Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY), announced that it was selected by the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to provide computer hardware and services for the Continuous Look Attack Management for Predator (CLAMP) Program. The goal of CLAMP is to develop and transition advanced sensor exploitation capabilities to the Long-Endurance Predator Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV).
CLAMP is the first U.S. Air Force program to undertake Mercury’s ARIES (Airborne Reconnaissance Image Exploitation System) concept, in which airborne multi-sensor platforms will utilize stored sensor data for comparative purposes. ARIES is a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) adjunct processor that is designed to facilitate the migration of ground-based algorithms to the platform, adjacent to the sensor and with direct access to original sensor data, so that image exploitation can occur in real time.
As the Predator UAV flies and collects data over a designated area for hours at a time, the multi-look, multi-sensor nature of its mission can be fully exploited. “The ability to store, retrieve, and process sensor data over a long period of time will enable warfighters to detect changes in tactical conditions,” said Brian Hoerl, Vice President of Worldwide Sales for the Defense business at Mercury. “This will allow them to pinpoint attacks or avoid dangerous situations, which will greatly enhance the potential for saving time and lives.”
In addition, CLAMP will combine other selected technologies in a systematic approach to enable the Predator UAV to fulfill its Hunter-Killer role with improved reliability and reduced collateral damage.
ARIES represents the convergence of three rapidly evolving technologies: low-power, lightweight, high-performance computers; high-capacity, compact storage devices; and sensor exploitation algorithms. This convergence will enable the automation of battlefield information processing, which in turn will reduce analysts’ workload and accelerate sensor-to-shooter information flow. The deployment of ARIES will facilitate best-of-breed algorithms and is consistent with the key tenets of Network Centric Warfare in turning airborne platforms into Information Servers.
Mercury plans to upgrade two MP-510 multiprocessor systems previously purchased by the AFRL, and to assist in the performance optimization of key applications to be tested by the CLAMP program.
“Mercury’s proven capability to deliver sensor processing systems to the U.S. Air Force is key to our success for the CLAMP program, as it moves to onboard processing,” said Dr. Terry Wilson, AFRL Program Manager for CLAMP.
Terms of the award were not disclosed. For more information on ARIES, go online.
About Mercury Computer Systems, Inc.
Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRCY) is the leading provider of high-performance embedded, real-time digital signal and image processing solutions. Mercury’s solutions play a critical role in a wide range of applications, transforming sensor data to information for analysis and interpretation. In military reconnaissance and surveillance platforms the Company’s systems process real-time radar, sonar, and signals intelligence data. Mercury’s systems are also used in state-of-the-art medical diagnostic imaging devices including MRI, PET, and digital X-ray, and in semiconductor imaging applications including photomask generation and wafer inspection. Mercury provides advanced 3D image processing and visualization software and optimized systems to diverse end markets including life sciences, geosciences, and simulation. The Company also provides radio frequency (RF) products for enhanced communications capabilities in military and commercial applications. Based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Mercury serves customers in North America, Europe and Asia through its direct sales force and a network of subsidiaries and distributors.