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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

Mar 07. The Request for Proposals for a common sensor to be used on US. Army aircraft, including the Sky Warrior ERMP and the Advanced Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) is being slipped again, UV magazine has learned. Issuance of the document – predicted to attract at least six companies, including one non-US entity – is being delayed while army officials sort out the future of the ARH programme. The latter is under a ‘show cause’ work-stoppage while the helicopter maker – Bell Helicopter Textron – and senior army leadership negotiate over perceived flaws in the project. (Source: Shephard)

03 Apr 07. AAI Corporation has developed and successfully tested technology that enables a single ground control station to operate multiple U.S. and allied unmanned aircraft, achieving an important North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) protocol. The protocol, defined in a NATO standardization agreement known as STANAG 4586, was achieved as part of a Joint Unmanned System Common Control (JUSC2) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration. It makes possible joint operations among U.S. and allied unmanned aircraft in future combat scenarios by enabling U.S. and allied forces to share information obtained by their respective unmanned aircraft during military operations. The architecture developed for the NATO protocol program is based on the U.S. Army’s One System® ground control station, also developed by AAI and currently used to operate the Army’s RQ-7B Shadow® 200 TUAS in Iraq. Participating in the development and proof of concept testing with AAI were the U.S. Navy’s Naval Surface Weapons Center at Panama City, Fla., and the U.S. Army’s Project Office for Unmanned Aircraft Systems at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. In February of this year, AAI flew numerous Shadow 200 unmanned aircraft missions at Redstone Arsenal, using the JUSC2 STANAG 4586 ground control station and vehicle-specific module created for the Shadow 200, thus verifying the protocol-compliant system design. The system design incorporated a complete level 3 and level 4 message set compliant with STANAG 4586. A second vehicle-specific module has been developed and tested for AAI’s Aerosonde unmanned aircraft. It will be flight tested this spring in joint operations with the Shadow 200 TUAS. (Source: Shephard)

02 Apr 07. Real-Time Innovations (RTI), The Real-Time Middleware Experts’ real-time messaging middleware has been selected for use by Insitu Inc., a pioneer developer of long-endurance, unmanned autonomous aircraft (UAV). RTI’s technology will be used in Insitu’s next generation of unmanned air vehicles, including the company’s next-generation ScanEagle and newer platforms. Insitu is using RTI Data Distribution Service in multiple portions of platforms, such as on the UAV, in the ground control stations (GCSs) and in future air-to-ground communications. On the UAV airframe, RTI connects the flight computers, sensors and on-board application computers. Within the GCS, RTI connects the systems that decode data feeds, analyze the UAV’s situation and interface to the operator control. (Source: ASD Network)

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