“This test was very successful, and many defense programs in both the U.S. and U.K will benefit from the data we collected,” said Brent Waggoner, Navy lead for Autumn Thunder.
Crane, IN (PRWEB) February 3, 2011
Experts from eight leading Department of Defense (DoD) organizations, the United Kingdom Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (U.K. DSTL) and industry partners completed an advanced laser and expendable countermeasure test on November 10 at Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center. Its unique remote facilities allowed experts to complete open-air testing using both flares and lasers.
Known as Autumn Thunder, the four-week long test assessed the capabilities of several advanced sensors when faced with a variety of lasers and expendable countermeasures. The testing also helped determine requirements for the protection of sensor systems from laser threats. The results of Autumn Thunder will provide data for various programs across the Navy, Army, and Air Force, as well as U.K. programs.
"The Autumn Thunder field trial enabled the U.K. and U.S. Government Laboratories to continue their excellent collaboration to investigate and develop advanced techniques for enhancing the protection of their military aircraft from attack by a range of threat weapons," said Prof. David Titterton, U.K. lead on the project. "Camp Atterbury was an ideal venue for this crucially important activity, as it provided all of the vital facilities required for the scale of testing undertaken during trial. The successful testing was aided by the outstanding support provided by the NSWC Crane team. It was a pleasure to work with our American colleagues."
Providing oversight and expendable countermeasure and laser expertise, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) partnered with Science Applications International, Corp. (SAIC) to provide logistics, generate the test plan, integrate test equipment, direct the test and range safety and coordinate the lasers, flares and sensors.
The joint test was executed under the U.S./U.K. Electro-Optic Countermeasure/Electro-Optic Protection Measure Project Arrangement. The strong partnership between the U.S. and U.K. has spanned more than 15 years and has led to major advancements in electro-optic defense applications.
Autumn Thunder was funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; the Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny Arsenal, NJ; and the Advanced Tactical Aircraft Protection Systems Program Office (PMA 272), at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The testing was a follow on to previous laboratory and field testing. Other contributing organizations included the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and Army Research Laboratory (ARL).
"This test was very successful, and many defense programs in both the U.S. and U.K will benefit from the data we collected," said Brent Waggoner, Navy lead for Autumn Thunder. "The NSWC Crane/SAIC team, the other services and the U.K. put a huge amount of effort into test preparation and execution, which paid off wonderfully. We had almost 1,700 test events over four weeks. In my opinion, this test is the model for cross-service and international cooperation."
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