Bodkin Design & Engineering (Newton, MA) was awarded the first round of a $1.5 Million Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) Phase 2 contract from the U.S. Navy to develop a power-efficient illuminator for nighttime operations of the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) system. The COBRA Multi-Spectral Illuminator will provide broadband light with sufficient illumination for the COBRA camera to operate under all light conditions.
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The mission of COBRA is to conduct unmanned aerial tactical reconnaissance in the littoral battlespace for detection and localization of minefields and obstacles in the surf zone and beach zone prior to an amphibious assault. The COBRA airborne payload is carried on the MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned air system, which keeps operators and personnel at a safe distance. COBRA will also be embarked in the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) as part of the Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Mission Package (MP). By permitting nighttime operation the developed technology will increase the number of hours the COBRA system can be deployed, thus reducing overall operational costs.
System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and ground test methods over the required range of landscapes and scenes. Bodkin Design plans to finish all three phases of development, which includes definition and qualification of the illuminator elements, prototype construction, lab testing, and manned flight testing. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in September 2018.
SOURCE: Bodkin Design;http://www.bodkindesign.com/bde-nighttime-illuminator/