05 Jun 15. Boeing gets patent to charge drones midair. Boeing was recently awarded a patent to charge a drone midair. The patent describes the use of drones equipped with tethers that can connect with ground-based power supplies while they’re still airborne, to recharge their batteries on the go. Where drones are required to be operational almost throughout the day, by using charge points at various locations, these drones can charge when free or when their batteries are drained out.
The drone can be recharged from a ship in ocean, from other flying objects, from a moving vehicle on ground and even high altitude balloons.
Patent Number – 9,045,218
Patent Title – Autonomous aircraft with disconnectable tether
Inventors: Childress; James J. (Mercer Island, WA), Viniotis; John J. (Bellevue, WA)
Applicant: The Boeing Company
Appl. No.: 13/791,105
Filed: March 8, 2013
Systems and methods to launch an aircraft are disclosed. In one embodiment, a system comprises an electrically powered buoyant aircraft, a control system to maneuver the aircraft and a tether adapted to couple to the aircraft and to a ground-based power supply to provide power to the aircraft while the aircraft is coupled to the tether. The aircraft can disconnect autonomously from the tether in response to a command signal. (Source: UAS VISION/Patent Yogi)
04 Jun 15. US Army starts testing PD-100 Black Hornet drones. The US Army has started testing palm-sized PD-100 Black Hornet drones, which feature regular and thermal cameras that can be used for surveillance operations. Weighing only 18g, the drones are small enough to be carried on a utility belt, and can provide clear, real-time video feeds for up to 25 minutes.
Soldiers will be able to fly the drone using pre-selected points or controllers, similar to the ones used in video games. The drones, developed by Norwegian unmanned drone maker Prox Dynamics, are already used by the British Army in Afghanistan. Proxdynamics USA CEO and president Arne Skjaerpe said: “This is what they use when they check out enemy compounds.” The company claims that the complete system is compact enough to fit into a pocket, and can be ready to fly within one minute. The system features steerable EO cameras, which can be manoeuvred remotely to offer both live feed and snapshot images. It also offers digital data link beyond 1500m line-of-sight. The drones can be used for search and rescue operation, reconnaissance missions in confined areas, birds-eye view for situational awareness, and proximity surveillance. British Army Commanding officer Major Adam Foden as said, “Previously, we would have had to send soldiers forward to see if there were any enemy fighters hiding inside a set of buildings.
“Now we are deploying Black Hornet to look inside compounds and to clear a route through enemy-held spaces. It has worked very well, the pictures it delivers back to the monitor are really clear and Black Hornet is so small and quiet that the locals can’t see or hear it.” (Source: army-technology.com)
04 Jun 15. Ten years after the first flight of the Alenia Aermacchi Sky-X, the first European UAV over one tonne class, thanks to a series of tests performed in Italy and, an important step forward has been achieved for the future operations of the unmanned aerial systems in the civil air zone. Currently confined to operational theatres, test areas or “corridors” completely separated from airspace reserved for civil aircraft and helicopters, the activities of the UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) or RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems), require important processes of technological change in order to exploit their full potential. Chief among these is flight safety. To assure this fundamental aspect for the future of the unmanned aerial systems of all categories, the EDA (European Defence Agency), launched in 2009 the MIDCAS Project to identify solutions aimed at guaranteeing Mid-air Collision Avoidance,