Sponsored by The British Robotics Seed Fund
29 Nov 18. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), the leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, is seeking to establish relationships with defense industry suppliers and related businesses in Japan. GA-ASI’s commitment to providing the best available RPA technology means identifying and establishing relationships with companies across Japan who can assist in that effort.
GA-ASI is seeking Japanese partners for a host of services and capabilities, including:
- Long-term data storage and machine learning
- Fixed-base operation services, including airfield facilities, and ground support equipment
- Support services for command and control systems integration
- Support services for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)
- Engineering, modeling and simulation capabilities
- Continued data analysis from flight demonstrations conducted near Iki Island in May 2018
“We’re interested in working with Japanese industry to establish RPA capability that meets the unique defense and security needs of Japan,” said Joseph Song, vice president of International Strategic Development for GA-ASI. “This includes work related to the scientific research from the flight demonstrations we conducted earlier this year, as well as support in the areas of IT, infrastructure, engineering, manufacturing, modeling and simulation.”
From 10-23 May, GA-ASI conducted a series of flight demonstrations near Iki Island, Japan featuring its Guardian RPA. Amongst the goals of these flights was the collection of data that could be used for ongoing scientific research into areas such as changes in ocean temperature and maritime domain awareness. The sensors on the Guardian RPA included a long-range maritime surface-search radar and cameras for stabilized optical and infrared video.
29 Nov 18. UUV Aquabotix Ltd (ASX:UUV) (“Aquabotix” or the “Company”) today announces that it has launched three new products – SwarmDiver STEALTHTM, SwarmDiver EDGETM and SwarmDiver NIGHTLINETM, in addition to the Company’s existing base SwarmDiverTM product. The three new products are tailored for specific defence and commercial applications and expand the use cases for the SwarmDiverTM family of products. These three new products will be offered in addition to the Company’s existing base SwarmDiverTM product.
SwarmDiver STEALTHTM The SwarmDiver STEALTHTM line is intended for use in covert defence operations. This line of vehicles features a ruggedized exterior coating over a specialty graphic camouflage paint, a low-noise emitting motor, and no visible vehicle status lights to deliver a stealthy mission capability for SwarmDiver STEALTHTM to transit through littoral, harbor, and other challenging zones where avoidance of adversary detection is critical.
Aquabotix created the STEALTH model to address military end-user and large defence company demand for a highly effective means of covertly collecting intelligence and transferring data in littoral environments where enemies are continuously monitoring activity through the use of acoustic sensors, electromagnetic spectrum monitoring, and visual detection. Beyond collecting intel, the STEALTH line can be used to securely transfer data between two points without the risk of interception posed by wireless transfer methods.
SwarmDiver NIGHTLINETM The SwarmDiver NIGHTLINETM shares the same key features as the STEALTH line, including the ruggedized camouflage exterior and low-noise motors, and also has an added ultraviolet (UV) coating to make nighttime recovery of those vehicles easier. The UV coating is invisible to the naked eye, but can be detected at night or in low light environments when illuminated by the right wavelength UV light source. Aquabotix created this variant specifically with special forces use in mind.
SwarmDiver EDGETM The SwarmDiver EDGETM line has applications in governmental, defence, and commercial domains. This line of vehicles is equipped with high intensity lights to create a visual boundary and act as a first line deterrent along a shore line, around a vessel or docking area, or near any other item of interest. Aquabotix created the EDGE line of vehicles to respond to threats of piracy, militant, or other disruptions to commercial and governmental activities.
Whitney Million, Aquabotix’s Chief Executive Officer, commented “Our SwarmDiver product has literally dozens of applications and end-uses, solving problems that, to date, were difficult to manage, and in some cases, unsolvable, for commercial and governmental maritime and naval users. The three new products focus on only some of these issues. We plan to continue to evolve our family of products in order to enable our commercial and governmental partners to solve the challenges they face in real world situations around the globe.”
29 Nov 18. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) received a Special Airworthiness Certification in the Experimental Category from the FAA for its second MQ-9B SkyGuardian aircraft. The company-owned Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) – registered as N191FP and known as YBC02 – joins the first SkyGuardian in support of the MQ-9B development program. This certification permits YBC02 to conduct flight operations in National Airspace (NAS) as a civil aircraft.
“The certification helps us towards our goal of full integration of RPA into the National Airspace System [NAS],” said David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. “It will also help us in continuing the development of MQ-9B for our customers, the Royal Air Force and Belgian Defense.”
MQ-9B is the result of a five-year, company-funded effort to deliver an unmanned aircraft that can fly in non-segregated airspace, while meeting the stringent airworthiness type-certification requirements of NATO STANAG 4671. The RPA features endurance of more than 40 hours, rapid integration of new payloads using nine hardpoints, all-weather, short-field, self-deployment through SATCOM controlled Automatic Takeoff and Landing Capability, Lynx® Multi-mode Radar and a Detect and Avoid (DAA) system. GA-ASI designed MQ-9B as the next generation of multi-mission Predator® B fleet and named its baseline MQ-9B aircraft SkyGuardian, and the maritime surveillance variant SeaGuardian.
In July, the first SkyGuardian aircraft (YBC01) became the first Medium-altitude, Long-endurance (MALE) RPA to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean. MQ-9B SkyGuardian has been selected by the United Kingdom (as part of the Royal Air Force’s PROTECTOR RG Mk1 program), and was recently announced as the sole source RPA selection by the country of Belgium.
27 Nov 18. Sonardyne leads P3AUV project. Sonardyne has kicked-off the Precise Positioning for Persistent AUVs (P3AUV) project to enable AUVs to navigate more effectively with less surface support and for longer periods. The company will collaborate with partners L3 ASV and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) on the project. The P3AUV project will involve trials using Sonardyne’s underwater positioning technology on the NOC’s Autosub Long Range and L3 ASV’s C-Worker 7 ASV. The project, which will include trials in Loch Ness, is due to run until late 2019.
The project will focus on increasing long-duration navigational accuracy by integrating low- and high-power inertial navigation system sensors. The accuracy of low-power sensors degrade over time and AUVs consequently often have to surface to reinitialise with a GPS fix. Including high-performance, high-power navigation instruments, like SPRINT INS, and integrating them with the low-power instruments to reduce power consumption will enable longer-duration independent deployments.
The project will also aim to improve positioning accuracy while underwater vehicles descend and ascend through the water column, through the integration of Doppler Velocity Log current measurement capabilities and INS technologies with on board data processing. Sonardyne’s SPRINT-Nav instrument, which combines the SPRINT INS sensor, Syrinx DVL and a high-accuracy pressure sensor in a single housing, can measure water current as well as velocity relative to the seabed. SPRINT-Nav will be able to use the water current velocity to reduce the dead reckoning mid-water navigation error to improve accuracy during the dive and surfacing phases of an operation. The third area of the project will enable ASV deployment of seafloor positioning transponders for the benefit of the offshore energy industry AUV operations. (Source: Shephard)
27 Nov 18. Deseret UAS, ElectraFly sign MoU for testing. Deseret UAS has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ElectraFly to begin flight testing on Deseret’s ranges early in 2019. ElectraFly is a Utah-based aviation company developing a hybrid-electric personal flying vehicle with the aim to increase lift capacity and flight times for VTOL aircraft of virtually any size. The work intends to enable multirotors to carry a meaningful load, including personal transportation, supplies, and package delivery. To support this work the company is developing a prototype that is positioned between technologies like a personal jetpack and a large, helicopter-like air taxi. The ElectraFly prototype is being built to carry a passenger, which means it can be also used by the first responders or military special forces. Other versions will be scaled for air taxi or SAR, and smaller versions will be ideal for shipping and package delivery.
Tulinda Larsen, executive director, Deseret UAS, said: ‘Commercial UAS/UAM companies need flight test ranges to apply their technologies and prove operational performance. The ElectraFly MoU is an example of how Deseret UAS is a game-changer for the industry because we provide flight test ranges designed for safe commercial testing with the necessary FAA authorisations.’ (Source: Shephard)
27 Nov 18. A “Certifiable” (STANAG 4671-compliant) Ground Control Station (C-GCS) from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) was used for the first time on October 4 to fly a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). The flight originated from Yuma, Arizona and flew GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian RPA. Aircraft flight critical functions were tested successfully, including hold modes, landing gear, flap operation, and “hand flying” of the aircraft.
“This marks a major milestone for the C-GCS,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “We continue on a path towards integrating RPA into non-segregated national and international airspace, where they can fly safely alongside commercial aircraft. To achieve that goal, we are producing STANAG-compliant Ground Control Stations in addition to STANAG-compliant SkyGuardian aircraft.”
The C-GCS includes the same flight management system, cockpit displays, and navigation guidance as those found on modern corporate and commercial aircraft. The C-GCS also enables weapons and payload control for SkyGuardian. The ground station’s hardware and software architecture provides separation of flight and mission critical functions. This allows mission software to be modified without affecting flight critical software. The mission Human Machine Interface (HMI) is designed to provide situational awareness on a single tactical situation display. Avionics associated with the flight management system, including traffic collision avoidance, are certified under FAA Technical Standard Orders (TSO). The upcoming test schedule for the C-GCS includes full launch and recovery, HMI enhancements, mission critical functions, and SATCOM datalink testing.
26 Nov 18. China’s Beihang Readies BZK-005E for Export. The Beijing-based Beihang Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Technology is now seeking the first international order for its export-specific BZK-005E multirole medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (MALE UAV), following the successful grant of an export licence for the air vehicle earlier in September. The BZK-005E is a modernised derivative of the indigenously developed BZK-005 platform – also known as the Changying (Long Eagle) – in widespread use across the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) air, land, and sea services for long-range reconnaissance and electronic intelligence (ELINT) missions, made its public debut at the latest iteration of Airshow China in Zhuhai from 6–11 November.
According to company specifications, the BZK-005E has maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 1,500 kg, with a length and wingspan of 10.05 m and 18 m respectively. Powered by a rear-mounted piston engine that drives a three-bladed pusher-propeller, the air vehicle can achieve a stated maximum level flight speed of 210 km/h although it typically cruises at 130–180km/h up to its flight ceiling of 7,500 m (24,606 ft). Operational radius is understood to be in excess of 2,000 km when employing satellite communication datalinks.
Beihang UAS is quoting a flight endurance of 40 hours when the BZK-005E is in its reconnaissance configuration with a chin-mounted electro-optical infrared (EO/IR) ball turret, although the air vehicle features a 370kg payload capacity that enables it to be reconfigured for other mission types, including all-weather intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) with a chin-mounted synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system and a ventral EO/IR turret, ELINT, and communications relay.
The airframe of the BZK-005E is constructed from carbon fibre composite material, comprising a main fuselage nacelle that incorporates a dorsal satellite communications antenna fairing and side chines, swept back mid-mounted wings – featuring inset control and lift surfaces – that support twin tailbooms emanating from the trailing edges of structural pod fairings attached to the lower surface of the wings. (Source: UAS VISION/Jane’s 360)
24 Nov 18. Belarus aerospace industry has developed Yastreb UAS Unmanned Aerial System. The Belarusian aerospace industry is expanding its portfolio of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) with the Yastreb, an industrial source told TASS. The Yastreb unmanned aerial system (UAS) can be supplied in three configurations, namely, reconnaissance, combat, and target.
“Belarus has developed the Yastreb heavy unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a payload capacity of 700kg. This is the heaviest drone developed by the country,” the source said.
The Yastreb UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) integrates a twin-boom unmanned aerial vehicle that takes off and land like a fixed-wing aircraft.It is powered by a Rotax-912S2/100 combustion engine, producing a speed of 120-220km/h and an endurance of 6 hours or 10 hours without/with an external fuel tank. The vehicle carries 120kg of useful payload. The Yastreb`s sensor suite incorporates a daylight camera, thermal imager, and laser rangefinder and is mounted on a gyrostabilized platform. The Yastreb is armed with two or three small kamikaze drone with a weight of 25kg each, which are attached to the vehicle’s external hardpoints. The kamikaze drones feature a 10kg high-explosive fragmentation or high-explosive anti-tank warhead and an automated guidance system. They have a range of up to 50km, being able to hit a target with a circular error probable of no more than 1-2m, the manufacturer claims. (Source: Google/www.armyrecognition.com)
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