Logos Technologies has been awarded a $6.7 million (€5.7 million) contract from US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to develop, deliver and conduct proof-of-concept flight tests on a wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) sensor, the Fairfax, VA-based company announced on 28 July. Designated CARDCOUNTER, the sensor is being developed to integrate onto the USN/USMC RQ-21A BLACKJACK small tactical UAS.
CARDCOUNTER will be a missionized capability derived from the company’s BlackKite sensor – an ultra-lightweight WAMI prototype with infrared capability. BlackKite weighs under 28lbs yet is powerful enough to image an area over of 12 sq km, within which sensor operators can detect and track all vehicles in real time. CARDCOUNTER will leverage BlackKite’s high-performance, multi-modal edge processor, which can store over six hours of mission data. With this technology, users can forensically analyse recorded imagery to give context to unfolding events, drawing connections between people, places and events.
“We see this contract as a major step for us, the Navy/Marines, and the warfighter in general,” commented Doug Rombough, VP for Business Development at Logos Technologies. “In embracing miniaturized wide-area motion imagery systems for tactical UAS, the Department of Defense is taking a technology that has already proven itself on the battlefield with aerostats and providing the tactical commander with ‘guardian angel-like’ overwatch […] There’s nothing like BlackKite out there in the market today […] It is a force multiplier in terms of enhanced situational awareness. The system catches and records the entire area in real time and streams multiple video ‘chip-outs’ down to handheld devices on the ground.”
The initial $6.7 million award from NAVAIR will cover the development of two CARDCOUNTER prototypes, with a planned delivery by the end of September 2020, ready to begin flight testing on the RQ-21A BLACKJACK.