03 Aug 16. Mexican Navy begins operations with new UAV. The Mexican Secretariat of the Navy (SEMAR) has deployed Arcturus T-20 JUMP unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) to the coast of Sonora for maritime surveillance operations, SEMAR announced on 29 July.
The surveillance system and its aircraft were officially handed over at the headquarters of the Naval Sector of Puerto Peñasco to the Mexican Navy on 28 July by the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), which is understood to have financed its procurement.
Admiral Vidal Soberón Sanz, secretary of navy, said during the ceremony that the new UAVs are expected to provide a significant increase in the service’s surveillance and interception capabilities in that region.
Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, secretary of SEMARNAT, said the T-20s will be primarily used as part of the government’s efforts to protect a rare species of porpoise only found in the northern part of the Gulf of California. The aircraft will allow increased surveillance of a preservation area there, operating day and night to detect illegal intrusions and illegal fishing.
The navy’s Arcturus T-20 JUMP surveillance system includes three UAVs that can be fitted with Cloud Cap Technologies TASE 200 or 400 gyro-stabilised gimbal electro-optics and infrared payloads, a vehicle-mounted control station, a logistics vehicle, control and satellite antennas, a pneumatic catapult for launching the aircraft, and a support vehicle.
The T-20 JUMP is an evolution of the original T-20 with added quad vertical rotors, thus providing a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability. It retains other T-20 characteristics, including a maximum speed of 72 kt and endurance up to 16 hours, depending on the payload.
(Source: Defense News Early Bird/IHS Jane’s)
03 Aug 16. PrecisionHawk Releases Results of Pathfinder Phase I. PrecisionHawk, a drone data and safety company based in Raleigh, N.C., announced Phase 1 Pathfinder Results as part of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Workshop on Drones and the Future of Aviation held in Washington D.C. The report, included in the White House OSTP Fact Sheet, defines the boundaries and conditions of Extended Visual Line of Sight (EVLOS) operations for a solo pilot in command. The report quantifies EVLOS distance at 2-3 nautical miles for non-technology assisted drone operations.
“Innovative commercial and government platforms and applications for UAS are helping to solve problems, save money, conserve critical resources, and even save lives,” said U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith. “The Administration will continue collaborating with public and private sector entities to further understand and explore safe and beneficial application of this emergent technology.”
“It is a tremendous honor to attend this event in support of the growing commercial drone industry and highlight the research being done under the FAA Pathfinder Program,” said Thomas Haun, PrecisionHawk Executive Vice President. “We look forward to continuing our work with the FAA in examining the safest ways to integrate drones as efficient business tools across industries.”
In addition, the Future of Privacy Forum, Intel, and PrecisionHawk released a new report, “Drones and Privacy by Design: Embedding Privacy Enhancing Technology in Unmanned Aircraft.” The White House said one of the takeaways from that report is: “The widespread adoption of geo-fencing and other technologies is enabling drones to reduce privacy risks while tackling important, often life-saving missions.”
The Pathfinder program is an FAA-led initiative to facilitate the early introduction of low-altitude operations for small, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System. PrecisionHawk was chosen as a Pathfinder in May 2015 and the Phase 1 report outlines the results from a series of EVLOS tests conducted in December 2015. Examples of EVLOS dependent uses include monitoring of emergency s