Sponsored By Oxley Developments
22 May 19. Topcon Announces Next Generation Flight Planning Software. Topcon Positioning Group announces the next generation flight planning system for its rotary-wing aerial UAV offering — Intel® Mission Control Software. The new software is designed to facilitate automated flight planning, managing missions, and data handling for the Intel® Falcon™ 8+ Drone – Topcon®Edition and its available payload options.
The software is designed to increase accuracy with advanced mapping features that allow operators to easily set project parameters and prepare missions using presets for 2D areas like polygon, corridor and city grid, as well as 3D structures like towers, buildings and facades.
“Operators can take advantage of 2D and 3D map views with the ability to import more precise project details and parameters, including restricted airspace, and support to adapt flight planning over difficult terrain. It features the ability to import elevation, KML, GeoTIFF and Shapefiles for real life visualizations targeted for accurate planning. Plus, expanded preset options support automated flight including circle of interest, panorama, and 2D and 3D missions with automatic elevation and terrain adoption,” said Charles Rihner, vice president of planning for Topcon Emerging Business.
Additionally, the software includes automatic pre-flight safety and system checks while in mission planning. “Operators will receive detailed communication such as estimated battery life, airspace integration, ground and object safety limits, maximum dive and climb rate, minimum and maximum altitude, camera speed, number of images, camera storage, GSD check, and target photo coverage and quality,” said Rihner.
The flight planning software is also designed to improve data handling and export to support easier data processing. “It includes automated image matching and geotagging of images during data import, for increased time saving. Operators can preview and inspect the quality of the collected data, including individual images, as well as an overview of data coverage. Then, they can quickly and easily access and export flight data, and filter datasets for easier processing,” said Rihner. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
21 May 19. Aerojet Rocketdyne and ZAF Energy Team Up. Aerojet Rocketdyne and ZAF Energy Systems have established a new teaming agreement working together on an energy storage system utilizing ZAF’s nickel-zinc batteries and Aerojet Rocketdyne’s battery management system (BMS).
“Our battery management systems provide unprecedented control and health monitoring capabilities for a variety of energy storage solutions,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “With this new ZAF agreement, we’re expanding our power systems portfolio.”
“Nickel-zinc batteries are ideally suited to replace lead-acid batteries where performance, weight, and life-cycle requirements need to be improved,” said Randy Moore, president and CEO of ZAF Energy Systems. “We are excited to work with Aerojet Rocketdyne. Together we will make our nickel-zinc battery systems smarter and expand our reach for mission-critical applications.”
While nickel-zinc batteries do not require a BMS for cell balancing and safety while charging, the BMS can enhance reliability and greatly extend battery life cycle for aerospace and defense applications. The new energy storage system being produced by ZAF and Aerojet Rocketdyne is a safe, technically advanced and cost-effective alternative to traditional batteries for both space and military applications. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
20 May 19. Battelle-Led Team Wins DARPA Award to Develop Injectable, Bi-Directional Brain Computer Interface. Battelle has for years successfully demonstrated brain-computer interface (BCI) projects—just look at NeuroLife®, which has enabled a quadriplegic man to move his hand again using his thoughts. Now, the government’s forward-thinking Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a contract to a Battelle-led team that pushes researchers into the realm of what was once considered science fiction.
Imagine this: A soldier puts on a helmet and uses his or her thoughts alone to control multiple unmanned vehicles or a bomb disposal robot. That’s the basis for this effort for DARPA’s Next-Generation Non-Surgical Neurotechnology (N3) program. The N3 program seeks development of high-performance, bi-directional brain-machine interfaces for able-bodied service members. Most of the current BCI research, including Battelle’s NeuroLife technology, focuses on helping people with disabilities who must undergo invasive implant procedures, including brain surgery, to enable a BCI that can restore lost function. For the next BCI leap, in which the technology can be used by healthy military service members, it’s imperative to find lower-risk and less-invasive options.
It’s a path Battelle Senior Research Scientist Gaurav Sharma has already begun to navigate. Heavily involved for years with the NeuroLife project, Sharma began to develop ideas for non-surgical BCI options. The DARPA N3 program provides the opportunity to further develop them. Battelle’s N3 concept for a minimally invasive neural interface system, called BrainSTORMS (Brain System to Transmit Or Receive Magnetoelectric Signals), involves the development of a novel nanotransducer that could be temporarily introduced into the body via injection and then directed to a specific area of the brain to help complete a task through communication with a helmet-based transceiver. Upon completion, the nanotransducer will be magnetically guided out of the brain and into the bloodstream to be processed out of the body.
The nanotransducer would use magnetoelectric nanoparticles to establish a bi-directional communication channel with the brain. Neurons in the brain operate through electrical signals. The magnetic core of the nanotransducers would convert the neural electrical signals into magnetic ones that would be sent through the skull to the helmet-based transceiver worn by the user. The helmet transceiver could also send magnetic signals back to the nanotransducers where they would be converted to electrical impulses capable of being processed by the neurons, enabling two-way communication to and from the brain.
“This is one of the most exciting and challenging projects I have worked on,” said Sharma. “With BrainSTORMS, we will again be pushing the limits engineering and physics. If successful, this technology would not only provide a safe and efficient way to facilitate human machine interactions, but also has the potential to revolutionize the study of the nervous system.”
Sharma’s experience and contacts in the BCI field are key to the effort’s success. Battelle will apply its expertise in neural decoding, artificial intelligence, hardware engineering, in vitro electrophysiology and systems integration to combine the various aspects of the project. But all-stars were needed to complete the team. “We knew we needed a strong team if we wanted to succeed in this mission,” said Sharma. “Our collaborators are experts in important areas for the program.”
Sakhrat Khizroev at the University of Miami will lead nanoparticle synthesis and characterization. Together with Ping Liang, Khizroev has pioneered magnetoelectric nanotransducers for medical applications. Cellular Nanomed Inc., a California-based small business led by Liang, will develop the external transceiver technology. Liang and Khizroev have also worked together on smart array technologies for the read and write of brain-computer interface signals.
Doug Weber at the University of Pittsburgh will lead the preclinical safety and efficacy studies, bringing decades of experience in neural engineering research and development. His team has led several projects focused on developing closed-loop neurotechnology systems that enable people to control and feel prosthetic limbs through direct connections to the nervous system. He and his colleagues are currently managing multiple first-in-human trials of novel neurotechnology systems at the University of Pittsburgh.
Before the end of the project, Andy McKinley and Justin Estepp at the Air Force Research Laboratory will conduct human demonstration studies. McKinley is a leader in the use of brain stimulation technologies for cognitive performance optimization. Battelle recently began the first phase of the program with $2m in funding to demonstrate the core concept of the technology. If the team’s concept proves successful, Battelle will receive additional funding for the second and third phases of the program. The full contract is worth approximately $20m over four years for the Battelle team. (Source: ASD Network)
21 May 19. SOCOM Pivots Toward Great Power Competition. The Pentagon’s new Special Ops leader is looking to the defense industry for help in meeting peer adversaries, but he also has a bone to pick. It took a handful of special operators four days and $7,000 to build a small remote control vehicle — complete with mapping abilities, infrared sensors and the capability to send a video feed back to their vehicle.
Defense industry execs had told them it would take 10 months and $1.7m. That was “unresponsive and [too] expensive” for the small SOCOM team, Gen. Richard Clarke, the newly-installed head of the Special Operations Command said here today. Instead of walking away from the idea and the mission, the operators “took stock of their own in-house skills and commercially available equipment and they filled their own system that fulfilled the requirement.”
The DIY project, which took place last month, helped the troops explore a small tunnel deemed too dangerous for a human, Clarke said.
“The nature of industry and SOF collaboration is changing as our personnel learn and adapt to new technological possibilities,” he said. “They are establishing their own garage labs, frequently well forward in the operating environment to develop solutions to technical and tactical problems they’re facing.”
Pushing industry to work with special operators on small, but critical, projects is the writ of SOFWERX, an incubator set up in downtown Tampa to act as a clearing house for innovative projects dreamed up by both large and small companies, as well as operators themselves.
Clarke, who took over SOCOM this spring, assumed command as the Pentagon works to transition to the burgeoning military rivalries with China and Russia, as spelled out in the National Defense Strategy, which places peer competition above the two-decade war against extremists. SOCOM has played a central role in those conflicts.
“Today, SOCOM is focused squarely on the implementation of the National Defense Strategy,” Clarke said at this annual gathering of special operations leaders and industry representatives in Tampa. “This strategy acknowledges the reemergence of great power competition in a global security environment with continuing threats from globally-networked violent extremist organizations, but also a rogue state.”
Special operators will continue their mission to “counter resident violent extremist ideologies and degrade these organizations’ ability to attack America and its interests,” he said, but “at the same time, we apply our capabilities to help the nation prevail in great power competition.”
How SOCOM fits into that new strategic direction is still unclear. The 70,000-strong organization has more than doubled in size since the 9/11 attacks, after which Washington set out on a series of conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere, setting the stage for the once-secretive command to play a central role in the nation’s wars.
So as the Pentagon redirects its gaze, SOCOM in some respects is doing the same. James Smith, the command’s top acquisition executive, said he’s focusing on advances in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, as well as precision fires, and data.
“The challenge for us is how do you get those platforms more relevant in a near-peer competition scenario?” Smith said.
Clarke added that he’s looking to the defense industry to “expand and improve our ability in this mission area by developing suites of low bandwidth communication and collaboration tools that allow us to more rapidly and securely advise and enable our partners.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense)
21 May 19. BAE Makes Big Bet On Small Companies: FAST Labs. “This is not based on ownership. We leave them their freedom.” BAE Systems, the third-largest defense contractor in the world, is funding innovative small startups to get innovative technology quickly to its Defense Department customers. Through an initiative called FAST Labs, BAE is both providing seed capital directly to startups and funding a number of accelerators to widen the potential market.
The standard tactics include simply buying a smaller company to gain its technology or investing in a startup in order to control the direction of its research. Instead, BAE’s FAST Labs is attempting to serve as a middle man connecting startups with DoD customers and BAE’s various units.
“By giving [the startups] the feasibility money, we can expose them to those harsh requirements that exist in the aerospace and defense world, but we can also in turn do social engineering inside our company,” Jerry Wohletz, the vice president and general management of BAE FAST Labs, told me. The idea is to introduce the startups’ designs to BAE’s factory and engineering work force, he said, “because we need to get it out of R&D land and get it into those products and services” that BAE knows its defense customers are looking for.
FAST Labs is focused on research related to next-generation electronics, intelligent autonomous systems, cyber, electronic warfare, and sensors and processing. Wohletz explained that BAE does in-house research on capabilities that are solely of interest to DoD and the Intelligence Community, but it is reaching out to startups in order to partner on products and services based on commercial market needs.
“A lot of aerospace and defense companies have venture capital funds,” Wohletz said. “That’s not what we are trying to do. This is not an equity play to drive bottom line performance. We talk here about innovation velocity. We want speed to market.”
Therefore, BAE is also putting its money — but more importantly its time — into a number of technology accelerators, such as Techstars in Boston, Capitol Factory in Austin, Texas, and MASSChallenge with hubs in both cities. FAST Labs has a team of scouts whose job is to attend pitches all across the country. “This is not based on ownership. We leave them their freedom,” Francesca Scire-Scappuzzo, who heads the scout team, told me. “We want innovation not just to support our market, we want to support their own innovation” for the commercial market.
“Other defense contractors are trying to get involved with venture capital, but they for the most part don’t really get it. BAE was in early, and they had the benefit of being linked with us,” Lt. Col. Dave Harden, chief operating officer of AFWERX, the Air Force’s innovation hub, told me during the Techstars Air Force Accelerator Demo Day here last Thursday. Indeed, BAE cosponsored the event, and put upfront investment in at least three of 10 start-up companies participating.
Neither Wohletz or Scire-Scappuzzo would tell me the size of BAE’s budget for startup investment, but Wohletz said “it’s getting bigger every year.” Further, the company is using accelerators not just to help itself innovate, Wohletz said, but also to find foreign companies to partner with in bids where the buying country requires offsets, such as India. “It’s a completely different way of looking at this than we have done in the past,” he summed up. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense)
10 May 19. 3rd EDA Defence Innovation Prize launched. EDA has issued a call for applications from parties interested in participating in the third edition of the ‘EDA Defence Innovation Prize’ contest rewarding companies and research entities who come up with innovative and ground-breaking technologies, products, processes or services applicable in the defence domain.
The area that has been selected for this year innovation prize is “AI applications for defence” and will include:
- Supporting decision-making tools in command and control
- Improve intelligence gathering and processing of information to improve the common operational picture
- Supporting the autonomy of unmanned systems
- Demonstrating the efficient use of AI in combination with 5G and Internet of Things€
The winning idea/concept will be worth €30,000
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is recognised as a disruptive technology with potentially revolutionary effects already in the short term.
Even though civil applications and commercial producers are the main drivers behind the Artificial Intelligence evolution, Ministries of Defence and armed forces do not ignore the potential benefits of using these technologies to improve European defence capabilities.
Against this backdrop, contesters for this EDA Defence Innovation Prize are expected to propose ideas or concepts which, if implemented between now and 2035, would help improve and enhance specific EU defence capabilities.
No specific defence background is required to participate in the contest which is open to innovators from ALL types of industries and research institutions in Europe: defence & civil/commercial producers, large companies & SMEs, defence-related & civil research communities. Applications from dual-use and civil/commercial innovators and researchers are even particularly encouraged.
The rules of the contest and the criteria for participation are available here.
Deadline for submissions: 30 August 2019 (5pm Brussels time).
Information on how to apply can be found in the contest documentation under the link above.
The prize winners will be notified not later than October 2019. An EDA Defence Innovation Prize award ceremony is scheduled to take place at the 2019 EDA Annual Conference in Brussels.
Status of the 2nd edition of the EDA innovation
The selection committee of the 2nd EDA Innovation prize, after a thorough evaluation of the submitted project ideas, decided not to award the prize to any of the participating project ideas. The reasoning behind this decision of the selection committee wasn’t because of the quality or merit of the submitted ideas but due to the fact that none of them could demonstrate a clear contribution of the project idea to a defence problem. (Source: EDA)
21 May 19. The Bell V-280 Valor recently completed flight demonstrations of its low-speed agility key performance parameter (KPP) in the U.S. Army-led Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR TD) program ahead of schedule. The V-280 Valor has now demonstrated in flight testing that it has the raw control power in pitch, roll, and yaw maneuvers to meet the Army’s Level 1 Handling Qualities requirements, which is the highest performance standard for agility. This flight testing validates Bell’s engineering models and development processes to design, build, and test an air vehicle on an aggressive aircraft development schedule that meets Army performance requirements and delivers revolutionary capabilities to warfighters.
“This latest flight milestone proves that the V-280 Valor tiltrotor delivers first-rate handling for pilots during low-speed maneuvers without sacrificing speed, range or payload that the military needs for multi-domain operations,” said Ryan Ehinger, V-280 program manager at Bell. “Bell and Team Valor continue to prove that the Army-led JMR TD program has been successful in rapidly maturing new technologies to support accelerated acquisition of the FLRAA.”
For pilots, this achievement provides additional proof that the V-280 will have unprecedented agility on the objective (at the “X”) for operational effectiveness. The aircraft’s digital flight controls and performance-driven design increases mission effectiveness by providing a high level of agility, reducing pilot workload, and enhancing flight safety on the objective in all weather conditions and degraded visual environments.
As the JMR TD period of performance winds down, Bell and Team Valor continue to expand the flight envelope and demonstrate new capabilities to prove out the V-280 Valor’s key technologies and reduce the risk for Future Vertical Lift programs.
These milestones continue to demonstrate that the V-280 Valor is ready and that the Future of Vertical Lift is now.
The latest flight statistics include:
- Forward flight over 300 knots true airspeed
- Over 110 hours of flight and more than 225 rotor turn hours
- >50-degree banked turns
- 4500 feet per minute rate of climb and sustained flight at 11,500 feet altitude
- Single flight ferry of over 370 miles
- Demonstrated Level 1 low-speed agility with fly-by-wire controls
- In-flight transitions between cruise mode and vertical takeoff and landing
15 May 19. U.K. Defense Tech Accelerator Seeking U.S. Partners. The U.K. Ministry of Defence’s two-year-old technology accelerator is seeking applicants to help it solve a variety of military and security problems and has dispersed nearly £58m in contracts during its short existence, its leader said May 15. Applicants can come from any walk of life or nation, including the United States, Lucy Mason, head of the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), said at the ITEC conference in Stockholm, Sweden, which is co-sponsored by the National Training and Simulation Association. While part of the accelerator’s mission is to build up the U.K. industry, it is looking for solutions to its technology problems from “anyone with a good idea of any size, scale or shape,” Mason said. Most of its outreach efforts are in the United Kingdom, but it does have an international outreach office and has awarded contracts to foreign entities, she noted.
The accelerator has mostly been finding technology through challenge prizes, she said. But it does have an “open call” for innovative ideas for anything that applicants believe can help with one of its missions. Along with the military, the accelerator serves the homeland security and law enforcement fields as well, she noted. It has funded more than 400 projects so far, despite only opening its doors in 2016. It has also co-sponsored challenge prizes with the United States and Australia.
“We are very keen to partner with different countries,” Mason said.
The accelerator partnered with the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency on a challenge prize called “Don’t Blow It” to see if chemical weapons could be disposed of quickly and safely on battlefields without using explosives. Nicholas Moiseiwitsch, deputy head of the accelerator, said that program is in its demonstration phase with seven competitors — three from the United States and four from the United Kingdom — participating. Their number will eventually get winnowed down to two or three finalists for a phase 2 competition, he added.
The accelerator wants to ensure that the products it is funding make it out of the development stage and into production. The end users mentor the inventors as much as possible to get their technology tested and procured. DASA also works with a consultant who can tap into the investment community “so we think about how we leverage that private sector equity into innovation,” Mason said.
About one out of five proposals are funded, she said. The accelerator gives its beneficiaries the full amount needed for their project and makes decisions in about three weeks. Among the projects so far are wearable tech for injury prevention. That is using FitBit and other exercise monitoring devices to collect data from soldiers to help them understand how to avoid hurting themselves. It has also funded the EasiBridge, a U.K. inventor’s idea to make light, man-portable ladders and rescue bridges, and an autonomous all-terrain vehicle.
“Defense innovation projects are not massive by the standards of defense, but they have real impact on what we do,” Mason said.
One of the challenges is risk aversion. Not every project is going to work out and there are still some in the government who believe failed projects are a waste of public funds. “I think it’s fair to say that that is still a challenge for us,” she said.
It is hard to judge the accelerator’s success so far, Mason said. As the organization is only two years old, most of the programs are still in their phase 2 stage where competitors are demonstrating their technologies.
“We’re really in the foothills of a mountain still to climb,” she said.
(Source: glstrade.com/National Defense)
21 May 19. Cambridge Pixel, a developer of radar display, tracking and recording sub-systems, has enhanced its multi-function real-time data recorder (RDR) to include audio data capture and playback. This will provide control centres monitoring air traffic or maritime vessels with an effective recording/replay solution for training and incident analysis. The new audio interface for Cambridge Pixel’s data recorder supports industry-standard audio capture and replay devices, supporting low-cost multi-channel audio record and replay. Audio may be received from a DirectShow device or as network RTP data containing PCM or MP3 payloads. Audio data may be replayed back onto the network or through the host PC’s speaker/line out.
All data is recorded in a time-synchronised database to permit detailed review and visualisation of critical events. A significant event in the audio, for example, can easily be related to events in the radar or camera video, to cross-check what has happened
In a typical application, multiple channels of audio data can be captured and synchronised with the contents of computer screens recorded at full resolution. Subsequent review of the audio can then bring up the relevant computer screens that operators were viewing to enable a full situational assessment to be made.
Cambridge Pixel’s RDR data recorder is fully configurable to record any number of channels of data. RDR captures, records and replays the industry’s widest range of data types in a single recording product, including radar video and associated tracks, audio, camera video (including ONVIF cameras), computer screens, network data, as well as AIS, ADS-B, IFF and NMEA-0183 navigation data from ships and aircraft.
Steve Priest, RDR product manager, Cambridge Pixel, said: “With the addition of audio capture and replay, our multi-function data recorder will be an excellent choice for air traffic control centres, maritime security and naval radar applications.
“What is unique about RDR as a data recorder is the flexibility to record raw data and high-level information. The system can be configured to record camera, audio and radar sensor data, but also the operator user interfaces that are presenting this information and the related meta data.”
Cambridge Pixel’s RDR data recorder is available as a software application or as a fully configured recording sub-system in a 19” rack-mount unit. RDR may be configured as a background server application for trials or for continuous 24/7 recording. Alternatively, it may be used with a user-interface for selective recording and replay of events of interest.
Cambridge Pixel’s technology is used in naval, air traffic control, vessel traffic, commercial shipping, security, surveillance and airborne radar applications. Its systems have been implemented in mission-critical applications with companies such as BAE Systems, Frontier Electronic Systems, Blighter Surveillance Systems, Exelis, Hanwha Systems, Kelvin Hughes, Lockheed Martin, Navtech Radar, Raytheon, Saab Sensis, Royal Thai Air Force, Sofresud and Tellumat.
20 May 19. Saft launches new Xcelion® 56V Li-ion battery.
- Xcelion 56V is the third battery in the Xcelion® product line and features higher voltage than its predecessors for applications using 48V power.
- Saft’s Xcelion batteries offer a high-capacity, low-weight alternative to traditional lead-acid batteries and enable widespread adoption of Li-ion technology to militaries and more.
Saft has recently launched a new product in the Xcelion line, the Xcelion 56V lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery, offering customers a variant on the proven technology behind the Xcelion 6T® for applications requiring higher voltage.
As the third Xcelion product, the Xcelion 56V builds upon the existing technology behind the Xcelion 6T, launched in 2015, and the Xcelion 6T-E, a high energy Li-ion battery launched in 2018 that doubles the capacity of lead-acid batteries in the same form factor, allowing customers to take advantage of volume production. The Xcelion 56V offers higher capacity, a longer life cycle, longer calendar life, lighter weight, and smart battery capabilities compared to standard lead-acid batteries. The 41Ah Li-ion battery is an off-the-shelf solution with a nominal voltage of 52.8V and is only half the weight of lead-acid batteries of similar size.
The Xcelion 56V also includes standard safety features such as abuse-tolerant Super-Phosphate® Li-ion technology and a battery management system. Smart battery features enable communication with the end user, providing information about the battery state-of-health, state-of-charge, and other functions. Applications for the Xcelion 56V include military ground vehicles, defense, microgrids, solar power systems, electric vehicles, and other applications using 48V power.
“We are really excited to introduce the Xcelion 56V. Our newest product launch showcases Saft’s ability to adapt to customer demands and develop products that meet specific customer needs,” said Annie Sennet, President of Saft America and Executive Vice President of Saft’s Space and Defense division. “We are proud to offer militaries and other industries a higher voltage option that stays true to Saft’s high safety standards.”
20 May 19. Siemens unveils new FLEX PM modular submarine propulsion motors. Siemens premiered its new generation of modular scalable permanent magnet submarine propulsion motors at the Underwater Defence Technology (UDT) 2019 exhibition in Stockholm. To provide solutions across a wider range of applications, Siemens is evolving its Permasyn permanent magnet compact submarine propulsion motor. The current Permasyn offering is available with ratings of approximately 2MW and 4MW, and has to date been used on Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems’ Type 212A and Type 214 submarine designs, with the first motor delivered for installation in 2000.
Several years ago, the company sought to develop a new, larger motor in the 6MW class. The new flexible Permasyn (FLEX PM) modular solution, however, aims to cover a range from 1.5MW to 8MW.
The new motors are planned in three baseline frame sizes, with the diameter determining three power ranges. The specific power rating within one range is then fine-tuned with the length of the stator and rotor. The ultimate size and weight are also driven by the associated inverters, which are integrated in the motor itself.
According to Siemens, the specifications for this drive concept have been completed and initial development work has commenced. With the new FLEX PM development, Siemens is also expecting improvements in reducing acoustic and magnetic signatures. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 May 19. Airbus UTM’s Encounter Aware Flight Planning Report. Airbus UTM has just released a new paper, “Encounter Aware Flight Planning in the Unmanned Airspace” available for download through the link below. This is, to our knowledge, the first ever quantitative analysis of flight planning in the context of these two UTM architectures.
This work began as an exploration to understand the limits of strategic preflight deconfliction. Deconfliction is the process of generating flight plans that are collision-free and adhere to the separation standards defined within the airspace between vehicles, terrain, and restricted areas. In this work, we considered scheduling, geometric planning, and trajectory optimization as algorithms for deconfliction. We identified trajectory optimization as the most promising approach, and added three key modifications to it in order to scale the approach to large numbers of flights and to improve computational performance.
Ultimately, we derived new airspace density metrics, examined deconfliction in centralized and federated UTM architectures, and formulated a novel deconfliction algorithm that can perform at the highest levels of safety and efficiency. Some of the most interesting findings are below:
Traditional deconfliction algorithms are optimized for 1:1 encounters, and tend to perform poorly in the projected airspace densities of the future, when many operations will overlap.
For future airspaces, it is important to ensure that the number of vehicles per encounter remains low, even as the total occupancy of the airspace grows. The Encounter Aware algorithm is a great way to think about airspace design, keeping the number of vehicles in an encounter low to make the airspace easier to manage without reducing its capacity as a whole.
UTM architecture plays a key role in how effective deconfliction can be. The choice of federated or centralized UTM architectures can have a significant impact on how well separation can be maintained and how well the airspace can be utilized. Full Report: https://storage.googleapis.com/blueprint/icns2019.pdf (Source: UAS VISION)
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA and enjoys representation worldwide. The company’s products include night vision and LED lighting, data capture systems and electronic components. Oxley has pioneered the development of night vision compatible lighting. It offers a total package incorporating optical filters, equipment modification, cockpit and external lighting along with fleet wide upgrade services including engineering, installation, support, maintenance and training. The company’s long experience of manufacturing night vision lighting and LED indicators, coupled with advances in LED technology, has enabled it to develop LED solutions to replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting in existing applications as well as becoming the lighting option of choice in new applications such as portable military hospitals, UAV control stations and communication shelters.