Cluster 6 Collects
On 14th March, HawkEye 360 announced that its Cluster 6 Radio Frequency (RF) sensing satellite constellation had commenced operations, according to a company press release. These new spacecraft enable the company to now collect RF data once every hour over a region of interest. The activation of a new ground station in Hawaii, the sixth for the company, also helps these expanded operations. The press release added that the Cluster 6 satellites enhance coverage of 15 gigahertz/GHz to 18GHz signals. It continued that the Cluster 6 satellites are the first of the company’s spacecraft to have an inclined orbit. This improves data collection in mid-latitude regions. HawkEye360 is planning a total of 60 satellites, comprising 20 clusters of three spacecraft. The company expects a further three clusters to be launched by the end of this year. HawkEye 360 told Armada via a written statement that it now has 18 satellites in orbit following the activation of Cluster 6. It said that the following Cluster 7 satellites should be launched this April.
It’s Safe to Fly with tru-Sky!
Towards late March uAvionix announced the introduction of its tru-Sky Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) spoofing detection system. Designed for use with the company’s SkyLine Command and Control (C2) system, tru-Sky helps improve Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle (UAV) safety. The company said in a press release that tru-Sky “provides pilots and controllers confidence by validating that an individual aircraft ADS-B signal is indeed coming from an aircraft and not being broadcast as a means to fake or spoof the signal.” The spoofing of ADS-B signals can be particularly hazardous for UAV flights where pilots may not enjoy the same level of situational awareness as they would in the cockpit. The press release continued that the “truSky validation process uses a network of multiple low-cost and low-profile deployed dual-frequency (1.090 gigahertz and 978 megahertz) ADS-B ground receivers to evaluate each signal transmitted from the aircraft.” These received signals are then compared to confirm they originated from the aircraft’s position. The company told Armada that the tru-Sky software “uses a number of proprietary methods to produce a validation score which gives the user a confidence level that the target is indeed an aircraft.” It added that tru-Sky is currently at Technology Readiness Level-7. According to established definitions this means a prototype has been demonstrated in an operational environment. “We are ready for customer trials and limited procurements,” uAvionix continued.
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by Dr. Thomas Withington