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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

30 Jul 12. Northrop Grumman Corporation has partnered with two California State University (CSU) schools to sponsor a year-long student project that successfully demonstrated the collaboration between unmanned aerial and ground vehicles. On June 2, engineering students from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo) and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) gathered at the experimental flight field outside of San Luis Obispo, Calif., for a demonstration that marked the program’s conclusion this year. During the successful demonstration flight, an unmanned aerial vehicle provided an accurate geolocation solution to a ground vehicle. The aircraft located a target that resembled a large, red exercise ball, and transmitted its coordinates to a ground station, which then directed a ground vehicle to navigate to the target in the field. To prepare for the demonstration, Cal Poly students from San Luis Obispo enhanced a fixed-wing remote control aircraft with sensors and a communications link, while students from the Pomona campus outfitted a ground vehicle with complementary sensors and communication abilities. Approximately 50 students from the two CSU campuses participated in the program, forming virtual teams to remotely collaborate on the project.

01 Aug 12. Ultra Electronics, AMI, delivered 45 of its ROAMIO D245XR fuel cells for use by the U.S. military in unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The contract award for this delivery is valued at more than $2m. The ROAMIO D245XR is the most advanced power technology available today, providing unparalleled long duration flight of more than eight hours in small UAS
platforms. The delivery is the latest in a series of multi-unit manufacturing runs of small propane-fueled solid oxide fuel cell technology. AMI continues to follow its manufacturing plan that has successful deliveries to the U.S. Army, including 30 units to the Rapid Equipping Force (REF), 15 units to the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and 10 units to the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC). All branches of the U.S. military have tested AMI fuel cells.
(Source: ASD Network)

03 Aug 12. Protonex Technology Corporation, a leading provider of advanced lightweight military power systems, announces the commercial availability of the UAV-H500 fuel cell power system for unmanned aerial and ground vehicles. The UAV-H500 is a commercial variant of the power system used by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory to set a flight endurance record on its small, UAV, the Ion Tiger. The Ion Tiger flew for over 26 hours, setting an endurance record for fuel cell powered flight, driven by the Protonex power system. Electric propulsion for small UAV provides low cost of ownership and very quiet operation. Unfortunately, the energy density available from even advanced battery solutions limits flight durations and increases operational costs. The 26+ hour duration of the Ion Tiger flight represents a seven-fold improvement in endurance over available advanced batteries. The Protonex UAV power system employs a high performance, ultra-light proton exchange membrane [PEM] fuel cell system, coupling advanced balance of plant components with stack technology that can achieve a power density of 1,000 watts per kilogram. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)

20 Jul 12. ‘Aeronaut’ UAV promises onboard collision avoidance. Russia’s Luch Design Bureau (part of the Vega Radio Engineering Corporation) has developed a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designated Vozdukhoplavatel (Aeronaut). The aircraft, which has a flying wing configuration and a highly manoeuvrable airframe, has been designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

30 Jul 12. The Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC)-built X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator has successfully co

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