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The US Army is seeking to develop a high-altitude warfare sensor that can fly over enemy territories, transmit data, and potentially even work as a jammer to disrupt an adversary’s communications system.
The system, dubbed High-Altitude Extended-Range Long Endurance Intelligence Observation System, or HELEIOS, is part of the Multidomain Sensing System family, a series of high-altitude systems that will help the Army cover the vast distances over which it expects to operate in future conflicts.
HELIOS will be an attritable sensor mounted to a solar glide vehicle or a balloon, designed to operate at 60,000 feet or above.
The Army wants to begin experimenting with the system during upcoming Project Convergence exercises and at a technology demonstrator in the Indo-Pacific in fiscal 2022.
To start, the service wants to mount the sensor on a balloon right over a target and move on from there, recognizing that as the platform moves and the sensor gets farther away, that will present size, weight and power issues, according to c4isrnet.com.
Details were unveiled by Army capability manager for electronic warfare, Col. Daniel Holland. “The idea is blanketing the deep area with low-cost ‘attritable’ sensors to enable deep sensing and deep effects,” he said.