Evolution of AUDS – A Platform for Multiple Capabilities
Colorado-based Liteye Systems launched the Liteye SHIELD on 23 February, briefing it as the next level in multi-mission, multi-domain counter-UAS (C-UAS) capability. Kenneth Geyer, CEO of Liteye Systems, and Ryan Hurt, VP of Business Development, briefly addressed some of the differentiators to set this latest C-UAS offering apart from others in an increasingly populated sector.
SHIELD is an evolution of – not a replacement for – the company’s combat-proven Anti-UAS Defense System (AUDS), already delivered to US armed forces. Geyer pointed out SHIELD is not one capability, but rather “a platform for adding multiple capabilities, adding in different technologies as they become available to the warfighter, and using them right away.” Indeed, the CEO further revealed Liteye will be adding capabilities throughout the year, “with that continuing well into the future.” It is envisioned SHIELD will initially be delivered to the current C-AUDS end-users.
One return on investment from SHIELD is labeled ‘machine speed protection’ – taking the operator “out of the loop” and putting him or her “on” the loop. Geyer explained the baseline AUDS capability in 2020, evolved to the point at which an operator can look at, and monitor, more than one system – in essence making the heretofore operator a manager of multiple systems and capabilities – radars, cameras, EW, microwave weapons and others. “This is putting decision-making on the machine, letting it detect, track and identify targets and make recommendations to the manager (operator) who will still pull the trigger and make that final call on the defeat capabilities that will be brought to bear,” he stated.
Hurt added SHIELD incorporates AI and machine learning techniques, with a newly-designed SPYGLASS 3D radar and EO and IR tracking, to increase the speed and confidence of the system. These and other enhancements will allow SHIELD-equipped units to transcend the single UAS threat – using expanded networking and strengthened C2 to defeat UAS swarms, counter multi-axis threats and overcome other evolving challenges.
SHIELD’s growing mission platform options include fixed/semi-fixed, vehicle/man portable and mobile configurations. The company’s expanding, diverse industry partner list for C-UAS activities includes Numerica and Pratt & Miller.
Marty Kauchak reporting for MON from New Orleans