Category Archives: Unmanned Systems

LOW ALTITUDE TRAFFIC AND AIRSPACE SAFETY – LATAS

The LATAS platform provides ‘safety as a service’ to support the growing number of consumer and enterprise drones in the airspace.

LATAS is designed to work everywhere… connecting your drone over the cellular network and through satellites with one hundred percent reliability.

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Each operator has advanced situational awareness with Real-time tracking, Identification of ground and air obstacles and hazard notifications.

Visit flylatas.com

US Defense Dept wants Cargo Drones for the Pacific

Promoting the development of cargo drones will be the focus of next year’s operational energy capability improvement fund, according to a Defense Department official.

“The [fiscal year 2016] theme for OECIF is unmanned aerial vehicles,” said Steve Mapes, deputy director for expeditionary operations in the office of the assistant secretary of defense for energy plans and programs. “What we’re talking about is unmanned aerial vehicles for resupply.”OECIF provides seed money to programs that could potentially improve the energy usage of deployed forces or deliver long-term cost savings.

By using UAVs to transport cargo “you can take those trucks [that would normally have to be used to transport supplies] off the road or you can navigate or circumvent bodies of water without having to send actual forces or troops or ships” to deliver materiel, Mapes said Aug. 25 at a National Defense Industrial Association power conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.

OECIF investments in 2016 would be “targeted specially toward the Pacific,” which presents unique logistical hurdles because of its vast size, Mapes said.

“Tyranny of distance right now is hands down one of the most challenging things we have to deal with, particularly in the [U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility],” he said. “We rely heavily on host nation agreements. We rely heavily on our joint partners to move equipment and assets from point A to point B. But one of our major defense challenges is just distance.”

As a solution, he envisioned launching supply drones off ships. “We’re talking cargo aircraft that can navigate from a ship-based platform [and] … allow us to navigate that distance without bringing that ship right up to the coast,” he said.

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Courtesy UASVision

MOAS drones to keep flying thanks to generous Schiebel donation

Search and rescue charity Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) will keep flying Schiebel‘s unmanned helicopters to save lives thanks to the Austrian company’s decision to offer two months of use for free.
Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100 is helping MOAS locate crammed boats of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the MOAS operation.
“Schiebel has been supportive from the very beginning, helping MOAS become the first civilian organisation to use these military-grade drones for a great humanitarian purpose. Besides giving us a subsidized rate from the start, Schiebel has now generously offered two months of free use, a donation worth more than €600,000,” said MOAS director Martin Xuereb”.
MOAS has already saved more than 8,000 men, women and children since August 2014.

Schiebel’s state-of-the-art CAMCOPTER® S-100 systems have contributed significantly to this year’s missions, assisting MOAS on practically every rescue.

 MOAS conducts professional search and rescue aboard a 40-metre vessel, M.Y. Phoenix, while MSF (Doctors Without Borders) provides post-rescue care to the migrants sheltered on board.
Thousands of migrants have drowned while crossing the world’s deadliest border but MOAS and other private and state-owned rescue operations have significantly reduced the death toll since May this year.

MOAS founder Christopher Catrambone thanked chairman Hans Georg Schiebel for his huge contribution.

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Hydrogen-Powered Hycopter has Two Hours Flight

Electrically powered quadcopters typically fly 15-20 minutes but Singapore-based Horizon Energy Systems’s (HES) CEO Taras Wankewycz is hoping that his team of fuel cell scientists and engineers will change all that.

Horizon Energy Systems’s hydrogen-powered hycopter can already fly for two hours, and Mr Wankewycz is hopeful of four hours by year’s end.

The HES team is aiming to have the hycopter ready for testing by year’s end and in market after that. Australia is very much in their sights.

“It’s very possible that we’ll sell our first units to a pretty large operator in Australia for things like railroad and road inspection,” Mr Wankewycz said.

Mr Wankewycz is also an executive director of HES’s parent firm Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, which began working in the general hydrogen fuel cell space 12 years ago, and cut his teeth working for Eastman Chemical.

“We started with educational science kits way back then, and we kept perfecting the technology,” he said.

One early invention, a 6-inch long toy car called the H-racer, was featured by Time Magazine in its list of best inventions in 2006. “I think our company sold close to a million fuel cells because of our science education initiatives.”

Horizon’s first hydrogen-powered aircraft made its inaugural flight the same year. It has been producing fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), typically used in defence and aerospace, with hydrogen fuel cells for five years. Consumer hydrogen fuel cells with USB ports designed to power smartphones and other devices sell on Amazon.com in the US for about $US100.

Horizon is not alone in this venture with automakers and the US Army keenly developing them. But it’s the challenge of quadcopters that inspires Mr Wankewycz and he said his firm hands down makes the lightest fuel cells in the world.  Read more.

Courtesy: UAS Vision

 

Unmanned Systems Australia Sponsors Honours Student

Unmanned Systems Australia is happy to announce the sponsorship of Kwabena Ansah, a honours student with the Research School of Physics and Engineering at the Australian National University in Canberra.  Kwabena has been working on a master thesis project regarding the development of a delivery mechanism for commercial delivery drones.  Unmanned Systems Australia previous work with Google’s Project Wing inspired Kwabena to design a similar system for commercial applications for use in Australia.  Recently Kwabena conducted a poster presentation in Canberra about his thesis project, where he had to explain and answer questions about the project being undertaken with Unmanned Systems Australia and received positive feedback on his progress.

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We wish Kwabena all the best of luck for the remainder of his studies.

Submersible drones to render Australia’s new submarines obsolete: Pentagon adviser

A key Pentagon adviser is warning Australia that its next submarine fleet purchase may be obsolete as a result of game-changing technology breakthroughs in drone warfare.

Despite the intense political debate over procurement of submarines in Australia, former US military naval adviser and submarine expert Bryan Clark said he had not been contacted by Government officials here.

The Federal Government is planning to build a fleet of 12 new submarines, thought to be worth tens of billions of dollars.

Mr Clark told Lateline the next class of submarines would arrive in the 2020s, and said he did not know whether the Government was looking at the new detection technologies being developed.

“It is something that should impact the design of the next class of [Australian] submarines,” he said.

“I’ve certainly been in contact with the US government in terms of what it might imply for how the next generation of US submarines needs to evolve.”

In the future we may find submarines … may have to operate more like an aircraft carrier where they stay offshore some distance to stay away from the threat.

Former US military naval adviser Bryan Clark

Mr Clark said new technologies, particularly developments in acoustic techniques, meant quiet submarines could be easily detected by the enemy, rendering them ineffective.

“New detection techniques are emerging that would allow you to find large man-made objects in the water more easily than in the past,” he said.

Mr Clark said the United States has relied on its submarines being undetectable and being able to operate with impunity in areas close to other countries, but “that is probably going to be coming to an end in the next 10-20 years with these new detection technologies”.

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Courtesy: ABC Lateline

PrecisionHawk » PrecisionHawk Showcases Inflight Analysis with Intel® Atom™ Processor During Demonstration at AUVSI Unmanned Systems Conference PrecisionHawk

recisionHawk will work with the FAA to develop aircraft standards and operational procedures for extended line-of-sight to identify a pathway for safe integration of drones into the National Airspace System

Raleigh, NC — PrecisionHawk has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration to advance the research around unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) across rural areas. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced the partnership this morning at the AUVSI Unmanned Systems Conference in Atlanta.

PrecisionHawk will be the only UAV manufacturer, joining CNN and BNSF Railway, in this partnership forged under the Pathfinder program, an operational concept validation set up by the FAA to help integrate commercial drones into the US national airspace.

“Even as we pursue our current rulemaking effort for small unmanned aircraft, we must continue to actively look for future ways to expand non-recreational UAS uses,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “This new initiative involving three leading U.S. companies will help us anticipate and address the needs of the evolving UAS industry.”

The partnership will leverage PrecisionHawk’s extensive work in the global agriculture landscape to formulate a framework for various types of UAVs, fixed wing and multi-rotor, to operate in the areas of agriculture, forestry and other rural industries. Beyond this use case focus, PrecisionHawk will also test LATAS (Low Altitude Tracking & Avoidance System) its traffic management system for UAVs. Testing will include on-aircraft transponders as well as LATAS traffic management ground-based hardware and software.  By introducing an operational tracking system that works with any UAV platform, the FAA and PrecisionHawk can safely test operations beyond visual line of sight in low risk, ‘non-populated’ areas, such as farmland.

Source: PrecisionHawk » PrecisionHawk Showcases Inflight Analysis with Intel® Atom™ Processor During Demonstration at AUVSI Unmanned Systems Conference PrecisionHawk

SCHIEBEL CAMCOPTER® S-100 AGAIN ASSISTS IN THE RESCUE OF REFUGEES IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

Vienna / Malta, 2 May 2015 – Starting today, Schiebel’s unmanned h elicopter CAMCOPTER® S-100 once again supports the MOAS foundation in the rescue of refugees in distress at sea.
MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station), a registered non-profit organization based in Malta, owns a 40-meter-long vessel named Phoenix that’s used for the rescue of refugees at sea. Stationed
aboard this ship, the CAMCOPTER® S-100 will serve to  considerably extend the reach of the Phoenix beyond horizon. With the aid of this helicopter drone, refugee boats can be located by
day and night, even in rough sea conditions and at a long distance away. The camera of the S-100 delivers daylight and infrared video in real time to the MOAS team, enabling them to immediately assess the situation and provide the help necessary as well as to coordinate all actions in cooperation with other rescue and aid authorities throughout the Mediterranean area.
During the entire mission the CAMCOPTER® S-100 will be operated and maintained by Schiebel staff.

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While MOAS was able to rescue 2800 people in only 60 days last year, according to estimates over 3400 refuges in their attempts to reach Europe in 2014 lost their lives at sea. This year already more than 1800 people are believed to have died trying to cross the Mediterranean – a sharp increase to last year. Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman and Owner of Schiebel, “With our combined efforts and the experience gained from the last mission, we will save even more lives this year. We all at Schiebel are very proud and excited to support MOAS and its important rescue mission.”
Today the Phoenix sets sail from Valetta in Malta. Apart from Schiebel, this year also “Doctors without Borders” supports MOAS for the first time, providing medical staff.

Source: Schiebel Press Release