20 Nov 15. Triton UAS Begins Operational Assessment, Prepares for Production. The MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system began one of the events that will be used to support the program’s Milestone C review and entry into low-rate initial production Nov. 17 at NAS Patuxent River.
This event, known as operational assessment (OA), will take place over two months where Triton will conduct six flights and execute various operational test scenarios to assess the system’s operational performance at this point in the program.
These set scenarios will demonstrate Triton’s collection of data in support of fleet customers while exercising each of the system’s mission areas − intelligence, surface warfare, amphibious warfare and missions of state. This phase will also identify risk areas for the follow-on Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) phase.
“We worked very hard to demonstrate system performance and stability leading up to the start of operational assessment,” said Sean Burke, Triton program manager. “We are eager to move into initial production as the next step to delivering Triton to the fleet.”
OA is an independent look at Triton’s ability to detect, identify, classify, and track contacts during both day and night operations. Part of the assessment is to better understand the challenges that fleet personnel might encounter when they operate and maintain the Triton system.
The Navy expects to achieve a Milestone C decision early next year followed by entry into low-rate initial production. The Navy plans to buy three production aircraft in 2016.
The Navy plans to order a total of 68 aircraft from Northrop Grumman, with the goal of having the first aircraft operational by 2017. The MQ-4C Triton will be a forward deployed, land-based, autonomously operated system that provides a persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability using a multi-sensor mission payload. (Source: ASD Network)
19 Nov 15. Intel warns that U.S. regulation could drive drone R&D overseas. Intel Corp could relocate its drone research and development operations overseas if the federal government adopts an “overly prescriptive” approach to unmanned aerial systems technology, an Intel executive told U.S. lawmakers on Thursday.
“A federal government approach that is overly prescriptive regarding the deployment of new hardware and software will deter the private sector’s ability to invent and compete in the marketplace,” Joshua Walden, Intel’s senior vice president and general manager for new technology, said in written testimony submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.
“Worse, it will drive us to relocate our business planning and R&D overseas, where we are being welcomed by foreign countries eager for investment in this new technology area,” he said. (Source: Reuters)
18 Nov 15. Another Crowd-funded Drone Project Collapses (bbc.com)196
An anonymous reader writes: Less than two weeks after we heard about the “robotic dragonfly” project failing, the BBC brings news that an even bigger crowd-funded drone project has given up development as well. The ZANO mini-drone raised a whopping £2.3m on Kickstarter ($3.5m), after asking for a mere £125,000 to get off the ground. They were supposed to start delivering drones in June, and a few hundred of them slowly trickled out. In October, they posted a long update detailing their plans for shipping the other ~15,000 drones they had been paid for. Their latest update, posted today, says, “Having explored all options known to us, and after seeking professional advice, we have made the difficult decision to pursue a creditors’ voluntary liquidation.” This will leave thousands of backers without a drone, despite paying £140 or more apiece. (Source: Slashdot.com/BBC)
18 Nov 15. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. announced that a U.S. Army Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) recently conducted mann