UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
07 Aug 07. Canada seeks swift progress in ISR UAV programme. Canada’s military is moving quickly to have its first example of a new ISR UAV (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle) system operational and in the field by June 2009. Lieutenant Colonel Wade Williams, project director of the Joint Airborne ISR Capability (JAIC) programme, said the ISR UAVs are required to address deficiencies in deployed operations, such as in Afghanistan where 2,500 Canadians are serving with the International Security Assistance Force. (Source: Jane’s)
29 Aug 07. Dr. Paul MacCready, internationally renowned innovator and entrepreneur, founder and former chairman of the board of directors of AeroVironment, Inc., passed away in his sleep on Tuesday, August 28. Dr. MacCready had recently been diagnosed with a serious ailment. His passing occurred less than one week after the 30th anniversary of one of his most notable accomplishments, the record-setting flight of his human powered airplane, the Gossamer Condor.
17 Aug 07. IRobot Files Suit. PackBot-maker iRobot has filed two lawsuits against competitor Robotic Fx and its founder, Jameel Ahed, charging that the company ripped-off its proprietary design and violated two U.S. patents. “It is unlawful to be selling a knock-off version of our combat-proven iRobot Packbot,” said Joe Dyer, president of iRobot’s government and industrial division. iRobot has delivered more than 1,000 IED and cave-clearing, remote-controlled PackBots to the Army and Marine Corps since 2002. The lawsuits allege that Fort Worth-based Robotic Fx’s 50-pound Negotiator robot amounts to misusing iRobot’s proprietary design. Ahed said he had no comment at this time. One lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama charges infringement of U.S. Patents. A separate lawsuit filed in Massachusetts Superior Court charges Robotic Fx founder Ahed with misappropriation and misuse of confidential information related to iRobot’s PackBot. (Source: Defense News)
22 Aug 07. General Atomics, San Diego, Calif., was awarded on Aug. 14, 2007, a $5,149,479 increment as part of a $215,373,106 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for system development and demonstration for the Extended Range/Multi-Purpose Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif. (43 percent), Adelanto, Calif. (14 percent), Palmdale, Calif. (8 percent), Salt Lake City, Utah (18 percent), Hunt Valley, Md. (14 percent), and Huntsville, Ala. (3 percent), and is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2009.Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.There were 120 bids solicited on Sept. 1, 2004, and three bids were received.The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W58RGZ-05-C-0069).