VStar Systems Inc., a privately held aerospace and defense systems company, has announced the launch of a modular Signal Intelligence Sensor Suite for use on small to large aircraft, including UAV’s. The product family, jointly named MA-X Modular Airborne Signal Intelligence System, is a scalable solution designed to provide critical intelligence at a more affordable price point. VStar Systems will commence flight testing of MA-X in November 2016.
Founded by entrepreneur and U.S. Navy veteran Andy Von Stauffenberg, VStar Systems designed MA-X using a modular approach that is scalable to fit a wide range of applications, allowing the MA-X sensors to fly from small UAV’s such as the Aerovironement Puma, to major ISR platforms like the Global Hawk or U2 spy planes. With semi-customizable modules, a smaller aircraft can carry a single, specialized module rather than extra weight and associated costs from a sensor that does more than required for the mission. MA-X is the epitome of convenience and efficiency, integrating the commodity mindset and capabilities equal to even the most high-level sensors on the market.
“Traditionally, signal intelligence is looked at as a one-size-fits-all solution,” said Andy von Stauffenberg, CEO of VStar Systems. “But we do not believe that is the most efficient use of the technologies available. By taking a modular approach, we are able to break apart capabilities to provide customers with the right solution to their issues at hand, at a much reduced price. Smaller aircraft can carry a single module, whereas for the larger platforms, we are able to provide multiple modules to encompass the full spectrum of signal intelligence. We call it the semi-customized answer to SIGINT, by providing customers with a menu of capabilities to choose from.”
Lab testing of MA-X is nearing completion, and the first sensor module is prepared to begin flight-testing in November. Initially, flight tests will be performed on a manned aircraft and upon success, MA-X testing will be conducted on UAV’s. The first module in the MA-X line to be tested is MA-C, which provides communication intelligence such as signal copy and signal identification. Future modules include an Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) module (MA-PTP), as well as light versions of the main communication intelligence module (MA-C-lite and MA-Recon) for smaller aircrafts.
“Our goal is to commoditize SIGINT – providing a system that requires low size, weight, power and comes in at a low cost. With that, we hope to provide military commanders and warfighters the ability to quickly adjust to new scenarios- because useful SIGINT leads to better decisions,” said Von Stauffenberg.
While initially developed for military operations, the low weight and minimized cost of MA-X provides new capabilities for commercial or police operations as well. MA-X’s ability to adapt as new technology becomes available is unique to the commercial sector; the modular aspect simplifies the training process and allows for quick software updates that, with other systems, would typically break the budget.
Source: Press Release