MacAulay-Brown (MacB) and Wright State Research Institute (WSRI) have been awarded a contract to supply sensing and sensor exploitation systems to the US Air Force Laboratory (AFRL).

Under the $14m sensing and information research centre for understanding systems (SIRCUS) indefinite-delivery / Indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract, the team will deliver services that support all aspects of sensor development, management, and exploitation and innovative sensing.

In addition, the team will provide performance metrics, analysis and methods for sensor exploitation performance prediction, cooperative autonomous systems, as well as information visualisation and mobile computing architectures.

The AFRL has already placed the contract’s first order at a cost of $4.8m.

"The AFRL has already placed the contract’s first order at a cost of $4.8m."

MacB Advanced Technology Group senior vice-president and general manager Tim Lawrence said: "Sensing technology provides key decision makers with the situational awareness necessary to determine and respond to current and future threats.

"We are proud to partner with the Wright State Research Institute to help the air force reduce sensor programme vulnerability from successful adversary collection and exploitation of critical information."

WSRI president David Hopkins said: "This is a great model showing how university research and development can drive job growth in key defence sectors for the state.

"The programme will not only create high-paying jobs, but also provide significant experiential learning opportunities in research for students."

The team aims to foster innovation through the automatic target recognition (ATR) centre programmes, which focus on understanding performance of sensing and exploitation systems and has leveraged partnerships between university research, industry, and the government to help solve current and future air force technology challenges.