20 Mar 13. Opening Statement of AUVSI’s Michael Toscano during Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on UAS, Law Enforcement and Privacy. On 20 March, AUVSI President & CEO Michael Toscano gave testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee during the hearing “The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy Considerations.” Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Grassley, I want to thank you and the rest of the Members of the Judiciary Committee for inviting me to testify here today. My organization, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International – or AUVSI – is the world’s largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community. We have more than 7,500 members, including more than 6,300 members in the United States. The industry is at the forefront of a technology that will not only benefit society, but the U.S. economy, as well. Earlier this month, my organization released a study, which found the unmanned aircraft industry is poised to help create 70,000 new jobs and $13.6bn in economic impact in the first three years following the integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace. (Source: AUVSI)
20 Mar 13. Rockwell Collins Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) was used by Northrop Grumman Corporation and the U.S. Navy as they successfully completed a series of deck handling trials of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75). The exercises demonstrated the ability to maneuver the tailless, strike-fighter-sized aircraft quickly and precisely on the flight deck using a wireless handheld controller. The tests are the latest in a series of activities leading up to the first carrier landings of the X-47B, which are planned for mid-2013. TTNT provides high data rate, long-range communication links for airborne platforms. As a complement to existing tactical data link networks, TTNT adds significant airborne network capacity while providing rapid, low latency message delivery. The minimal network planning requirements of TTNT will enable participants to enter and exit the network without extensive preplanning. It has been used in demonstrations on more than a dozen airborne platforms, including the F-16, F-22, F-15, F/A-18, B-2, B-52, Airborne Warning and Control System, Battlefield Airborne Communications Node and E-2C Hawkeye.
18 Mar 13. The U.S. Marine Corps has extended indefinitely its use of two unmanned K-MAX heavy lift helicopters in Afghanistan, a Navy spokeswoman said, noting the aircraft kept re-supply trucks off the road and reduced the threat of roadside bombs. The Marine Corps sent the new autonomous helicopters, which were developed by Lockheed Martin Corp and Kaman Corp, to Afghanistan in November 2011 for an initial, limited deployment, but has extended their use several times. Now, Naval Air Systems Command has decided to continue using the aircraft indefinitely, said Jamie Cosgrove, a spokeswoman for the Navy command, which also oversees Marine Corps aircraft. (Source: Aviation Week)
21 Mar 13. San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) launched a RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Air System (STUAS) recently, for its first flight at sea. The STUAS completed four fly-bys around the ship before recovering with the STUAS Recovery System (SRS), a cable apparatus the aircraft latches to for recovery. The STUAS completed three months of land-based trial flights aboard Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, Calif., before launching from a San Antonio-class amphibious landing dock ship. The Mesa Verde hosted members of the STUAS team from the company, Insitu, that built the aircraft and from NAVAIR during the sea trials. (Source: ASD Network)