Directed energy weapons are a key emerging technology being considered for protection of UK armed forces from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in modern battlefields. In 2021, Raytheon UK was awarded a demonstrator contract to provide a Laser Directed Energy Weapon System (LDEW) for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The LDEW system uses a 3D radar to detect targets which are then presented on the Cambridge Pixel user interface, along with graphics showing the laser effector location and orientation against a map underlay background.
Initial target classification is provided by the radar where possible, with the user then able to refine the classification and threat level using the intuitive user interface, selecting one or more targets to be passed to the laser operator for investigation. The software supports display of the laser subsystem operational status and communications link. It also allows the user to enter an indication of damage to the target.
“We have been able to use one of our established security software applications to meet the LDEW-specific requirements, thus reducing cost, timescales and risk for our customer. Full verification has been achieved using our radar simulator to provide realistic target motion as an input to the tactical display,” said Andrew Haylett, Principal Engineer at Cambridge Pixel.