Electro-optical sensor experts at Northrop Grumman Corp. unveil open-systems sensor architecture to usher aircraft sensor technicians to swap sensors in theater using the same sensor pod.
Officials of the Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems sector in Baltimore are offering the OpenPod sensor system, which consists of line-replaceable units and a set of interchangeable sensors that can be swapped out in minutes.
Enabled by open architecture principles, OpenPod is the first of its kind to accommodate a range of sensors with one pod, say Northrop Grumman officials, who unveiled the OpenPod concept last week in Washington.
Changing, integrating or upgrading sensors on a military aircraft can be expensive, time-consuming, and complex, and the OpenPod sensor system aims to overcome these challenges.
OpenPod first will be available with targeting and infrared search and track (IRST) electro-optical sensor packages at launch, followed by communications, light direction and ranging (LIDAR) sensors, 5th-to-4th-generation communications, and other options in the future, company officials say.
Because the pod allows for sensor changes without modifications to the aircraft or mission computer, technicians can upgrade OpenPod independently of the aircraft.