BAE Systems to develop tech that enables multi-mission UAS with single, multifunction payloads

ARLINGTON, Va. Under two contracts with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), BAE Systems engineers will develop technology that enables compact unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to conduct multiple mission tasks with single, multifunction payloads that can adapt to changing battlefield situations and mission needs in real-time. The contracts have a combined worth of $5.4 million.

The technology developed will affect ’s CONverged Collaborative Elements for Task Operations (CONCERTO) program. It focuses on supporting communications, , and electronic systems (EW) systems with a flexible radio-frequency (RF) architecture that uses shared common , enabling multifunction systems that meet the low- [size, weight, and power] requirements of compact UAS.

The converged systems will be able to switch between intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; command and control; networking; and combat operations support missions without physical payload changes.

“This agility is particularly important in denied environments, where multiple mission functions are typically needed to penetrate defenses and remain operational,” says Randall Lapierre, technology development manager at . “By enabling small platform systems to share core components, we’re helping them become more agile and stay on station longer.”

BAE Systems engineers will focus on maximizing the RF capabilities of the hardware (i.e., bandwidth, frequency, distance, and field of view) to ensure that all missions can be accomplished from the same components. They are also developing a flexible, virtual RF engine that can be reconfigured to quickly support diverse and simultaneous operating modes.

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