Broadcast Networks Security Division Delivers CC Vehicles For UAV Research Missions

Date: 02/07/2015
Broadcast Networks Security Division Delivers CC Vehicles For UAV Research Missions

BN Security & Defence, a specialist division of UK-based solutions integrator Broadcast Networks, has delivered two custom-built, feature-packed UAV Command and Control (CC) vehicles to the Autonomous Systems Research Group (ASRG) at the University of Southampton.

The strategic research group is funded by agencies across Europe to undertake work in autonomous systems, sensing, computing, communications and platforms that provide world class, cost effective capabilities for scientists and business. The two new vehicles will play a central role in the Universitys engagement, providing essential command and control facilities for a range of international UAV missions - sub-sea, surface, land, air and space - including pollution monitoring, weather prediction and civil unmanned aviation.

 

Impressive capability in a compact footprint

Designed, project-managed and custom-built by the BN Security & Defence team in Hampshire, the vehicles deliver impressive technical capability within a compact footprint. Based on a high-roofed long-wheel-base Mercedes Sprinter chassis, each vehicle has been expertly converted to provide space-efficiency and excellent ergonomics for a team of operators on the move. 

The technology specified and deployed by BN Security & Defence includes specialist systems integrated with a range of Commercial Off-the-Shelf products for maximum operational performance and minimal weight load. 

Each vehicle features a roof-mounted Ka band satellite dish with a pneumatically actuated 10 metre communications mast to enable secure, agile field communications and telemetry to their UAV and drones.  Marine type radar systems and high quality long-range cameras enable efficient UAV system control and tracking.

 

Smart operational features

In addition to a 10kw generator and inverter system for lighting, power and air-conditioning, the vehicles include smart features to improve the working environment such as desks with inset video displays and control panels; overhead storage and cabinets, secure helium gas and fuel storage facilities; rear workshop space for repair and storage; a sliding seat system to comfortably get the team onsite and an external side awning to provide an observation point where students can follow a mission via a large externally-mounted flat screen and listen into the main control area via the integrated communication system. 

Research missions by their very nature generate vast amounts of data for analysis and recording.  Whilst the information gathered can be streamed via the satellite communications system, rack-mounted NAS drives inside each vehicle enable large amounts of data to be stored and analyzed efficiently on location.

 

Expertly designed & custom-built

The technical furniture and desks within each vehicle - all expertly designed and built by BN Security and Defences partner Custom Consoles - provide four command and control positions to run a typical mission:  primary radar and visual contact; avionics control, management and system health; payload operations to monitor the UAV sensors as well as cameras for imagery, with a position for airspace and virtual radar monitoring.   The front driver and passenger seats can rotate and provide desk space to accommodate additional mission support.  All positions have headsets to enable communication with each other as well as with the safety pilot who is typically positioned outside the vehicle, watching and landing the UAV units.  

Following a detailed tender process, the award of this prestigious contract to BN Security & Defence was an easy decision for the selection board.

Their understanding of the situational awareness sector, proven craftsmanship and top quality customised vehicle design, made BN Security & Defence the natural solution partner for this project and they have exceeded our expectations, said Professor James Scanlan, ASRGs Director. From the outset, the team engaged with us to understand our special operational requirements and worked closely with us to specify the appropriate technology and workflow we needed to perform. With these new vehicles we are confident of our ability to conduct cutting-edge earth science research and achieve a global top five reputation for cross-disciplinary excellence.

Were delighted to have played a key role in the delivery of this project and to see the vehicles actively deployed in ground-breaking research, said Tom Haye, Managing Director BN Security & Defence. Its a great example of how our specialist team can successfully take a concept from design to delivery and add real value to the process with our experience and approach to innovation.

Following recent deployments focused on maritime incident response and unmanned cargo aircraft use in remote and island regions, one of the ASRG vehicles will be showcased at the upcoming Royal Television Society Thames Valleys Drone Fest at Pincents Manor Hotel on Wednesday 8 July, 18.30 hrs.  For further details, visit www.rts.org.uk

 

www.bnsd.co.uk



Tags: Broadcast Networks | Custom Consoles | UAV | Command and Control | CC | Command and Control vehicles | University of Southampton | ASRG | Autonomous Systems | UAV Research | RTS Thames Valley | Drone | Tom Haye | Prof. James Scanlan
Submitted by Melanie OBrien (MJO Communications Ltd)
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