BAE Systems-Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) team has secured a contract to design the next-generation open architecture signals intelligence (SIGINT) sensor prototype.

The contract has been awarded by the US Air Force (USAF).

It will be carried out under the service’s global high-altitude open-system sensor technology (GHOST) programme.

BAE Systems’ part of the development work involved in the contract will be executed at the company’s facility in Hudson, New Hampshire, US.

The latest contract furthers BAE’s development efforts to provide full-spectrum awareness and actionable intelligence for the USAF.

The BAE-SNC team will design a sensor prototype that delivers insight into adversaries’ actions by gathering and evaluating electronic signals.

According to BAE, the sensor prototype will exploit the radio frequency (RF) spectrum to identify and track RF emissions.

BAE Systems C4ISR Systems vice-president and general manager David Logan said: “Our SIGINT technology is one of the few on the market designed from the start with open architecture.

“We worked closely with the customer community to design our solution in this way – giving the US Air Force the ability to easily add new capabilities in the future to counter evolving threats.”

Currently, the USAF’s GHOST programme is working with three vendors on a 12-month project to design prototypes. The service designated the programme as a Section 804 rapid prototyping programme.

All three vendor’s systems will be put through an open architecture evaluation in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Open Architecture Technology Lab.

After this effort, a source selection will be conducted to select one vendor, who will construct fieldable prototypes.

BAE Systems provides several adaptive signals intelligence products that enable troops to address evolving and dynamic threats across the battlefield.

It has more than two decades of expertise in developing software-defined open architecture SIGINT systems.

Meanwhile, SNC is a provider of scalable open-architecture SIGINT solutions for air-based, ground, and maritime applications.