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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

20 Apr 11. Insitu Inc. has announced that the Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft (STUAS) Integrator program conducted a critical milestone after an in-depth three-day system requirements review by the U.S. Navy in February. The review provides a solid reference point for program execution. It establishes system requirements and determines how those requirements will be validated and tested.
“Our highly dedicated team showed that it can leverage our commercially available model of the Integrator UAS to meet the STUAS schedule,” said Insitu Vice President of Programs and STUAS Program Manager Bill Clark.
The STUAS program was awarded to Insitu for its Integrator UAS in July 2010 to provide persistent maritime and land-based tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data collection and dissemination capabilities to the warfighter. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)

19 Apr 11. Lockheed Martin’s Tactical Reconnaissance and Counter-Concealment-Enabled Radar, TRACER, has completed flight testing aboard a Predator B MQ-9 Unmanned Aerial System. TRACER is a dual-band (UHF and VHF) synthetic-aperture radar capable of detecting and geo-locating objects that are buried, camouflaged or concealed under foliage. Classified as a queuing sensor, TRACER processes images in real time, and can immediately down-link captured images to multiple ground stations. Prior to the MQ-9 UAS flight testing, TRACER had successfully completed 100 test flights on manned platforms. During the flight tests aboard the Predator B MQ-9, TRACER focused on identifying targets of interest that would be relevant to multiple theatres – including CENTCOM, PACOM, AFRICOM and SOUTHCOM. Over the course of the four month testing, the TRACER team validated the radar’s performance in the harsh environment of an UAS configuration, thus mitigating risk for eventual installation on a tier IV UAS or other platforms, such as the YMQ-18A unmanned aerial helicopter. During the tests the team also demonstrated satellite data link control of both the vehicle and radar system. There are currently four qualified TRACER systems available for deployment on manned or unmanned platforms. TRACER was developed for the U.S. Army’s Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate, based at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md. The TRACER system’s design is predicated on Lockheed Martin’s operationally proven foliage penetration (FOPEN) system, which was developed specifically to detect vehicles, buildings, and large metallic objects in broad areas of dense foliage, forested areas and wooded terrain. The radar’s advanced detection capability suppresses background clutter and returns from stationary objects, while revealing the positions of mobile and portable targets. Over the course more than 1,000 operational missions, the low frequency FOPEN radar system’s detection and tomography capabilities have proven extremely robust against a variety of targets and foliage environments.

18 Apr 11. AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, announced today that its Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (TUAS) have achieved in excess of 600,000 total flight hours. Approximately 90 percent of these hours were amassed in support of combat operations at locations throughout Iraq and Afghanistan, fueling an average of more than 100,000 combat flight hours per year during each of the last three years. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)

19 Apr 11. Sanswire Corp., a developer of UAVs and related technologies, announced today that its Argus One UAV has successfully completed its initial series of flight tests to an altitude of 500 feet. The restricted, low altitude flight tests were conducted under tower control at Easton Airport by its technical partner, Eastcor Engineering. The initial series of flight tests involved aerodynamic assessments of the Argus One’s new airship design, its envelope and stability and propulsion systems. The Argus One airshi

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