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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

08 May 12. A new start-up company from Spain is the latest addition to the very popular sector of multirotor aerial platforms. Intelligenia Dynamics aspires to provide a complete and competent aerial platform with substantial automation and embedded intelligence. Their website describe many of the possible application like remote inspection, fire prevention, rescue etc although not in depth. The generalized missions are more or less widely known, the difficult part is to develop a mature product or a complete solution and offer it commercially; very few companies have achieved that level. The most interesting part at least from what they have already published is the UAV-01 platform. It may not be something groundbreaking but it looks very well designed with attention to detail. Instead of four single motor/props it has four double propeller co-axial units. That set-up is more expensive and slightly more complicated than a conventional quadrotor but it provides more lift for a given volume and it can also produce a more agile vehicle with quicker and more precise thrust control at each unit. The motors appear to be off the shelf commercial items (from Himax) although this is just the prototype. Apart from that, the frame and fuselage is well designed and offer a cartridge type battery swap. This drone is an unmanned aircraft, an autonomous system able to perform tasks automatically thanks to AI and computer vision techniques. Its aircraft range is up to 50 minutes, depending on the weight to be carried. (Source: UNMANNED)

03 May 12. Watchkeeper facing continued delays. Efforts to bring the Thales Watchkeeper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) into British Army service are still suffering from delays, a UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokeswoman said on 3 May. The MoD had hoped to resolve issues concerning the Watchkeeper system’s release-to-service (RTS) certification by the end of March but this deadline passed without a solution. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)

09 May 12. TORC Robotics recently demonstrated an autonomous vehicle for Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) capable of performing expedient runway surveys, including taking soil hardness measurements, providing terrain data and reporting hazards to flight. The Robotic Assault Zone TerminalEvaluation Kit (RAZTEK), developed by TORC, AFRL, and Tec^Edge, consists of TORC unmanned vehicle conversion kits and a Mosquito soil sampling device from MDA Corporation installed on a Lightweight Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (LTATV). The RAZTEK system automates the surveying and sample collection processes, reducing risk on assault-zone survey missions while collecting higher quality data. Survey teams currently carry all of the necessary equipment along open runway areas. This labor-intensive process leaves them vulnerable to the many inherent risks of extended exposure times with limited situational awareness. The semi-autonomous process of surveying expedient runways with RAZTEK robotic systems offers a much faster, safer, more accurate means to gather the necessary data for assessing potential assault-zone landing strips.(Source: ASD Network)

09 May 12. Brazilian firm Avibras is concluding final assembly of the prototype of the ‘Falcão’ [Falcon] unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the first domestic aircraft in the 800-kilo class, used for surveillance, reconnaissance, patrol, and sensor tasks, among other missions. The Falcão UAV will have its inaugural flight before July. The Falcão’s frame is made of carbon fiber, guaranteeing a lighter vehicle and increasing the space in which it can carry fuel and sensors. With an autonomous flight capability of over 15 hours, this UAV is configured to carry a package of electro-optical equipment, a ground mobile target detection radar, and a satellite communications link. The aircraft will have an operational range of up to 1,500 kilometers. Brazil has already invested approximately 60m reais (31.77m dollars) in the Falcão, which is supported by the thre

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