11 Jul 05. DARPA Grand Challenge 2005 – Nine alternate teams chosen – August Site Visits to Determine Ranking. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced that it selected nine teams as alternates for the DARPA Grand Challenge 2005 autonomous ground vehicle competition. The teams come from nine states and represent varied backgrounds including universities, individuals, and corporations. The alternates will take the place of any of the 40 semi-finalist teams announced last month that are unable to attend the September 2005 National Qualification Event (NQE) at the California Speedway, Fontana, California. During Grand Challenge 2004, three semi-finalist teams experienced vehicle problems in the final weeks before the event and were unable to attend. In identifying alternates for the NQE, DARPA is ensuring there will be a full field of competitors at the NQE. DARPA will use site visits to the alternate teams during the week of August 15, 2005, to determine the rank order of the alternate teams. The team that performs the best during the August site visit will be the first to be offered an invitation to the NQE should any of the semi-finalists withdraw prior to the NQE. DARPA will ask the top three alternate teams to plan to attend the NQE and may allow these teams to compete even if all 40 semifinalists show up at the California Speedway.
06 Jul 05. ScanEagle, a long-endurance fully autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by Boeing and The Insitu Group, successfully completed sea trials aboard the USS Cleveland as part of the U.S. Navy-sponsored 2005 Joint Task Force Exercise. The two week exercise off the San Diego coast tested and evaluated the battle group’s reaction to multiple wartime scenarios, and is the final certification prior to deploying. The trials verified ScanEagle’s shipboard launch and recovery capabilities as the UAV completed four launches and captures, as well at 68 approaches, aboard the Cleveland. ScanEagle also provided real-time video to ships in the fleet during the exercise.
11 Jul 05. A2TECH Demos New Generation UAV/UCAV Ground Control Station. A2TECH – Advanced Aviation Technology recently conducted the first flight of a small electric driven technology demonstrator that will demonstrate a new generation of Ground Control Station (GCS) systems called “RealityVISION – Unmanned Vehicle Pilot Systems”, driven by the CANaerospace command and control protocoll. This new GCS technology – presently under development and demonstration – will provide a new level of pilot-in-the-loop command and control mode for air, ground and sea vehicles. Conducted June 20 at the Hoehenrain flight test facility near Munich, Germany, the flight is part of an on-going cooperative effort between A2TECH – Advanced Aviation Technology, Stock flight Systems, Reiser Systemtechnik and Wetzel Technology to extend the flexibility of the pilot-in-the-loop flight guidance and control of Unmanned Systems. A2TECH operated the technology demonstrator under the control of a “modular & portable” ground control station. The goal of the initial flight was to evaluate the proof-of-concept of UAV/UCAV controllability and handling using a fighter-jet style cockpit like manned aircraft that use hands-on throttle, stick (HOTAS) and rudder, in a pilot-in-the-loop flight mode. After several taxi-runs, the electric driven air vehicle lifted off at a speed of 10 knots. At an altitude of 50-100 meters the company´s flight operation team conducted a series of controllability tests. After a series of low-approach passes to validate low-speed handling, the fixed- wing aircraft was handed back to an EP (External Pilot) for the landing task.