NEWTOWN, Conn: With the recent recommendation from U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates to increase the budget for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) investment by $2 billion, as part of a sweeping overhaul of the entire DoD budget, one area of defense electronics is likely to benefit strongly; night vision and thermal imaging technology.
Development and production of surveillance systems for all branches of the U.S. military is conducted under a wide number of R&D and procurement programs. Coming out of just one program, the Army’s Night Vision Systems Advanced Development effort sensors are being developed to help accomplish U.S. Army Advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle payload missions, and improved situational awareness.
The Systems Advanced Development program in the years ahead will also look at improving route reconnaissance for road hazards, detection of threat soldiers carrying rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and identification of the current deadliest threat in Iraq and Afghanistan; the improvised explosive device (IED).
Funding is also in place for the development of systems to handle a variety of combat environments, any of which present unique surveillance challenges. Sense Through the Wall and Foliage Penetration technology continue to be two of the driving forces currently behind the perfection of night vision technology as it relates to the Advanced Development program.