US Office of Naval Research contracts BAE for EO/IR sensor system

The Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory awarded BAE Systems a $3.9 million contract to develop a customized variant of the lock-on naval electro-optic/infrared sensor system (LockNESS™) maritime defense system.

Proliferation of anti-ship missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and fast attack craft/fast inshore attack craft (FAC/FIAC), which can be deployed at a relatively low cost making them easily obtainable by enemies at sea and often undetected by radar, prompted U.S. Navy researchers to launch the Combined EO/IR Surveillance and Response System (CESARS) program.

The Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) CESARS program combines two key subsystem requirements to make up an electro-optical shipboard defense system which will protect surface ships from evolving threats.

With a wide field-of-view, the LockNESS maritime defense system integrates with existing onboard sensors to monitor the surrounding area with advanced algorithms and tracking software to create a 360-degree visual threat picture.

According to BAE Systems, this integration with the sensor suite allows operators to track multiple threats simultaneously with a visual display track map to allow for man-in-the-loop evaluation.

“We have developed an innovative, cost-effective approach to quickly detect and track low radar cross section threats through the rapid intake of massive amounts of data associated with a high powered sensor,” said Somit Mathur, Imaging and Aiming Solutions program manager at BAE Systems. “The result is an integrated maritime defense system that provides enhanced situational awareness to better protect platforms and crews against surface threats by greatly shortening the detect-to-engage cycle.”