Lockheed Martin upgrades flying intelligence testbed

Lockheed Martin‘s manned airborne testbed, the Airborne Multi-INT Lab (AML), has been enhanced to expedite its ability to deliver decision-quality intelligence, the Bethesda, MD-based company announced March 13. The AML is utilized to experiment with combinations of sensors, systems and technologies to help customers develop ways to support a diverse range of contingency operations.

To accelerate its ability to transform “data” into “intelligence,” updates were recently made to the AML’s on-board processing capability, which collects and correlates disparate types of sensor data. The AML now has an autonomous sensor control mode that can coordinate operations between the testbed’s various onboard sensors. This mode allows operators to focus on mission planning and operational issues while detailed execution is handled autonomously.

Also integrated into the testbed’s mission system was a cognitive processing capability that enables rapid adaptation to a changing target environment. In addition, the AML’s open, “plug-and-play” architecture was upgraded to extend the system’s ability to integrate with existing ground architectures. This open architecture allows additional new software and hardware to be integrated in a matter of hours.

“Getting the right intelligence to those who need it is critical for any mission to succeed,” said Dr. Rob Smith, vice president of C4ISR for Lockheed Martin. “The AML has furthered our ability to expedite solution delivery, reduce the risk of those solutions, and help us deliver differentiated capabilities affordably to our customers.”

The AML, a modified Gulfstream III business jet, provides a readily reconfigurable platform to rapidly explore how multiple sensors and onboard systems interact, and how to best apply them for use in military and non-military markets. A variety of features onboard the aircraft enable this experimentation. Equipped with a multitude of sensors (electro-optical/ infrared systems, synthetic aperture radar, electronic intelligence and communications intelligence) and various communications apertures, the AML also has an open architecture that eases sensor interchangeability, a radome on the belly of the aircraft with ample volume for a mix of sensors, four onboard workstations and a computing capability that supports most commercial operating systems.

Beyond traditional uses such as development and evaluation support, this robust intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) lab can be deployed anywhere in the world with a minimal support footprint. Since its introduction in 2009, the AML has more than 4,000 mission hours providing “ISR as a Service” supporting real-world customer missions.

Source: Lockheed Martin