UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
10 Nov 08. General Dynamics Robotic Systems has achieved a Maturity Level 3 rating on the Software Engineering Institute’s (SEI) Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) scale for product software engineering. General Dynamics Robotic Systems is a part of CMMI Level 3 concentrates on the existence of a defined and managed organizational process. The CMMI standard provides a framework for improving processes that organizations can use to develop and deliver high-performance, low-risk products.
11 Nov 08. German Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement assigned UAV manufacturer EMT with testing of the MicroBAT 275, Bental’s latest development of a stabilized camera system for light weight UAVs. The intention of the tests is to equip close range UAVs in the field with Bental’s stabilized camera system. “With the use of Bental’s stabilized camera system we hope to improve the picture quality of surveillance flights by our close range unmanned aerial vehicles,” says Guenter Freiwald, Project Manager Close Range UAV at the German Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement. Headquartered in Israel, Bental manufactures electrical motion systems for aerospace and defense applications. Bental’s latest development, a stabilized gimbal with daylight or night vision camera MicroBAT 275, optimally suits for integrating imaging sensors usually only found on larger platforms into light weight UAV. (Source: ASD Network)
03 Nov 08. Israel is looking to develop a long-endurance unmanned infrared sensor to assist in a feared situation where the country might need to spot incoming nuclear warheads and distinguish them from decoys. The Israeli and German ministries of defense have been working together on the program, called Bluebird, using a business jet to test a prototype of the long-range, high-resolution target discrimination sensor. “The Israelis want an additional sensor in the air and, since Bluebird is only a demonstrator, they want to replace it with an operational sensor on a UAV,” says a source with the U.S. Department of Defense. Details of the Bluebird program—known to the United States as Airborne Early Warning Sensor (ABEWS)—are classified but sources indicate that Israel has proposed adding the target discriminating UAV into its planned national missile defense network. The Bluebird prototype was developed by the Israeli company Rafael and the German company Diehl BGT Defence and sources say Rafael will provide the sensor for a UAV produced by Israeli Aircraft Industries. Sources at the Pentagon said the U.S. Missile Defense Agency is reviewing Israel’s request to add the Bluebird follow-on to the jointly funded Israeli Upper Tier program. “The Israelis want another airborne sensor,” says a Pentagon official. “We have not yet said yes or no. We’re reviewing their request.” The task of discriminating between nuclear warheads and decoys is a highly challenging one, something the Pentagon’s Space-Based Infrared System Low program has not been able to do, with advances in decoys making the problem even harder. (Source: AUVSI/Defense News)
Nov 08. A team from BAE Systems has developed a much-needed capability for use on the front line – a compact mortar-based launcher for small Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs). UAVs provide front line units with vital real-time intelligence without the need for conventional air support. Until now, the ability to rapidly deploy these platforms by individual Platoons has been limited to very small systems (typically weighing 3-5 kg) which have limited capability. More capable UAVs have not been suitable due to a need to use large, cumbersome catapult or rocket-based launchers. The new device, developed under a programme code-named ‘Project Artful’, is simple, easy to use, and portable. It allows UAVs of up to 25 kg in weight to be paired with a mortar-based launch mechanism, which has European and world-wide patents pending. This makes it possib