Collins Aerospace brings next-generation sensors to FastJets

Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp. ,  was awarded an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract modification by the US Air Force for its newest Fast-Jet reconnaissance pod, the MS-110 Multispectral Airborne Reconnaissance system.

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Collins Aerospace brings next generation sensors to FastJets Collins Aerospace’s MS-110 sensor features multi-spectral technology, significantly increasing intelligence capabilities and improving imagery in poor visibility (Picture source: Collins Aerospace)

The newer MS-110 is a step-change advancement in Airborne Reconnaissance capability and provides capabilities that are unmatched by targeting pods or sensors internally fitted inside the aircraft body. These capabilities include:

- Highest resolution imagery achievable at long/stand-off range for peacetime cross boarder surveillance or high-threat wartime scenarios
- Advanced multispectral imagery (color and false-color composites) to detect targets with a higher degree of confidence or through poor weather/atmospheric conditions
- Wide-area coverage in high resolution
- Flexible planning/re-tasking for real-time changes in dynamic operational situations by aircrew
- SCi-Toolset, a suite of software to help End Users extract critical intelligence from the MS-110’s imagery

“The combination of spatial and spectral resolution modalities provides customers with an exponential increase in intelligence gathering capabilities against challenging targets,” said Kevin Raftery, vice president and general manager, ISR and Space Solutions for Collins Aerospace.

MS-110 integrates seamlessly into the existing DB-110 system CONOPS and architecture, employing common ground support equipment. The sensor is compatible with carriage on advanced fighters (US F-16, F-15 and F/A-18 as well as Gripen and other fast jet platforms), C-130s, MPA class aircraft, ISR business jets and MALE UAVs such as MQ-9.

The MS-110 airborne reconnaissance system is an important advancement over the 3rd generation DB-110 providing new multi-spectral detection capabilities, improved image quality, and increased coverage in a SWaP configuration that is compatible with fast jets, ISR aircraft and UAVs such as the MQ-9 Reaper. Multispectral imagery is defined as sensor data collected simultaneously from three or more spectral regions or bands. The same scene is imaged in all the spectral bands, with each spectral image assigned a display color and overlaid to form a multi-spectral composite image.

The MS-110 enables the end-user to see ‘true color’ and to also discriminate between subtle features of a target that a traditional gray scale image cannot. Most importantly, by combining select three bands into certain composite views analysts gain unique knowledge of individual scenes enabling important military related analytical applications. As part of an end-to-end ISR system, the Collins Aerospace SCI-Toolset suite of imagery exploitation software tools is specially configured to gain maximum benefit from the MS-110’s unique capabilities.

The simultaneous multi-band imagery collection provided by the MS-110 is a battlefield discriminator that can facilitate enhanced target discrimination and change detection while defeating enemy camouflage, concealment and deception (CC&D), and providing detailed maritime and littoral surveillance.