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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

10 Aug 06. Florida Collegians Win Navy Robot Prize. “SubjuGator,” an underwater robot developed by University of Florida collegians, has won the Navy’s International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition in San Diego, Calif., for the second straight year. Twenty-one teams were entered in the sink-or-swim contest, in which college students entered robots that could perform a series of tasks without human control in a 38-foot-deep research pool. (Source: USA Today/Defense News)

04 Aug 06. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded an $8,294,000 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the procurement of one Predator B aircraft for use in demonstration and operations, including ground support equipment, spares kit and system integration. Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed in April 2007. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00421-06-C-0024).

Aug 06. Hydroid receives major contract from the Royal New Zealand Navy to supply REMUS 100 AUV systems. Hydroid LLC announced today that they have recently received a multi-year contract from the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) for multiple REMUS Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) systems. The REMUS 100 systems, to be delivered by Hydroid in 2006 and 2007, will be configured with a sensor suite specifically suited to meet the Navy’s requirements for mine countermeasure activities (MCM). Commenting on the recent contract Commander Gordon Stamp from the Royal New Zealand Navy stated. “REMUS is a key element in the RNZN’s burgeoning MCM and Rapid Environmental Assessment (REA) capability, coming to our attention as a result of its successful employment in the Northern Arabian Gulf and discussions with other navies that have introduced this UUV into service have reinforced the utility of this particular product.”

07 Aug 06. Bental Industries Ltd., a recognized manufacturer of Motion Systems for land, air defense platforms and commercial applications, has recently developed advanced electric propulsion motor systems for UAVs ranging in size from 0.5 to 50 kilograms. The systems are unique in their power to size/weight ratio and are comprised of a Permanent Magnet Brushless Motor and its Driver/Controller either in a single package or as two separate components (size and application dependent). One of the members of this family of propulsion systems first introduced in the US is a motor of the size ranging up to 4 kW. This motor is unique also in its redundancy capabilities – in addition to the above-mentioned features. The motors of this size can deliver up to 4 kW during takeoff and climbing stages of the mission. During cruising, when less power is needed, half of the motor is disconnected. The Driver/Controller, which is also built as two parallel systems – switches to power saving mode by disconnecting one of its two channels. The disconnecting of half of the system saves power, and enabling extended vehicle endurance.

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