Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Lockheed Martin introduces tracking for munitions, sensitive assets

Iain Morris

February 25, 2014

Lockheed Martin has introduced a wireless automatic identity technology allowing its customers to track munitions and other assets in harsh and sensitive environments.

The technology – developed in collaboration with Visible Assets – uses magnetic fields to track assets in locations that are unsuitable for traditional radio frequency technologies.

“Historically, tracking sensitive items has been a very manual process demanding hundreds of man hours in sometimes volatile explosive environments,” said Robert Smith, vice president of C4ISR for Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, MD, USA) information systems and global solutions. “This unique system not only tags and tracks sensitive items and fused munitions at zero separation, it also incorporates advanced sensors that can be used for predictive maintenance of weapons.”
Branded RuBee, the Lockheed Martin service is based on the IEEE 1902.1 wireless standard and can be used to identify and track items including fused ordnances, firearms, night vision goggles and flak jackets. Each item includes a wireless visibility tag that can be read by the RuBee network.

Lockheed Martin says the system is much more secure than technologies based on radio frequency wavelengths, operating in a similar fashion to secure peer-to-peer networks.

The company also noted that RuBee visibility solutions are already being used by high-security US government and international facilities.

However, RuBee can also be used to support weapons maintenance.

Using RuBee, Lockheed Martin’s Allegro Weapon Shot Counting service can help detect performance anomalies before they lead to weapon failure.

Besides determining normal wear based on rounds fired, the rate-of-fire statistics and temperature readings show how the rounds were fired and provide early warning signs for required cleaning, gas port erosion and cracked bolts.
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