UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
06 Aug 08. Boeing, Goodrich Corporation and Insitu Inc. have successfully flight-tested a ScanEagle unmanned aircraft equipped for the first time with a short-wave infrared (SWIR) camera. The camera, built by Goodrich’s Sensors Unlimited Inc. unit, enables ScanEagle operators to see objects more clearly in fog, rain or when little or no heat is radiated. During recent tests at the Fort Leonard Wood test range in Missouri, the camera recorded clear, streaming video during daytime, twilight and nighttime operations. The Boeing-led team, which integrated the camera in less than 14 weeks, plans additional flight tests later this year. “The idea for the SWIR camera arose to meet our customers’ growing maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) needs,” said Don Iverson, Boeing ScanEagle Naval Programs manager. “The SWIR camera is particularly useful when there is fog or rain and conventional electro-optical and long-wave infrared cameras are severely limited.” ScanEagle, a joint effort of Boeing and Insitu, was developed as a low-cost, long-endurance autonomous unmanned aircraft air system that can provide persistent ISR as well as flexible, rapid deployment for a variety of government and civilian applications. Since 2004, ScanEagle has provided daily ISR solutions for operational forces around the world, including more than 100,000 combat flight hours with the U.S. Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Navy and Australian Defence Force in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Navy has logged more than 1,000 shipboard launches and recoveries.
07 Aug 08. MacDonald Detwiler and Associates was awarded a contract Thursday
to provide unmanned surveillance aircraft for Canadian troops fighting in
Afghanistan. The contract, $95m for two years with an option to extend it for a third year for an additional $35m, was one of a number of contracts announced
Thursday as part of Ottawa’s commitment to strengthen Canadian forces. The spy aircraft are designed to fly 10,000 metres above the areas where Canadian soldiers are operating, well out of the range of ground fire, and provide military intelligence to field commanders on the ground. (Source: Google)
08 Aug 08. QinetiQ achieves UK’s first unmanned flight for agricultural crop monitoring. QinetiQ, working in partnership with Aberystwyth University’s new biosciences centre IBERS, has successfully completed the UK’s first flight of an autonomous UAV for agricultural monitoring. The flight was the culmination of phase one of the pioneering U-MAP programme, a project supported by the Welsh Assembly Government. U-MAP (UAVs for Managing Agricultural Practice) has demonstrated the feasibility of using a UAV to deliver high resolution images to the agricultural, forestry and environmental monitoring sectors.