VStar Systems has announced that it has added remote operations to its MA-C SIGINT Sensor, foregoing the need for operators to be co-located with the aircraft ground station. This new capability provides even more flexibility, greater utility and more useful intelligence.
“With most sensors on smaller unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the UAV sensor operator and aircraft operator are usually one and the same or are near each other,” said Andy von Stauffenberg, CEO of VStar Systems. “We took that need completely away and now the aircraft can be operated separately from the SIGINT operator.”
A key capability is the ability to operate the sensor over the existing internet or cellular network, without needing a dedicated link to the aircraft. VStar Systems is now running this mode routinely with the sensor physically located in Northern California, while the ground station is in Southern California and the cellular network connects the two. The low bandwidth requirement also enables them to provide future SATCOM capabilities over even the smallest links. Together with the sensor that weighs two pounds and consumes 25 Watts, it means that even very small drones can be configured to provide beyond line of sight (BLOS) operations and still send real time intelligence to operators.
Operationally, this capability has three main benefits:
“The remote operations capabilities adds significant operational utility to the overall system – but we are far from done,” said von Stauffenberg. “Our current plans and ideas will take us out at least another year or two until we are satisfied with their development and integration and we will likely think of new capabilities along the way.”
VStar Systems designed its MA-C Sensor System to provide signal intelligence such as signal copy, signal identification and direction finding to a wide variety of platforms. The MA-C system is designed to function as a highly modular, scalable, flexible tactical COMINT sensor, specifically intended to address design challenges posed by Class 2 or 3 UAVs, while also optimizing operator efficiency.