UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
25 Jul 07. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc has successfully demonstrated the company’s next generation Advanced Cockpit Ground Control Station (GCS) during the flight of a mission-configured MQ-1 Predator® UAS. This flight demonstration conducted at GA-ASI’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale, Calif., was completed only 14 months following the Internal Research and Development (IRAD) redesign of the Advanced Cockpit GCS. All objectives were achieved during the flight in which Level 4 control was demonstrated, including manual launch and recovery mode using the Advanced Cockpit’s stick and throttle commands. Airspeed, Heading, and Altitude Hold modes performed as designed throughout the test flight. A second test flight of 68 minutes was also successfully completed the next day on July 24th.
11 Jul 07. Cyberflight and US partners Procerus Technologies broke UK records with their flying demonstrations, leading to what the company has termed ‘a resounding success’ and overwhelming interest in their UAVs. The Cyberflight demonstration team flew four aircraft at Parc Aberporth on Wednesday 11th July – in UK airspace and a UK first! On Thursday 12th July Cyberflight again ‘swarmed’ with three aircraft – demonstrating reconnaissance over a wide area with a one hour flying duration and a forty mile distance capability. Effective reconnaissance was demonstrated of an enemy location with capability to record ‘evidence’ and enabling accurate artillery fire control. During this same demonstration Cyberflight aircraft formed into a ‘flight’ with one aircraft at ‘point’ covering the lead and one aircraft on each flank providing convoy protection. The aircraft can ‘hop’ a tactical bound ahead of a convoy or can ‘shadow’ a convoy at fifty miles per hour giving real time air observation in challenging environments, reducing risk to ground personnel. (Source: ASD Network)
20 Jul 07. The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Mo., is being awarded a minimum guaranteed $10,530,210 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance services utilizing an unmanned aircraft system in support of the Global War on Terrorism.This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $381,542,865.Work will be performed in the area of operations in support of I and II Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEFs) deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Work is expected to be complete December 2007 (December 2010 with options).Contract funds will expire at the end of the fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with proposals solicited via the Navy Electronic Commerce Office, with two offers received. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-07-D-2052).
18 Jul 07. Contenders line up for Royal Navy UAV race. Two of the prime contenders for the UK Royal Navy’s (RN’s) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) requirement were promoted at the ParcAberporth Unmanned Systems Symposium on 11-12 July. Schiebel’s Camcopter and Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems’ Damselfly, which is still under development, are likely to be bid for the RN requirement, part of the UK’s maritime UAV roadmap, which was drawn up by the Ministry of Defence’s Director of Equipment Capability Above Water Effects group and QinetiQ. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)
23 Jul 07. QinetiQ, Boeing May Join for UAV Contest. Boeing and QinetiQ are in talks that could lead the companies to collaborate on a U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) competition to develop a UAV capable of staying airborne for five years with a 1,000-pound payload. The two companies already have a strategic relationship that led to the opening of a joint experimentation and analysis laboratory at QinetiQ’s Farnborough headquarters earlier this month. A further link now could be forged in developing a high–altitude, long-endurance (HA