06 Feb 07.The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation $16m for two more MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical takeoff and landing Tactical Unmanned Air Vehicles (VTUAV) and to assist the Navy in refining the Fire Scout concept of operations. Including this award, the Navy has a total of nine Fire Scouts on contract with Northrop Grumman. During concept of operations development, Northrop Grumman will work closely with the Navy to refine the system description, including core capabilities, and anticipated deployment and employment for the VTUAV system and other aviation assets aboard the Littoral Combat Ship. Operational requirements may include real-time video imagery collection, intelligence gathering, communications-relay capability, precision targeting and battle damage assessment. System design work on the Fire Scout is performed at the Unmanned Systems Development Center in San Diego. The Fire Scout is assembled at the Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss. Fire Scout is based on a commercial-off-the-shelf Schweizer 333 manned helicopter manufactured in Horseheads, N.Y. The baseline design has proven a highly reliable and effective platform with extensive operating history. (Source: ASD Network)
06 Feb 07. At IDEX, Robowatch is presenting the modular reconnaissance and IEDD robots ASENDRO SCOUT and ASENDRO EOD at the site of robot development partner Diehl VA Systeme. (Stand 1318, German Pavilion). Additionally, at the booth of the potential sales partner ATLAS TELECOM, the OFRO+detect reconnaissance robot is being shown. The outdoor appliance, which can be used on any terrain, is equipped with Multi-IMS (ion mobility spectrometer) and able to detect all current tactical gases as well as nuclear hazards.
Feb 07. Proxy Aviation Systems, Inc., a company that develops fully autonomous, optionally piloted unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), announced that it has successfully completed testing of its automatic take-off and landing (ATOL) capabilities of SkyWatcher, an optionally piloted, unmanned air vehicle (UAV) designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The United States Air Force (USAF) sponsored and cooperated in the demonstration, which took place at Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, Arizona on December 13, 2006. Utilizing Proxy Aviation’s SkyForce distributed management system, and a flight control system produced by Geneva Aerospace, SkyWatcher successfully performed several automatic take-offs and landings (ATOL), fully unmanned and autonomous, without user intervention from the ground control station. The system performed flawlessly and met several specific test objectives including, runway centerline tracking, traffic pattern ground tracking, precise touch down point and proper braking action.
06 Feb 07. Athena Technologies, Inc. announced its GuideStar™ inertial navigation system and global positioning system (INS/GPS) has been selected to provide guidance and navigation to the LUNA UAV developed by Germany’s EMT. Under the contract, Athena will provide EMT with its GuideStar 111m integrated INS/GPS and air data sensor suite systems. The GuideStar 111m is an advanced, miniaturized solution, weighing only 0.5 lbs (227g) and specifically designed for small, high-performance UAV applications. LUNA is an all-weather, lightweight, easy to operate UAV used for real-time surveillance, reconnaissance and target location at ranges exceeding 80 km and with an endurance of 4 hours. The UAV has been in service with the German Army since March 2000 and is successfully performing reconnaissance missions in Kosovo, Macedonia and Afghanistan. Early in 2006, the Pakistan Army acquired LUNA UAVs for monitoring the Pakistan borders.
08 Feb 07. AeroVironment, Inc. has successfully completed sea trials of its Aqua Puma unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the Royal Australian Navy to explore adding a UAS capability to the Navy’s new Armidale class patrol boats. (Source: Shephard)