, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PSI, has delivered a high pulse energy, infrared laser to the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to shape their X-rays. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is one of 10 Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science laboratories and is operated by Stanford University on behalf of the DOE. SLAC's new X-ray Laser-Enhanced Attosecond Pulses (XLEAP) program, led by Dr. Agostino Marinelli, aims to generate sub-femtosecond X-ray pulses using the enhanced self-amplified spontaneous emission (ESASE) scheme at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). In ESASE, a high-pulse energy infrared laser is used to shape an electron beam. Picosecond pulses from the infrared laser generate short current spikes via electron/laser interaction in a magnetic wiggler. These spikes then generate ultra-short (attosecond) SASE pulses in the undulator.
(left to right) Agostino Marinelli (SLAC), Sharon Vetter (SLAC), and Logan Chieffo (Q-Peak) at the completed installation of the Ho:YLF laser amplifier system for the XLEAP program
Q-Peak had developed the high-pulse energy infrared laser amplifier on a Department of Energy funded Phase II SBIR program. Towards the end of the SBIR program, Dr. Marinelli contacted Logan Chieffo at Q-Peak regarding the lease of the laser amplifier for use in the XLEAP program. After a slight modification of the laser amplifier to integrate it with the full system at SLAC, Q-Peak delivered and installed the laser system in the spring of 2017. Over the past year, Dr. Marinelli has integrated Q-Peak's laser amplifier into the LCLS beamline, and has successfully demonstrated the generation of attosecond X-ray pulses.
Q-Peak's infrared laser amplifier uses a series of Tm:fiber-laser-pumped Ho:YLF solid-state stages to amplify 2-micron infrared pulse to tens of millijoules. Seed pulses from an ultrafast laser oscillator, provided by SLAC, are temporally stretched and sent into Q-Peak's amplifier system. The pulses are first amplified in a chirped pulse regenerative amplifier where the seed pulses experience a gain of 2.5 million, or 64 dB. Next, these pulses are sent though three linear amplifier stages providing an output pulse energy of >30 mJ at 120 Hz. The pulses were then temporally compressed to 3 picoseconds, resulting in gigawatt peak power pulses, and injected into the LCLS beamline.
InstantEye® Robotics Introduces New InstantEye Mk-3 Product Line
InstantEye Robotics has unveiled the next evolution in its family of combat-proven, small unmanned aerial systems - the InstantEye Mk-3 series. These new systems, which build on InstantEye's proven reputation, incorporate state-of-the-art data encryption, enhanced payload support, and a new operator interface with significantly expanded features and capabilities.
Cyber security of unmanned systems is becoming increasingly important as the number and variety of robotic systems grows. To address cyber threats, InstantEye Mk-3 systems incorporate a number of sophisticated data protection and communication security architectures. The all-digital communication links use state-of-the-art encryption methods to reduce the risk of eavesdropping on telemetered data. Layered on top of the navigation and control systems are threat protection frameworks designed to detect and isolate various spoofing, takeover and denial of service attacks. InstantEye Robotics is dedicated to protecting the security of its systems and strives to ensure that the operator receives the information they need, when they need it.
A key feature of all InstantEye systems is their ability to use different payloads depending on mission needs. InstantEye aircraft are designed to carry InstantEye-developed payloads as well as devices developed by approved third-party suppliers. To support the ever-increasing number and complexity of new payloads, InstantEye Mk-3 systems have an enhanced plug-and-play interface that expands the types of payloads that can be carried and the amount of data that is telemetered to the operator.
InstantEye systems are noted for ease of operation with an intuitive ground control system (GCS). The new InstantEye Mk-3 systems leverage the design philosophy of the Mk-2 GCS but expand their capabilities through use of an Android-based tablet computer and provide increased functionality with the new hand controller. The tablet computer allows the system to operate with applications such as Nett Warrior and ATAK and will also allow for real-time data processing of payload data to provide immediate situational awareness. Like the InstantEye Mk-2 GCS, the system is self-contained, maximizing tactical maneuvering capability of dismounted soldiers.
The initial systems being offered in the product line are the InstantEye Mk-3 GEN5-D1/D2 and the InstantEye Mk-3 GEN4-D1/D2. The InstantEye Mk-3 GEN5-D1/D2, is the smallest aircraft in the family. Due to its small size, it has low audible and visual signatures, allowing it to execute close-area target reconnaissance (CATR) undetected. The InstantEye Mk-3 GEN4-D1/D2 is the largest aircraft in the family, with a payload carrying capacity of over three pounds, enabling it to carry a wide range of payloads. The InstantEye Mk-3 GEN3-D1/D2, the mid-sized aircraft in the family that offers a balance in size and capability, and the InstantEye Mk-3 GEN4-E1, which utilizes a networked military software-defined radio and offers an optional SAASM-compliant configuration, will be available for sale in 2019.
InstantEye Robotics is a division of Physical Sciences Inc., both located in Andover Massachusetts. InstantEye Robotics is a global leader in tactical unmanned aircraft systems. When customers need a reliable, portfolio-manageable, multi-mission system, they choose InstantEye. Visit us at AUSA booth #449 or at instanteyerobotics.com.
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