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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

04 Dec 06. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $6,599,502 fixed-price-incentive-firm contract modification. This action provides for engineering changes to prepare one Global Hawk Air Vehicle to receive Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) capabilities. Additionally, provides preliminary modifications to a second Air Vehicle in preparation for MP-RTIP insertion. The procurement also includes an option for aircraft ballast. At this time, $3,299,751 have been obligated. Solicitations began October 2005 and negotiations were complete November 2006. This work will be complete by February 2009. Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-05-C-4692/P00009).

30 Nov 06. Goodrich Corporation has been awarded a contract from the U. S. Air Force Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Battlelab (UAVB) at Nellis Air Force Base in Nev. to develop and fabricate a shortwave infrared (IR) sensor for the Spectre-Finder initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to rapidly demonstrate the potential of a small, air-launched and recoverable Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) to provide off-board sensing in support of future Air Force Special Operations Command concepts of operation. Under the terms of the contract Goodrich’s SUI team, headquartered in Princeton, N.J., will develop a SWIR camera payload assembly. The technology involved includes a 640×512 indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) camera, custom dual field-of-view lens and laser pointer for use in day or night operation allowing reliable imaging and performance in any weather or environmental conditions.

Dec 06. QinetiQ has carried out an autonomous demonstration flight of a UAV using SION Power’s new high energy, rechargeable lithium sulfur battery. Previous flights with lithium polymer cells only enabled flight times of 1 hour and 10 minutes. The lightweight, high energy lithium sulfur battery packs from SION Power yielded a flight time of over 2 hours. SION Power is the global leader in the development of the next generation of high energy rechargeable batteries based on the lithium sulfur technology. The base cells in the battery packs used in this flight had a specific energy of 350 Wh/Kg. This is 50% greater than the best available lithium ion batteries. The battery pack electronics and assembly were provided by Nexergy Inc., Columbus, Ohio.

04 Dec 06. Japan To Build Very Small, Light Reconnaissance Aircraft. Japan’s Defense Agency is to develop a miniature superlight reconnaissance aircraft, based on ideas from a paper plane, a local newspaper said Dec.4. The tiny unmanned airplane, designed to monitor enemy movements in Japanese territories, measures just 60 centimeters (24 inches) in wingspan and weighs only 400 grams (14 ounces), the Nihon Keizai Shimbun business daily said. The agency will share development, including computer programming, with private-sector firms at the estimated cost of 1bn yen ($8.68m ), the newspaper said citing sources with the agency. The agency hopes to put the plane into action within five years, Nihon Keizai said. (Source: Defense News)

06 Dec 06. Athena Technologies announced today its GuideStar™ flight control and navigation system contributed to the successful first flight of Aurora Flight Sciences’ GoldenEye 80 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The unique design and embedded capabilities of the GoldenEye 80 enable the UAV to be used for a variety of military missions, from conducting surveillance beyond hills in rural areas to gathering intelligence while flying between buildings in urban warfare operations. The GoldenEye 80 is being developed under contract to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) through its Organic Air Vehicle (OAV-II) program, which has responsibility for the development of UAVs to support small military groups conducting tactical missions. Standing 65 inches tall and weighing about 150 poun

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