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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

03 Jan 06. The proliferation of unmanned vehicle technologies used by the U.S. military has prompted an Army command to fund development of a toolkit that could be used for its entire fleet of unmanned ground vehicles. The U.S. Army’s Transportation Command (Warren, Mich.) will fund a six-month research project to develop a low-cost “robot infrastructure toolkit” that can be used for a wide range of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). RE2 Inc., a Carnegie Mellon University spin-off (Pittsburgh), said Tuesday (Jan. 3) it will develop a toolkit focusing on specialized communication components and robotic manipulators with a common control interface. The project will also focus on: Developing a system design that includes vehicle interfaces, operator controls, manipulators and communications components. Establishing performance goals and cost-benefit analyses for communication components. Determining the feasibility of using the toolkit with the U.S. military’s current Joint Architecture of Unmanned Systems (JAUS), which includes robot controllers and communication links.

29 Dec 05. The Polish army plans to buy in 2006 its first unmanned aircraft from the United States, according to a Warsaw “Zycie Warszawy” daily report published Thursday. But the Ministry of National Defense has not yet confirmed the report. Deputy defense minister Stanislaw Koziej admitted that lack of such airplanes was a serious problem for the army. In Iraq Polish soldiers have to ask the Americans to let them use. Poland is first of all interested in UAV (unmanned flying vehicles) Shadow 200 RQ-7, used by the American army since 1999 mainly for reconnaissance. Such vehicles would be used for the first time in Afghanistan, where Poland is supposed to send 1,000 soldiers in August 2007 and take command of NATO operations. (Source: Xinhua via COMTEX)

11 Jan 06. Geneva Aerospace,(R) Inc., a leader in the development of unmanned vehicle technologies, successfully completed an unmanned test flight of a Long-EZ aircraft, outfitted with their C3 solutions. Naval Air Systems Command and the United States Air Force UAV Battlelab are jointly supporting the project. The Long-EZ is a canard-controlled aircraft that features a wingspan of approximately 26 feet and weighs almost 1,000 pounds. It is an experimental aircraft similar to the VariEze, Berkut and Velocity, featuring an aerodynamic design allowing for maneuverability, efficiency and performance. (Source: Shephard)

11 Jan 06. Geneva Aerospace says it will soon begin a series of auto-take off and auto-land tests aimed at establishing workable technologies for UAVs operating from smaller US Navy ships. The trials, scheduled to begin this March or April and run for at least three months, will use an autonomously guided version of the popular Long-EZ light aircraft called a Berkut. A flight with a Long-EZ – certificated by FAA in the Experimental category – this past October at Yuma Proving Grounds, Az., established workability of a special flight control package and gave the green light to start. That flight was the first for this type of aircraft to be operated in pilotless form. Long-EZ and Long-EZ-derived aircraft are proving popular with UAV developers. Last year Gaithersburg, Md.-based Proxy Aviation announced plans to build a constellation of this type. But tests there have used pilots so far. (Source: Shephard)

Jan 06. Perry Slingsby Systems sells Olympian 5 ROV to China. Perry Slingsby Systems has announced that a Chinese client has recently purchased an Olympian Class WROV. Depth rated to 3,500m, the Olympian 5 will interface with PSS’ previously supplied TMS, umbilical & electric heave compensated deployment winch and surface control system. The contract includes on site training and sea trials support in China, and the integration of the client’s ROV Dynamic Positioning System (DPS) and Virtual Monitoring System (VMS). The Olympian 5 WROV will be used for survey tasks and to deploy tooling fo

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