Insitu unveiled an improved version of its widely used ScanEagle small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) at the Euronaval 2014 conference and exhibition in Paris on October 29. The “ScanEagle 2” increases the aircraft’s payload power and payload options and comes with an improved, fully digital video system and a new engine.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
News and issues relating to civil and military unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) of all kinds and sizes, including those used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), combat (unmanned combat air vehicles, or UCAVs), law enforcement, research and other applications. Of particular focus is the FAA's planned integration of UAS into the U.S. national airspace system.
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will begin using Schiebel Camcopter UAVs to monitor the uneasy truce in Ukraine between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists, starting on October 24. The aircraft, based near Mariupol, are being supplied and operated under contract by the Austrian manufacturer. The OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) has been present in Ukraine with a multinational team of observers throughout the conflict.
Boeing’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on October 17, completing its third and longest test mission since 2010. The unmanned spaceplane under development by the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office orbited for 674 days following its launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle last December.
Sagem has revealed more details of its Patroller UAV, as the French army prepares to issue a request for proposal for the Système de Drone Tactique (SDT), for which it is a contender. The program is expected to be worth €200 to €250 million (up to $310 million), for the acquisition of 8-10 systems, with three UAVs per system. The other contenders are likely to be the Thales Watchkeeper, and a version of the Textron Shadow M2 that Airbus Defence & Space will propose.
The Federal Aviation Administration is processing more than 50 requests from applicants seeking to operate small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) by exemption under a provision of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. The number of applicants exceeds what the FAA reported one week ago when it announced the first authorizations.
The U.S. Navy is shifting its developmental fleet of unmanned MQ-4C Tritons across the country to introduce mission systems and continue flight- testing the new maritime surveillance aircraft. The first of three Triton system development test articles (SDTA) arrived recently at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.; the other two will follow by the end of October.
Grand Forks U.S. Air Force Base in North Dakota recently managed the simultaneous operation of two unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in unrestricted airspace, the first such feat in the U.S., the Air Force said. Officers at the base said they are now developing procedures that would accommodate simultaneous operation of three or four UAS.
European regulators are increasingly concerned about the safety risks associated with integrating unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into civil airspace, and they are especially worried about the risks posed by smaller unmanned aircraft operating alongside airliners. This was the key message from the UAS 2014 conference held in London last week.
The U.S. Navy is advancing supporting elements of the planned Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UClass) program as it awaits direction on the air vehicle component of the system. The service had expected to issue a final request for proposals (RFP) for the air vehicle component soon, but release of the document has been delayed.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) planned to conduct functional flight tests of an unmanned aircraft detect-and-avoid (DAA) system early this month in advance of trials on the NASA Ikhana Predator B slated to begin in November.
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