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Eagle Vision

Airbus Defence and Space has secured a contract for system evolution and maintenance of the US Air Force’s (USAF) Eagle Vision mobile ground satellite stations.

The contract, of undisclosed value, covers five Eagle Vision deployable satellite imagery ground systems.

Under the agreement, Airbus Defence and Space will undertake system evolution work to reduce the system’s footprint to transit cases versus the current shelter housing.

It will also introduce smaller antenna dishes and integrate new satellites.

Furthermore, the firm will be responsible for the provision of 24/7 support for the system, failure corrections with workaround solutions, spares management, preventive maintenance, and training and support during deployments.

Eagle Vision is a commercial, off-the-shelf deployable ground station designed to process imagery from commercial satellites for intelligence preparation of the battle space, mission planning and rehearsal, predictive battle space awareness, and battle damage assessment.

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The fourth-generation system supports users during natural disaster relief operations and homeland defence preparations. It is also capable of receiving imagery from SPOT 6/7 and TerraSAR- X/Tandem-X constellations.

The use of commercial satellites facilitates free data sharing among the allied forces.

"Airbus Defence and Space will undertake system evolution work to reduce the system’s footprint."

Since 1994, the stations have also delivered planning and mission support to the US military during Operations Allied Force, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

More than 20 satellites have been integrated into the system, depending on their availability and lifecycle since 1993.

Further upgrades are planned to enable the system to receive and process data from WorldView and Pleiades satellites.

Eagle Vision systems are assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, San Diego Air National Guard Station, California, McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, US.

The technology is sponsored by the US Air Force ISR innovations office and the programme management office at Hanscom Air Force Base. Work under the contract is scheduled to run until 2019.

Image: USAF Eagle Vision system supports natural disaster relief and defence preparations. Photo: courtesy of Airbus Defence and Space.

Defence Technology