Sponsored by The British Robotics Seed Fund
17 Jun 20. L3Harris Technologies Unveils New Iver4 580 Unmanned Undersea Vehicle.
- Advances mission capability for man-portable 5.8” diameter Unmanned Undersea Vehicles
- Optimizes field operations with hot-swappable battery sections and high-speed data download
- Virtual product unveiling on June 24 at 12 p.m. EDT
L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) announced today its new man-portable Iver4 580 unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV). The new Iver4 580 is the second vehicle in the Iver4 family of next-generation UUVs to address a wide variety of customer missions, including survey; multi-domain intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; anti-submarine warfare; seabed warfare and mine warfare.
Built with Iver4 advanced technology, the Iver4 580 features a full suite of sensors in a portable size (5.8-inch diameter and 82-inch length) and small mission footprint for rapid deployment from any vessel. It offers users a 200-meter depth system featuring sealed, hot-swappable battery sections that can be swapped without the need of a vacuum test, heading re-alignment, or special tools allowing the vehicle to get back on mission with just minutes of downtime.
Data recorded from the on-board sensor suite can be downloaded from the Iver4 580 at gigabit Ethernet speed further minimizing mission downtime. The Iver4 580 design maximizes in-water efficiency enabling the vehicle to travel at a speed of 4 knots and support longer missions.
“The Iver4 580 is the latest evolution in the Iver family of vehicles bringing mission-critical capability to underwater survey and intelligence operations in a portable package,” said Sean Stackley, President, Integrated Mission Systems. “L3Harris continues to advance industry leading capabilities in small diameter UUVs for our military and commercial customers.”
The Iver4 580 will be unveiled virtually on June 24 at 12 p.m. EDT. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
17 Jun 20. China deploys new Haidou-1 deepwater AUV. The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has deployed its new Haidou-1 deepwater-capable autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) during an expedition to the Western Pacific Ocean, it announced on 9 June.
The 3.8-m long Haidou-1 AUV is a joint development by CAS subsidiary Shenyang Institute of Automation (SIA), Harbin Engineering University, and the CAS-affiliated Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics.
Haidou-1 seen being recovered by the research ship Tansuo-1 . (Shenyang Institute of Automation)
Detailed specifications of the AUV have not been disclosed by CAS, although still and video imagery of the vehicle indicates that it is equipped with a pair of altitude thrusters fore and steerable hydroplanes with built-in thrusters towards the aft.
According to state media, Haidou-1 was dispatched from the research vessel Tansuo-1 and reached a depth of 10,907 m (35,784 ft) in the Mariana Trench on 14 May – a new record for Chinese underwater vehicles – during one of four deepwater surveys performed under the auspices of the TS-17 scientific mission.
Haidou-1 reportedly used, for the first time, indigenously developed “high-precision” deepwater acoustic positioning and multisensor information fusion technologies.
The AUV was also seen travelling on the seabed performing tasks such as sample collection and marker laying in video footage aired by state broadcaster CCTV, and is claimed to have provided researchers with valuable information on geological, biological, and chemical data, and ocean currents. (Source: Jane’s)
16 Jun 20. US Army starts FTUAS aircraft flight assessments. The US Army has begun flying aircraft, participating in its Future Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (FTUAS) capabilities assessment.
The Martin UAV-Northrop Grumman Technology Services (NGTS) V-Bat vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) surveillance UAS first flew on 1 June with the US Army’s Delta Company, 39th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) is one of five brigades selected by the service to participate in the assessment, Lieutenant Colonel Ellis Smith, Unmanned Systems Integration Lead, Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Cross-Functional Team (CFT), told Janes on 12 June.
FTUAS is not a competition but an assessment of perspective capabilities needed in a next-generation UAS for brigade combat teams. Along with Martin UAV-NGTS, Textron, L3Harris, and Arcturus UAV are participating in FTUAS, which will help determine requirements to replace the Textron RQ-7 Shadow surveillance and target acquisition UAS.
The Arcturus Jump 20 small UAS completed its new equipment training in April with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, which is preparing to participate in the Danger Gauntlet brigade level field training exercise. Lt Col Smith said that another Arcturus Jump 20 is scheduled to be delivered in August to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. (Source: Jane’s)
15 Jun 20. UAS operated from Hercules in first-time trial. A first-of-its kind trial by the Royal Australian Air Force to remotely pilot a small uninhabited aerial system (UAS) from the back of a C-130J Hercules has taken air-land integration to new heights.
Defence is saying the collaboration between Plan Jericho, 3SECFOR, 37 Squadron and Army has the potential to open up a range of capability options for the joint force.
The trial was recently undertaken at RAAF Edinburgh and tested the viability of operating a UAS via the aircraft’s onboard satellite communications (SATCOM) link. This has opened up future potential to operate UAS, or other networked capabilities, from anywhere in the world and, vice versa, demonstrating an ability to upload live imagery from offboard sensor systems.
Squadron Leader Peter Cunningham highlighted that this trial was the first time that airborne control UAS has been attempted from a C-130J Hercules.
“We used our wide-band SATCOM systems to provide a link to the UAS controller on the C-130J beyond the line of sight, and received video from the UAS throughout the flight,” SQNLDR Cunningham said.
Using 3SECFOR’s UAS capability together with the Air Mobility Innovation C-130J aircraft enabled the team to conduct the trial within a very short time frame.
“Working together with different skillsets and stakeholders such as 3SECFOR, Army and Plan Jericho has shown how we can be responsive to meet the needs of Air Force in pretty short order,” SQNLDR Cunningham said.
Corporal Mitchell Blight sees enormous potential for Army Commanders on the ground.
“With this sort of technology, we can see much further and be more distant from our targets, while still getting a comprehensive understanding of the ground in front of us through a streamlined information feed,” CPL Blight said.
Plan Jericho’s Advanced Sensors lead, Wing Commander Paul Hay, added, “While this is still in the proof of concept phase, we were very pleased to see how rapidly the team were able to get the unclassified concept off the ground in just two weeks.”
During the airborne operation, the team were also able to capture overarching video of the trial, using the Lightning sensor pod, which has recently been mounted on a pylon underneath the wing of the C-130J demonstrator.
This proof of concept further extends the connected sensor network, showing the potential to share greater amounts of information and improving decision making in the air and on the ground.
WGCDR Hay said that this trial demonstrated how bringing people together with different interests and capabilities, promoted ground-up innovation and new capabilities across the force.
Leading Aircraftman Rhys Mitting, 3SECFOR UAS operator provided advice to other airmen who have ideas that can improve Air Force.
“Be proactive, network with other units and you will find likeminded people who are willing to help,” LAC Mitting said.
“You need to be motivated, hardworking and you need to contact Jericho.” (Source: Defence Connect)
The British Robotics Seed Fund is the first SEIS-qualifying investment fund specialising in UK-based robotics businesses. The focus of the fund is to deliver superior returns to investors by making targeted investments in a mixed basket of the most innovative and disruptive businesses that are exploiting the new generation of robotics technologies in defence and other sector applications.
Automation and robotisation are beginning to drive significant productivity improvements in the global economy heralding a new industrial revolution. The fund allows investors to benefit from this exciting opportunity, whilst also delivering the extremely attractive tax reliefs offered by the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). For many private investors, the amount of specialist knowledge required to assess investments in robotics is not practical and hence investing through a fund structure makes good sense.
The fund appoints expert mentors to work with each investee company to further maximise the chance of success for investors. Further details are available on request.