22 Apr 14. General Dynamics C4 Systems has opened the MUOS Radio Testing Lab at its Scottsdale, Ariz., location. The U.S. Navy-approved laboratory is one of two that supports testing for radio-terminals intending to connect with the MUOS space-ground network. The lab is equipped with hardware and software that simulates the radio’s connectivity with the MUOS ground network. To test connectivity with the MUOS system, radios are provisioned with the General Dynamics-developed MUOS waveform to make secure voice calls and complete data transmissions at different data rates across the simulated MUOS network. The MUOS waveform, housed in the government waveform information repository, leverages the widely-used commercial Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) cell phone technology. The first terminal to receive government authorization and enter the Scottsdale lab was Rockwell Collins’ ARC-210 radio that began testing in March. Companies interested in accessing the General Dynamics C4 Systems MUOS Radio Testing Lab must first contact and receive approval from the Navy’s Communications Satellite Program office, PMW 146, to authorize access to the test facility.
22 Apr 14. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that the first of six test sites chosen to perform unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research is operational more than two-and-a-half months ahead of the deadline specified for the programme by Congress.The FAA granted the North Dakota Department of Commerce team a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) to begin using a Draganflyer X4ES small UAS at itsNorthern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site. The COA is effective for two years. The team plans to begin flight operations during the week of May 5.“North Dakota has really taken the lead in supporting the growing unmanned aircraft industry,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We look forward to the contributions they and the other test sites will make toward our efforts to ensure the safe and efficient integration of UAS into our nation’s skies.” The main goal of this site’s initial operations is to show that UAS can check soil quality and the status of crops in support of North Dakota State University/Extension Service precision agriculture research studies. Precision agriculture is one of many industries that represent areas for significant economic opportunity and UAS-industry expansion. (Source: UAS VISION)
23 Apr 14. Altus, McConnell selected to receive KC-46A Pegasus aircraft. U.S. Air Force officials announced Altus Air Force Base, Okla., as the Air Force’s KC-46A Pegasus formal training unit and McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., as the first active duty-led Pegasus main operating base. Both Altus and McConnell were selected as preferred alternatives in May 2013. The Air Force recently completed the environmental analysis required by the National Environmental Protection Act to provide further information concerning the basing process. Air Force officials analyzed operational considerations, installation attributes, economic, and environmental factors for each location before making a final basing decision. Air Force officials also explained their rationale for choosing Altus and McConnell. Altus was selected as the formal training unit for the KC-46A because it provides great training opportunities, Bridges said. There is significant benefit of collocating KC-46A trainers with both tanker and heavy receiver aircraft for training purposes. The formal training unit and first main operating base will begin receiving aircraft in fiscal year 2016. A final basing decision for the first Air National Guard main operating base is expected in summer 2014, with the first aircraft scheduled to arrive in fiscal year 2018. Altus AFB also has better infrastructure capacity and requires considerably less new construction, Bridges added. There is already a formal training wing locate