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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

03 Jul 13. Schiebel has successfully concluded a series of flight trials
with EADS Astrium’s Pseudolite-based Local Positioning System “DeckFinder”, expanding its automated launch and recovery capability for operation where access to GPS has been denied. Schiebel integrated the DeckFinder Receiver Segment into a CAMCOPTER® S-100 and deployed the DeckFinder Ground Segment at the Schiebel Testing Grounds close to Vienna, Austria, earlier this year, enabling a joint team to conduct a week-long flight campaign with the goal of testing and evaluating the capabilities that DeckFinder adds in terms of highly accurate automated operations.

28 Jun 13. Aeryon Labs Inc. recently participated in the Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) program trials at the Oklahoma Test Center-Unmanned Systems test complex near Lawton, OK. The objective of the RAPS programme, conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Borders and Maritime Security Division (BMD), is to evaluate a select number of small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) using key performance measurements in a variety of simulated, but true-to-life public safety operational scenarios. Eleven in all, these scenarios included fire and emergency response, law enforcement, search and rescue, and border security operations. The results, including the system’s capability to operate safely even when communication is lost between the aircraft and the ground controller, will be made available to government and public safety agencies who are considering sUAS as a tool for performing daily public safety functions. (Source: Open Source Information Report/UAS VISION)

27 Jun 13. After Several Mergers, Seven Teams to Receive DARPA Support to Compete with an ATLAS Robot in 2013 DARPA Robotic Challenge Trials. The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) was created with a clear vision: spur development of advanced robots that can assist humans in mitigating and recovering from future natural and man-made disasters. Disasters evoke powerful, physical images of destruction, yet the first event of the DRC was a software competition carried out in a virtual environment that looked like an obstacle course set in a suburban area. That setting was the first proving ground for testing software that might control successful disaster response robots, and it was the world’s first view into the DARPA Robotics Challenge Simulator, an open-source platform that could revolutionize robotics development. Disaster response robots require multiple layers of software to explore and interact with their environments, use tools, maintain balance and communicate with human operators. In the Virtual Robotics Challenge (VRC), competing teams applied software of their own design to a simulated robot in an attempt to complete a series of tasks that are prerequisites for more complex activities. Twenty-six teams from eight countries qualified to compete in the VRC, which ran from June 17-21, 2013. DARPA had allocated resources for the six teams that did best, but in an interesting twist, good sportsmanship and generosity will allow members of the top nine teams, listed below, to move forward:
1. Team IHMC, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Pensacola, Fla. (52 points)
2. WPI Robotics Engineering C Squad (WRECS), Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Mass. (39 points)
3. MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. (34 points)
4. Team TRACLabs, TRACLabs, Inc., Webster, Texas (30 points)
5. JPL/UCSB/Caltech, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. (29 points)
6. TORC, TORC/TU Darmstadt/Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va. (27 points)
7. Team K, Japan (25 points)
8. TROOPER, Lockheed Martin, Cherry Hill, N.J. (24 points)
9. Case Western University, Cleveland, Ohio (23 points)
(Source: Open Source Information Report/DARPA)

28 Jun 13. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. announced that a U.S. Air Force (USAF) Predator® RPA has reached a record 20,000 flight hours on a s

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