The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) awarded a $10 million contract to Boeing’s Phantom Works research and development unit last month to study a long-endurance, autonomous UAV for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions and potentially for strike capability. The four-year study of Boeing’s Dominator UAV will also investigate carriage of the Textron Common Smart Submunition (CSS).
Unmanned aerial vehicle
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University took a leap forward toward its commitment to become an entrepreneurial go-to resource for the aerospace industry this week when the university announced an agreement with Montreal-based Advanced Aerospace Solutions (AdvAero), a U.S. joint venture with Marinvent Corporation.
NBAA Convention attendees interested in next Tuesday’s Presidential election in the U.S. received insightful thoughts on the outcome during this morning’s second-day general session from James Carville and his wife (and political polar opposite) Mary Matalin.
Northrop Grumman has improved the range and reduced the weight of its AN/ZPY-1 StarLite multimode surveillance radar, which the company is proposing as a sensor for the U.S. Army’s RQ-7B Shadow, the Navy’s future MQ-8C Fire Scout and other manned and unmanned aircraft.
The U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general’s office is evaluating the FAA’s progress toward integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the national airspace system.
On October 6 Israel shot down a UAV over the northern Negev desert, south of Hebron and near the country’s nuclear weapons site at Dimona. The UAV entered Israeli airspace from the Mediterranean and was intercepted by F-16s from Ramon air base. According to Israeli media reports, the first Python missile fired at the drone missed, but a second was successful. The Israeli air force has released a video purporting to show the engagement.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin testing and evaluating small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) this month near Lawton, Oklahoma, under a federal and state initiative to study UAS applications for emergency response. The DHS is also considering the use of small UAS by its constituent organizations: the Coast Guard and the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agency.
U.S. senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced the formation of the Senate Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Caucus on September 27.
EADS Cassidian reports positive results from a third flight-test campaign conducted recently from Goose Bay, Canada, with the second prototype Barracuda UAV. Five flights during June and July each lasted up to one hour and proved various new mission modes, including autonomous 4-D navigation and cooperative flying with a second UAV. Unlike the previous two campaigns in 2009 and 2010, the latest flights were funded entirely by the company.
The AOPA Foundation’s Air Safety Institute (ASI) released a new interactive online course focused on unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System. Topics include what unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are and how they operate; their effect on general aviation; how manned and unmanned aircraft can safely share the airspace; and how UASs are operating in the NAS. It was developed in collaboration with the Department of Defense.