25 Sep 12. Kairos Autonomi has developed a new Tele-Op Only kit to help an existing military vehicle serve as an unmanned mobile ground target during capacity testing or training operations. Developed in response to customer requirement for a cost-effective moving land target solution, the Tele-Op Only kit is an advanced solution designed to serve as a realistic target moving simulation in drills. Kairos Autonomi Targets Programs director Chandler Griffin said a cost-efficient option was required for on-demand and dynamic movements. (Source: armytechnology.com)
25 Sep 12. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) applauded the Aerospace States Association’s (ASA) call on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to move forward with its Congressionally-mandated program to establish six test sites for the development of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). In a letter to FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, chairman of ASA, asked that the program move forward “without further delay” so as to avoid “losing ground in an industry poised to deliver on job creation.”
The test site program was included in legislation signed into law in February 2012, which, in part, requires the FAA to plan for the integration of UAS into the national airspace by 2015. However, the FAA missed a key program benchmark, when it failed to establish the test site program by 12 Aug. 2012. About 30 states have expressed interest in applying, and have already invested funding, time and effort in preparation to respond to the FAA’s anticipated announcement.
Michael Toscano, AUVSI president & CEO, released the following statement in response to ASA’s letter, “We applaud ASA for continuing its work to ensure the U.S. remains a global leader in aerospace technology and help our industry create jobs. Not only will integrating UAS into the airspace help firefighters battle wildfires, search and rescue teams find missing persons and scientists research everything from hurricanes to wildlife, it will lead to quality, high-paying jobs for pilots, engineers, instructors, technicians and many others. The FAA test site program is critical to a safe and responsible integration, as well as bringing jobs and economic investment to the recipients of the test site designation. The FAA should open the site selection process without delay so we can move this technology forward while creating jobs.”
26 Sep 12. Unease Over Drone Strikes. Obama Administration Charts Delicate Legal Path Defending Controversial Weapons. About once a month, the Central Intelligence Agency sends a fax to a general at Pakistan’s intelligence service outlining broad areas where the U.S. intends to conduct strikes with drone aircraft, according to U.S. officials. The Pakistanis, who in public oppose the program, don’t respond. On this basis, plus the fact that Pakistan continues to clear airspace in the targeted areas, the U.S. government concludes it has tacit consent to conduct strikes within the borders of a sovereign nation, according to officials familiar with the program. Representatives of the White House’s National Security Council and CIA declined to discuss Pakistani consent, saying such information is classified. In public speeches, Obama administration officials have portrayed the U.S.’s use of drones to kill wanted militants around the world as being on firm legal ground. In those speeches, officials stopped short of directly discussing the CIA’s drone program in Pakistan because the operations are covert. Now, the rationale used by the administration, interpreting Pakistan’s acquiescence as a green light, has set off alarms among some administration legal officials. In particular, lawyers at the State Department, including top legal adviser Harold Koh, believe this rationale veers near the edge of what can be considered permission, though they still think the program is legal, officials say. (Source: WSJ)
19 Sep 12. Now deployed