Lockheed Martin's Airborne Multi-INT Lab gets new capabilities

BETHESDA, Md. Lockheed Martin has upgraded its manned airborne testbed, the Airborne Multi-INT Lab (AML), in a bid to expedite the craft's ability to deliver real-time intelligence. Lockheed and partners use the AML to experiment with combinations of sensors, systems, and technologies to help customers develop ways to support a diverse range of contingency operations.

The company made recent updates to the AML's onboard processing capability, which collects and correlates disparate types of sensor data; the craft now possesses an autonomous sensor-control mode that can coordinate operations between the testbed's various onboard , which the company says better enables operators to focus on mission planning and operational issues while the systems autonomously handle detailed execution. Also new to the AML's mission system is a cognitive-processing capability that enables rapid adaptation to a changing target environment and an upgraded "plug-and-play" architecture to extend the system's ability to quickly integrate with existing ground architectures.

The AML, a modified Gulfstream III business jet, provides Lockheed and its partners with a test platform to determine how multiple sensors and onboard systems interact and how to best apply them for use in and nonmilitary markets. The craft is equipped with sensors (including electro-optical/infrared systems, synthetic aperture , electronic intelligence, and communications intelligence), a radome on the belly of the aircraft that can accommodate a mix of sensors, four onboard workstations, and open-computing capability that supports most commercial operating systems.

In addition, beyond traditional uses such as research, development, and evaluation support, the AMR operates as a mobile intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) lab that can be deployed anywhere in the world with a minimal support footprint. Since first introduced in 2009, the AML has logged more than 4,000 mission hours providing "ISR as a Service" to support real-world customer missions.

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