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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

Jun 06. Akamai Physics awarded $10M chemical sensor contract for UAV operation. Akamai Physics Inc., Las Cruces, N.M., is being awarded a $10,296,089 cost-plus-fixed- fee contract modification. The Bright Onyx is a compact, active multi-spectral chemical sensor operating in the 5-um region for remote chemical detection of chemicals associated with weapons of mass destruction that may be transported on ships inbound to United States ports. The Bright Onyx sensor must operate at UAV airspeeds and ranges with detection sensitivities of 10ppm*m and meet UAV power, weight, and size requirements. At this time, $2,795,000 has been obligated. Solicitations began March 2006 and negotiations were complete June 2006. This work will be complete June 2008. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FS8650-04-C-1714/P00004).

14 Jun 06. Opal-RT Technologies Inc. will present its latest real-time multi-UAV and Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle simulators at the MathWorks Aerospace and Defense Conference in Reston, Virginia June 14-15, 2006. At the MathWorks Aerospace and Defense Conference Opal-RT will demonstrate the latest advances in real-time simulation and new ways through which hardware in-the-loop simulation can enhance an engineering process and improve product quality. This demonstration will highlight a multi-UAV co-simulation as a sample application that takes advantage of RT-LAB’s Orchestra’s connectivity features. Because autonomous UAVs may be required to fly in formation, distributed architectures are well suited to studying their interactions. At the same time, simulating fleets of UAVs in real-time covers a wide range of engineering and design activities from analytical studies, to controller software in-the-loop and hardware in-the-loop testing. The fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle (FCHV) demo illustrates the capability as well as the benefits of performing hardware in-the-loop testing with detailed electrical system models. The virtual FCHV propulsion system is composed of a battery, a fuel cell stack, a DC-DC converter operating at 10 kHz switching frequency and a permanent magnet synchronous motor drive. The use of Opal-RT’s time stamping bridge (TSB) method for the IGBT switch models is essential to obtaining a highly accurate simulation of the power converter and inverter in real-time. (Source: Shephard)

Jun 06. UK’s Royal Artillery to take Desert Hawk UAV to Afghanistan. Soldiers from 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan shortly with an unusual piece of equipment – an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Around seventy men and women from 18 (Quebec 1759) Battery, 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery based at Roberts Barracks, Larkhill in Wiltshire, will deploy alongside soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade, taking with them the Desert Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Desert Hawk is a portable UAV surveillance system which provides aerial video reconnaissance. It has a flight time of approximately one hour, and can fly anywhere within a 10km radius of its ground control station. It has both day and night time (thermal imaging) capability. The equipment can be used for a variety of tasks, such as force protection for convoys and patrols, route clearance, base security, reconnaissance or target tracking. Soldiers from 32nd Regiment, which has served continually in Iraq since March 2003 using the Phoenix tactical UAV, have recently been trialling the new Desert Hawk system in California. Now they are ready to deploy and are well prepared. (Source: Shephard)

13 Jun 06. Team GoldenEye wins Phase III of DARPA OAV-II program. Aurora Flight Sciences announced today that Team GoldenEye, an industry team led by Aurora, has won a $23.6m modification to a previously awarded contract and was selected for Phase III of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Organic Air Vehicle–II program. Team GoldenEye’s system will give company comm

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