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———————————————————————–20 Jan 12. Saab unveils maritime mode for Erieye radar. Saab is developing a sea surveillance mode for the Erieye radar system used on its airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. According to Mats Wicksell, the company’s Head of Product Management Worldwide Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconaissance (WISR) Solutions, the radar mode will allow the Erieye radar to detect sea surface targets as small as jet skis and inflatable rubber boats. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)
03 Feb 12. In exclusive coverage, Aviation Week has revealed a new U.S. Air Force X-plane, the X-56A Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), which will test active flutter suppression and gust load alleviation– vital technologies that will propel the development of slender, lightweight, high-aspect-ratio wings for future transports and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance UAVs. Designed by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, the X-56A flying wing will also be flown by NASA and is considered the future of high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) reconnaissance aircraft. Configured for easy wing replacement, the 28-foot-long X-56A features stiff wings, as well as multiple sets of flexible wings, and a parachute recovery system, in case a wing fails in flight. The UAV will test the outer limits of the flight envelope where flutter occurs. Flutter is the potentially catastrophic dynamic coupling that can occur between the elastic motion of the wing and the aerodynamic loads acting on it.
“The success of HALE UAVs will hinge on their ability to survey vast areas with sensors embedded in the wings. The wings therefore have to be very stable, and the X-56A will help pioneer methods for predicting the behavior of these thin aerofoils as well as ways to prevent them from fluttering,” said Guy Norris, senior editor, Aviation Week. “The X-56A cleverly reduces the risk of losing an entire aircraft during these risky tests, and will provide technological insights that are essential to both the Air Force and NASA.”
The X-56A is in final assembly at GFMI Aerospace and Defense in California and will be delivered to Lockheed in April and transported to Edwards Air Force Base in June. Test flights are scheduled for this summer, and the X-56A is expected to transfer to NASA by year’s end.
02 Feb 12. Larson Electronics’ Magnalight.com announced the release of a rechargeable light tower for portable scene lighting applications. Extendable to 8 feet in height and easily recharged from common 115VAC or 12VDC power sources, this portable light tower is compact in size and ideal for use as an utility, emergency scene, or flagger light. The LEDP5W-12LT portable light tower from Magnalight.com produces 5,556 lumens and can run for five hours on a single charge of its onboard 33 amp hour AGM sealed lead acid battery. This portable light tower can be charged from standard 115 wall outlets using the included charging unit, or recharged from 12 volt DC power sources such as vehicles and equipment. Operators can also use this unit as an external power source to power 12 volt DC accessories. This portable tower consists of a compact case which houses all components when in the stowed configuration, an aluminum tower that can be extended from 3 to 8 feet in height, and a sealed AGM lead acid deep cycle battery rated at 33 amp hours and 500+ charge cycles. Illumination is provided by a single IP 67 rated 60 watt LED light head producing 5,556 lumens. The LED light head contains 12 five watt LEDs, is constructed of extruded aluminum for durability, and includes a polycarbonate lens to protect the LEDs. The Led light head is adjustable, allowing operators to deploy the unit, extend the tower, and adjust the light head through 270 degrees of vertical movement for optimal light placement. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire)
01 Feb 12. Kelvin Hughes will launch its innova