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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

25 Aug 05. The Boeing Unmanned Little Bird (ULB) Demonstrator performed an inaugural live-fire weapons testing demonstration on August 29th at Yuma Proving Ground (YPG).

29 Aug 05. BAE Systems recently achieved a successful first flight of its third-generation VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle at its Southern California flight test facility. The newly designed IAV2 air vehicle forms the basis of BAE Systems’ latest reconnaissance and surveillance configuration air vehicle. BAE Systems is pursuing customers such as the U.S. Marine Corps, Special Forces, Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Forestry Service to integrate sensor packages onto the air vehicle. The first flight of the IAV2 marked the start of BAE Systems’ flight test program of the aerial vehicle. The flight test took place in 103-degree heat, equivalent to more than 6,000 feet of density altitude, and 5- to 10-knot winds. The flight was conducted with a simulated payload of approximately 20 pounds.

29 Aug 05. DARPA Grand Challenge 2005 – Information for Spectators. The Grand Challenge has a preliminary round to choose the teams to attempt the Grand Challenge route. Team semifinalists compete at the National Qualification Event (NQE) to be selected as finalists to attempt the route at the Grand
Challenge Event (GCE). The NQE will take place in the infield area of the California Speedway in Fontana, California. The opening ceremony will be held on September 28, 2005 at 9:00 AM. The event is open to the public from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily, September 28 to October 5 and admission is free. The event will conclude with the closing ceremony at approximately 2:00 PM on October 5.At NQE, 43 teams from across the United States come together to test their vehicles on a challenging test course, between 2 and 3 miles in length. Each vehicle is fully autonomous; it chooses its own way around obstacles on the course using GPS as well as cameras and other sensors. More information about teams and their vehicles is available at www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge/TeamInfo.html. Grandstand seating is available for spectators, as well as viewing locations along the test course giving a close-up view of the robotic vehicles in action. Accommodations for NQE are available nearby in Ontario, California (www.ontariocc.com/ocvb/home_ocvb.html).The teams selected to participate in the GCE will be announced on the afternoon of October 5 at the National Qualification Event. At GCE, vehicles will attempt a challenging desert course that may be as long as 175 miles, and may take as long as 10 hours to complete. The GCE opening ceremony will be held at 6:00 AM on October 8.

27 Aug 05. MQ-1 Predator crash was engine fire from fuel leak, says ACC08/26/2005 – LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (ACCNS) – An engine fire on an MQ-l Predator remotely piloted aircraft resulted in the Mar 27 crash at a forward location in Southwest Asia, according to an Accident Investigation Board report released by Air Combat Command today. The $3.7m Predator, assigned to the 15th Reconnaissance Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., was destroyed upon impact. There were no injuries, fatalities or damages to other property or equipment. According to the investigation, there is substantial evidence the cause of the fire was a fuel leak in the left forward part of the engine that found an ignition source, most likely the turbocharger, alternator, or cylinder head. The fire grew to encompass the entire engine bay and tail section of the aircraft, weakening the structural integrity. The left tail plane separated from the aircraft, causing a loss of aircraft control. The fire also disabled the ignition module on the left forward bulkhead, resulting in engine failure.
(Source: Air Combat Command Public Affairs)

25 Aug 05. Global Aerial Surveillance has begun prototype design on an innovative, gas electric hybrid that the company believes will be a first for the UAV industry. Global will be incorporating many ne

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