08 Jan 10. A Northrop Grumman Corporation land-based MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Unmanned Aircraft System, designated P7, successfully demonstrated interoperability with the Army’s One System(R) Remote Video Terminal (OSRVT) at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz., the week of November 23. Fire Scout’s OSRVT demonstration illustrates its readiness to support Brigade Combat Teams. Designed and produced by AAI Corporation, the OSRVT provides direct receipt of full-motion video and targeting metadata by capturing the Omni broadcast from UAS that are within a unit’s area of operations. This demonstration is one in a series to prepare Fire Scout for participation in the upcoming Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) at Fort Benning, Ga., in January and February 2010. During AEWE, Fire Scout will perform many important Army UAS missions in support of the Infantry Brigade Combat Team.
18 Jan 10. The NASA Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has completed 10.4 hours for pilot training and flight characterization in preparation for the Global Hawk Pacific (GloPac) Campaign set to start this spring. Five flawless flights have been completed since the first flight of Air Vehicle Six (AV-6) on 23 October. Prior to this, the aircraft had not flown in more than 6 ½ years. Currently, AV-6 is being modified to carry eleven different earth science sensors in preparation for the GloPac Campaign. Missions will be based from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base and be conducted over remote areas of the Pacific and Arctic. Initial flights to test these sensors will begin in March. AV-6 is one of two Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration Global Hawk aircraft that were transferred from the U.S. Air Force to NASA Dryden. Both are being operated under the Space Act Agreement signed in 2008 that allows NASA and Northrop Grumman to share the aircraft for various operations. NOAA is also partnered with NASA to provide appropriate payloads for environmental science missions. The second aircraft, AV-1, is being readied for flight later this year. As part of the program, Northrop Grumman designed a new UAS mission control center that is married to a payload station and housed in the Global Hawk Operations Center (GHOC) located at Edwards Air Force Base. A distributed set of workstations are configured with specific functionality to initiate, monitor and track aircraft operations, as well as to collect and distribute data from various onboard sensors. The payload workstations are configured to manage numerous scientific payloads simultaneously which will be vital during the GloPac Campaign.
18 Jan 10. The French Air Force is to receive a fourth Harfang drone and a third ground control station as part of the système interimaire de drone MALE (SIDM) programme. Under the €33.7m ($48m) contract, EADS will provide equipment to complement the
air force’s first three aerial vehicles and two ground control stations. The air force will use the new aerial vehicle and ground control station to train operators and contribute to aviation security arrangements at national events. The SIDM programme has been designed to provide surveillance, reconnaissance, target designation and laser illumination missions over hostile territory. Equipped with satellite data link, the SIDM can cover a range of 1,000km in hostile theatres and transmit real-time information. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
19 Jan 10. BAE Systems, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has completed the first successful test flight of its small, electric-powered Coyote unmanned aircraft system. The system deployed in midair from a 3-foot-long sonobuoy dropped from a P-3 aircraft. The flight, which lasted 49 minutes, marks a significant milestone in the development of the Coyote for military uses and scientific research. “This is a major step forward for this innovative and one-of-a-kind system,” said John Wall, vice presiden