11 Sep 09. Two seemingly different U.S. Army organizations gathered robotics experts, technologists, academecs, soldiers and companies from across the country in search of solutions to help save soldiers’ lives.
The 3rd Corps and U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and
Engineering Center, or TARDEC, based on Fort Hood, Texas, hosted the first Robotics Rodeo to showcase what’s new in the world of automation. “The number one goal is to save the lives of our soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Barry “Chip” Daniels, 3rd Corps’ robotics project officer said in a Sept. 9 interview on “Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military” on Pentagon Web Radio. The rodeo was intended to foster better communication between soldiers and robotics developers. In this forum, soldiers can offer information on what they actually need in theater, and developers can share what technology is available in the development stage, as opposed to the fielding stage, Daniels said. More than 30 exhibitors were on hand to display the latest in autonomous robotics, a capability that allows robots to function without a user interface, which helps in areas with limited communications or when soldiers have other tasks to focus on. “There are a lot of enabling technologies and we saw a lot of examples at the rodeo,” said Jim Overholt, director of the Joint Center for Robotics at TARDEC. “Robots are still in their infancy. If we don’t have the robots keeping up with the operational tempo of what the troops are used to, they will leave the robots behind.”
07 Sep 09. ORBITER III UAV debuts at MSPO. Aeronautics Defense Systems displayed its new Orbiter III mini tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at the MSPO defence exhibition in Kielce, Poland, immediately before beginning a series of flight trials set to continue through the third quarter of the year. The newest member of the Orbiter family is a blended-wing design, measuring 1.2 m from nose to tail and with a wingspan of 3.74 m. (Source: Jane’s)
16 Sep 09. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) successfully demonstrated the capability of the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) to interact with Navy P-3 aircraft and U.S. Coast Guard vessels for maritime terrorist intercept as part of Empire Challenge 2009 (EC09). Known as the Maritime Thread, the exercise involved the Navy’s
DCGS Experimentation & Analysis Laboratory (DEAL) and the
Surface/Aviation Interoperability Laboratory (SAIL), both located at
Patuxent River Naval Air Station (NAS). The demonstration included
Northrop Grumman’s implemented service-oriented architecture using the
U.S Department of Defense’s DCGS Integrated Backbone (DIB), the
Navy-owned SureTrak system provided by CSC, and Ericsson Federal’s
QuickLINK 3G cellular technology for high-speed communications.
Together, these systems were seamlessly integrated to demonstrate a
significant leap ahead in capability to provide short-term solutions in
improved intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), maritime
domain awareness and homeland security.