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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE 11 Mar 05

11 Mar 05. In “Trial Urban Hummingbird” exercise the ISR Team of EADS Defence & Security Systems, based at Newport, South Wales, successfully completed several weeks of trials by demonstrating the company’s Tactical and Micro UAV systems in an urban warfare environment, as part of URBEX 05. Organised by the Future Business Group of the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Procurement Agency, URBEX 05 was held during 10 – 24 February 2005 at Copehill Down Village, Salisbury Plain, to demonstrate a range of equipment that will be integrated into the MoD’s Urban ISTAR Technology Demonstration Programme. These trials were preceded by de-risking flights in December 2004 at Larkhill Range.
The EADS Scorpio-6 VTOL UAV system was integrated into the real-time exercise environment providing live video over-watch of the urban area. Using a wireless datalink this Image Intelligence (IMINT) was further disseminated from the Ground Control Station into the ISTAR cell for integration into the Exercise Commander’s picture. Both static and flying displays were held of the Quadrocopter Micro UAV system for future capability awareness. Scorpio-6 is a light, petrol-driven helicopter system designed to provide stand-off surveillance, reconnaissance and protection to troops engaged in urban actions – either offensive or defensive – and also for peace-keeping roles. With a payload capacity of 6 kgs to accommodate EO and IR sensors, Scorpio-6 can cruise at speeds of up to 35 kph for 1 hour, reach a maximum altitude of 6,000 feet and feed back live imagery to the Ground Control Station from a distance of 10 kms.

10 Mar 05. RAF HALE UAV Flight at Woomera. RAF scientist have started testing the solar powered Zephyr 3 HALE UAV at Woomera it has been confirmed by the UK MoD. MoD spokesman Christian Cubitt said: ‘I can say the work could take several months and the aim of the experiments is to test the viability of a (permanently) self-sustaining unmanned aircraft.’ (Source: NEWS.com.au)

10 Mar 05. Ensco Gearing Up for GC 05.Gary Carr is a mechanical engineer working for Ensco, a professional-services firm and government contractor headquartered in Falls Church, VA. Carr leads Ensco’s team, which is competing in this the second annual GC. The challenge in question is to build an UGV capable of travelling through 175 miles of desert terrain in less than ten hours. The team whose robot completes the mission the fastest takes home US$ 2m. At last year’s GC, Ensco fielded ‘David’, a modified all-terrain vehicle. But it and the 12 other robots didn’t make it more than eight miles from the start. Last month, 195 teams from 37 states made the first deadline for signing up for the GC 05. Of that group, 160 are newcomers to the contest. By the end of this week, all must submit technical specifications for their vehicles, as well as a video demonstration of the robot in action. DARPA officials will then visit the teams, whittling the list down to 40. That group will head to a qualifying round out in California, which will knock out another 20. Those groups that remain will compete. Carr has done the paperwork, and he’s confident his prized robot will make the final cut. ‘We’re going to be in the race,’ he says. ‘We have everything it takes.’ (Source: Forbes.com)

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