martes, 31 de diciembre de 2013

HeX AirBOT: 3D Manufacturing for customized UAV shells

Recently there have been released a very successful UAV project called Hex AirbotThis is just another example about the advantages of the Direct Digital Manufacturing when applied to the UAV industry, because each customized shell is completely built inside of a 3D Printer.

DJI Releases iPad Ground Station for Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Flight

DJI officially released 2.4G Bluetooth Datalink & iPAD Ground Station.  Nice simple interface, seems very intuitive:

Pulse Aerospace Announces the wePilot3000

Pulse Aerospace, Inc., the Kansas based unmanned helicopter manufacturer and supplier of unmanned helicopter automatic flight control systems, announces today the release of the weControl wePilot3000 redundant, and full authority, digital flight control system for its North American customers.

The wePilot3000 is primarily aimed at the rapidly accelerating helicopter UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) industry, but also with the peripherals, controller architecture, and I/O to provide custom autopilot solutions for fixed wing UAVs. The wePilot3000, in contrast to its predecessor the wePilot1000, provides a redundant flight control system capability designed for helicopter UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) with a Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) of 20lbs (9 Kg) to 1100lbs (500 Kg).

martes, 24 de diciembre de 2013

Russia is Developing a “UAV-Killer” Defense System


Russia is upgrading its short-range Pantsir-S air defense systems with an improved capability to intercept unmanned aerial vehicles, a Defense Ministry spokesman said. “The modernization of these unique systems aimed at increasing their effectiveness against UAVs has already started,” Col. Igor Klimov said.

Pantsir-S (SA-22 Greyhound) is a gun-missile system combining a wheeled vehicle mounting a fire-control radar and electro-optical sensor, two 30-mm cannon and up to 12 57E6 radio-command guided short-range missiles, and is designed to engage a variety of low-altitude, highly maneuverable targets.

Agriculture to see expansion of UAV commercial use

Agriculture may be the most promising industry for the commercial use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or drones.

Most Americans are curious to learn more about Amazon’s proposal to use self-guided drones to deliver packages, but the most successful use of commercial drones in the United States may take place in areas far from the country’s highly populated centers. The Bradenton Herald reports that Idaho farmer Robert Blair built his version of a drone, equipped with cameras, to monitor his 1,500 acres. The 10-pound, 5-feet long drone is the size of a turkey and is used to get a birds-eye view of the farm’s cows, fields of wheat, peas, barley, and alfalfa. Blair said the drone provides him with a complete, aerial view of his farm, to gather historical data on his crops, which can help validate crop loss or animal damage when applying for government programs like crop insurance.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibits drones for commercial use, although businesses and researchers can apply for an experimental airworthiness certificate for research and development, flight demonstrations, or crew training. Public law enforcement agencies and other governmental agencies may acquire a certificate of authorization to operate drones in civil airspace, but the move has raised concerns about privacy and government surveillance. The public’s concerns have led to privacy bills in many states, limiting the use of drones used by law enforcement. As fewer law enforcement agencies show interest in drones due to public backlash, leading drone manufacturers and researchers have decided to focus on agriculture. “A small UAV flying over a field with nothing around it doesn’t create a privacy issue,” said Josh Brungardt, director of unmanned systems at PARADIGM, an Oregon-based drone research company.

The Herald notes that drones can be effective for the agriculture sector because they pose fewer privacy and safety issues in the vast rural areas where farms are located. Farmers, researchers, and companies are developing drones equipped with cameras and sensors to survey crops, monitor for disease, or precision-spray pesticides and fertilizers. Beyond monitoring, drones can be used to ward off birds from fields, pollinate trees, monitor irrigation, or plant and harvest crops. The essence of drones in agriculture is that the technology could reduce costs and increase yields for farmers. Along with private companies, universities have begun to research and develop drone technology. Oregon State University researchers used drones earlier this summer to monitor disease over potato fields. Oregon nurseries have collaborated with researchers to use drones to count plotted trees. Farmers and researchers in Florida have used drones equipped with infrared cameras to monitor orange trees for the citrus greening, a bacterial diseases that kills trees, beginning at the top of the tree. The University of California, Davis has teamed up with Yamaha Motor Corp. to use drones to spray vineyards and orchards.

Belarus and Ecuador to collaborate on UAV development

Belarus and Ecuador are to collaborate on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) development, Belarusian state media reported on 18 December. According to the BELTA news agency, Sergei Chizhik, deputy chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, told journalists the plans included a joint engineering laboratory for UAV development and production to be based in Ecuador. The plant would focus on unmanned aircraft for border protection, analysis of natural resources and emergency response.

HEL-MD takes out mortars and UAVs

The HEL MD that took out mortars and UAVs in flight using its vehicle-mounted 10-kW laser ...

High energy laser weapons are a hot area of research with companies including Lockheed Martin, Rheinmetall and Northrop Grumman.

The HEL MD underwent testing at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico (Photo: US Army)

Boeing is also in the mix with its High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD), which is being put through its paces by the US Army. Between November 18th and December 10th, the HEL MD successfully took out mortar rounds and UAVs in flight, marking a first for the vehicle-mounted system.

Intended to demonstrate the potential of directed-energy technology for protecting troops against RAM (Rockets, Artillery and Mortars), as well as UAVs and cruise missiles, the multiple test events saw the HEL MD successfully engage over 90 mortar rounds and several UAVs. Army officials say mortars and UAVs are representative of the threats faced by US and allied forces in the battlefield.

Taiwan's drone development program

Taiwan's program to develop a strategic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that can remain airborne for long periods has been proceeding very smoothly, the director-general of the Armaments Bureau under the Ministry of National Defense said Monday.

Read More:

Nigerian commissions new UAV

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has commissioned the country's latest Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) which will be deployed as an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaisance (ISR) platform in the fight against terrorism, maritime piracy and crude oil theft. "Besides its diverse military applications, the UAV provides us with a range of benefits in disaster management, power line surveys, law enforcement operations, telecommunications, weather monitoring and aerial imaging/mapping. It is also becoming an important tool in news coverage, environmental safety monitoring, and oil and gas exploration surveys," Jonathan said.

The aircraft, which has been named 'Gulma' meaning 'gossip' in the local Hausa language, was produced by the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) with the help of aerospace engineers from Cranfield University in BritainThe UAV was unveiled in a ceremony on Tuesday 17th December attended by senior government officials and defence officials led by Air Force Chief of Staff Air Marshall Alex Badeh at the Kaduna Air Force base“The Gulma has been designed to meet vast expectations and needs. It could be employed by the armed forces and security agencies for the protection of Nigeria. We also envisage viable partnerships with agencies such as National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the area of disaster management and the Nigerian Air Space Management Agency (NAMA) in the area of weather forecasting," Badeh said. He added the government should upgrade the AFIT from a limited innovative research outfit into a viable aircraft production centre with the capacity to mass-produce indigenous UAVs.

Acting defence minister Labaran Maku said Nigeria needs a comprehensive policy to support the development of indigenous UAVs to enhance the operations of security services presently battling the Boko Haram insurgency in the north and maritime crimes and oil theft in the Gulf of Guinea and Niger Delta areas. He added it is important for the Air Force to allow other security agencies to incorporate its UAVs into their operations so that the whole sector can make use of their full strategic potential. "Emphasis should now be placed on the harmonisation of our research and development programmes towards the attainment of a common goal to transform the Nigerian Armed Forces into one of the top fighting forces in the world. Working hand in hand with NAF and other (security) services, the Federal Ministry of Defence shall sustain its efforts at encouraging local content in its pursuit of military asset acquisition. Also the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigerian (DICON) shall be further empowered to provide support to the services in their respective and collective research and development efforts," Maku said.

Powered by a 17 hp engine, the Gulma is built on a composite aluminium alloy structure, operates via radio control on a Micro Pilot FCS avionics system and weighs 40 kilogrammes. It has a maximum cruise range of 923 km and a top flight speed of 86 knots. It can cruise at a maximum altitude of 10 000 feet and has an endurance of up to 5.8 hours. The AFIT team has so far trained 15 pilots to operate its growing fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles. 

Turkey plans to design R-UAV for ships

Turkey plans to design R-UAV for ships

Undersecretary of Defence Industries (SSM-Savunma Sanayi Müsteşarlığı) will soon announce a project for 24 Rotary Wing UAV's which will be used by Turkish Navy. R-UAV planned to have a Maximum Take Off Weight of 2 tons, will be deployed in ships and ground and will have endurance longer than navy version. Turkish Coast Guards plans to take 12 R-UAV's.