Northrop Grumman announces new CIP capability
Northrop Grumman’s Common Imagery Processor (CIP) has demonstrated the ability to process Global Hawk Block 40 data on the Distributed Common Ground System – Imagery (DCGS-I) testbed. This marks the first time that Global Hawk Block 40 data has been successfully received, processed and disseminated on the DCGS-I testbed using the CIP.
The capability was demonstrated during a live flight event in late 2012, which saw the Global Hawk transmit the newest Block 40 concurrent modes data to the testbed. The CIP then processed and transmitted this data to other downstream ground station components for viewing and exploitation.
As the primary sensor processing element of the DCGS-I testbed, the CIP accepts airborne imagery data, processes it into an exploitable image and then outputs the image to other elements within the testbed. The CIP is the standard image processor used by the US Department of Defense (DoD). The CIP also helps coalition partners to consolidate redundant and stovepiped processing systems.
The CIP's latest software allowed for the newest synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery mode to be processed while simultaneously passing the ground moving target indicator data on to another system for processing. The CIP is the only platform capable of processing concurrent SAR data.
Ed Bush, vice president of Northrop Grumman's C4ISR Networked Systems business unit, said: ‘Northrop Grumman continually provides soldiers an upper hand through the CIP's innovative imagery capabilities that process images quickly and efficiently. Additionally, the programme reflects our open architecture approach and quick fielding of integrated software-based systems through the use of commercial and government off-the-shelf components.’
The CIP has been involved in numerous integration and test activities for many platforms and sensors. Since 2000, the CIP has applied its critical ability to ingest data via the Common Data Link to serve as the main imagery processor of the DCGS-I testbed. The DoD uses the DCGS-I testbed to evaluate new intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technologies in an operational environment. The testbed has been an active participant in ongoing block upgrades for the Northrop Grumman-developed Global Hawk unmanned aircraft.
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