Company Press Releases

University of Maryland Opens Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site in Southern Maryland

Submitted on 8/13/2014 2:21:49 PM   
The University of Maryland (UMD) A. James Clark School of Engineering announced the launch of a new unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site in southern Maryland. With support from the University System of Maryland, the site will bring together leaders in academia, industry and government to accelerate UAS research.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, who represents the district in which UMD and its UAS test site are located, said, “With Patuxent River Naval Air Station serving as a premier facility for research, development, testing and evaluation, our region is already a hub for aviation innovation, and today’s launch of the UAS test site will put southern Maryland at the forefront of integrating unmanned autonomous systems into our national airspace. With federal facilities like Pax River and a robust university system partnering together, Maryland will continue to lead the way in a critical field and benefit from diversification of our regional economy. I thank Chancellor Kirwan and his team at the University System of Maryland for their work to make this test site possible.”

Based in St. Mary’s County, just a few miles from Naval Air Warfare Center Aviation Division (NAWCAD) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) headquarters, and NAWCAD Webster Field Annex, the UMD UAS Test Site will be a catalyst for research and development.

“Our expertise in autonomous vehicles research, aerospace engineering, and rotorcraft technology has positioned the University of Maryland as a pioneer and strong partner in the advancement of UAS research,” said Mary Ann Rankin, senior vice president and provost of UMD.

Managed by UMD’s Clark School of Engineering, the UMD UAS Test Site will create and deliver products and programs in support of workforce development and higher education goals.

“I am pleased that the University of Maryland, College Park will manage the site, and that its educational value extends to all University System of Maryland faculty, staff and students, as well as K-12 students throughout the state,” said Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan of the University System of Maryland.

The test site will serve as a hub to focus the capabilities of the people and infrastructure in southern Maryland, the University System of Maryland, government and industry to address issues related to UAS technology and policy, and will provide new opportunities for those in the region.

“This new addition to the St. Mary’s County Technology Corridor is the first step toward a larger autonomous research initiative in the region,” said Maryland Del. John Bohanan, who advocated for the establishment of the UMD UAS test site since the idea was conceived. “The test site represents the next big transformation of our southern Maryland economy, and will offer up new job opportunities for Maryland residents.”

“Our existing relationship with the University of Maryland serves as the foundation of this new test site,” said Vice Adm. David Dunaway, commander of NAVAIR. “The sharing of human capital and expertise from the university, government, and industry will be a conduit for technology transfer, and the overall betterment of national security.”

The UMD UAS test site is part of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, in consort with Virginia and New Jersey, under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) UAS test site program, and will help the FAA integrate UAS into the national airspace.

Matt Scassero, a former Navy captain who helped lead the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, is director of the new UMD UAS test site.

To learn more about the UMD UAS test site, visit http://uas-test.umd.edu.

About the A. James Clark School of Engineering
The University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering is a premier program, ranked among the top 20 in the world. Located just a few miles from Washington, D.C., the Clark School is at the center of a constellation of high-tech companies and federal laboratories, offering students and faculty access to unique professional opportunities.

Our broad spectrum of academic programs, including the world’s only accredited undergraduate fire protection engineering program, is complemented by a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, early hands-on educational experiences, and participation in national and international competitions.

The Clark School is leading research advancements in aerospace, bioengineering, robotics, nanotechnology, disaster resilience, energy and sustainability, and cybersecurity. From the universal product code to satellite radio, SMS text messaging to the implantable insulin pump, our students, faculty, and alumni are engineering life-changing innovations for millions. Learn more at www.eng.umd.edu.
FAUN Promotes Portable UAV Landing Mat at Europe’s flagship Aerospace Show
 
FAUN Trackway, the leading manufacturer of portable aviation and roadway solutions, will promote its innovative UAV Landing Mat at the Farnborough Air Show, Hampshire, from 14 – 20 July.
 
Launched in 2011, the UAV Landing Mat is the first product of its type to be developed specifically for use with unmanned systems. The matting, which acts as a temporary airfield for drones, can be laid where it is not practical or feasible to install permanent infrastructure. It can also be used as a platform for remotely-operated helicopters, meaning forces should only need to invest in one system for all their UAV needs.
 
Made of lightweight aluminium Trackway panels, the product is easily transportable and quickly constructed by hand, helping to provide a smooth landing, regardless of terrain, for any size or weight of UAV. Arrestor gear can also be fitted, allowing aircraft to quickly decelerate on landing and stop them overshooting the runway.
 
Australia was the first country to invest in the UAV Landing Mat, placing an order in December 2011. The system has since completed successful trials with the Australian armed forces as part of its bespoke Shadow 200 programme.
 
At Farnborough, FAUN Trackway will also be promoting its Helicopter Landing Mat (HLM).
 
The HLM comprises interlocking military-grade panels that can be used to mark out safe take-off and landing areas. Suitable for a wide variety of commonly-held helicopters, the matting suppresses dust and foreign objects to ensure crew and assets are protected and safe.
 
Additionally, the team will have on hand a variety of its panel samples, including PSA, PSA Flat Top (FT) and its Military Load Classification (MLC) 70 Trackway, to demonstrate the various finishes available.
 
Chris Kendall, Director, FAUN Trackway, said: “Infrastructure that supports aerial manoeuvres is an important facet in helping expeditionary forces advance their operations. This is particularly true with unmanned surveillance, which is most effective when used in conjunction with equipment that allows troops to gain access to far-reaching environments.
 
“FAUN Trackway’s portable aerial solutions can be rapidly deployed in terrains where expeditionary operations would not otherwise be possible.”
 
The show will see FAUN Trackway sharing stand space with Aerospace Wales, a member organisation of than 150 companies with an interest in the industry, dedicated to supporting their interests on a national and international stage.
 
To visit FAUN Trackway, go to Hall 1, Stand B18.

Stratom, Inc. Ranked Number 15 on the 2014 Mercury 100 List

Boulder, CO – Stratom, Inc., a strategic engineering and robotics firm, ranked #15 on Mercury’s list of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies.

It’s not easy for a company to grow in this economy. Yet, some companies find a way, posting revenue gains and, hopefully, corresponding increases in profitability. Mercury 100 is an annual event presented by the Boulder County Business Report that recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Boulder and Broomfield counties.

The Mercury 100 list, complied by BizWest’s research department, is ranked by percent growth of revenue for a two-year period. The 100 companies are divided into two lists – 50 companies with more than $2 million in annual revenue and 50 companies with less than $2 million in annual revenue.

In order to make the list, companies must be privately owned and based in Boulder or Broomfield counties and must have posted revenue of at least $125,000. Locally based subsidiaries of national companies do not qualify.

About Stratom, Inc.
Stratom, Inc. provides strategic solutions, advanced technologies, and services to government, commercial, and global clients and has provided engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain services to multiple institutions. Stratom specializes in robotics, unmanned vehicles, sensor integration, payload development, and system engineering and has also provided assistance to the US Department of Defense in the area of Counter – Improvised Explosives Devices (C-IED) / and Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD).  Stratom is a Certified and Verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), winner of the 2009 Nunn-Perry Award through the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program, and is ISO 9001:2008 certified. For more information about Stratom, visit: http://www.stratom.com.

Stratom, Inc. Named a Colorado Companies to Watch Winner

Boulder, CO – Stratom, Inc. announced today that it has been named a Colorado Company to Watch, acknowledging the drive, excellence and influence of Stratom as a growing company in the state. Colorado Companies to Watch honors second stage companies that develop valuable products and services, create quality jobs, enrich communities and create new industries throughout Colorado.

“We are pleased to recognize Stratom, Inc. for their outstanding contribution in fueling the economic fire of Colorado. Thank you Stratom,” says David Tolson, Colorado Companies to Watch Board Chairman.

Colorado Companies to Watch works to recognize the driving economic forces in the state by focusing not merely on growth, but on the true impact and influence of an organization. By focusing on second stage companies across the state, the program offers distinct insight into the state’s economic landscape and recognizes organizations often overlooked for the critical impact they have in their industries, communities and regions, as well as our state as a whole. 

For more details on Stratom, Inc.’s accomplishment and to see the complete list of Colorado Companies to Watch, visit https://colorado.companiestowatch.org/index.ctw?page=honorees&honoreeYear=2014.


About Stratom, Inc.
Stratom, Inc. provides strategic solutions, advanced technologies, and services to government, commercial, and global clients and has provided engineering, manufacturing, and supply chain services to multiple institutions. Stratom specializes in robotics, unmanned vehicles, sensor integration, payload development, and system engineering and has also provided assistance to the US Department of Defense in the area of Counter – Improvised Explosives Devices (C-IED) and Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD).  Stratom is a Certified and Verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), winner of the 2009 Nunn-Perry Award through the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program, and is ISO 9001:2008 certified.

For more information about Stratom, visit: http://www.stratom.com.

About Colorado Companies to Watch
Colorado Companies to Watch (www.coloradocompaniestowatch.org) is a unique statewide awards program recognizing growing companies that fuel the economic fire of the state. Colorado Companies to Watch honors companies that develop valuable products and services and enrich communities around Colorado. The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade launched the program in 2009 in conjunction with the Edward Lowe Foundation and valuable community partners from across Colorado.
 



ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK SPONSOR BATH UNIVERSITY TEAM FOR THE 2014 EUROPEAN INTERNATIONAL SUBMARINE RACE

AEUK are delighted to announce that we have been welcomed on board as one of the sponsors of the Bath University Team (BURST) for this years eISR due to be held from the 7th to the 11th of July 2014 in Gosport.

AEUK decided to sponsor this worthy team due to the technical expertise and promise that they have shown. The sponsorship has enabled the team to purchase valuable tools and materials required in the run up to the races themselves. We are very much looking forward to working with them over the coming months and seeing how they get on during the racing event itself.

Graduates and Senior Management from AEUK have already made visits to the University to meet the team and learn a little more about the project and what they are working on.
A company spokesman for AEUK said:
"AEUK chose to sponsor the BURST team due to their passion and enthusiasm when we visited them at the University. We are delighted to be able to help with their efforts at the eISR and have an aspiration to forge more, wider and stronger links with the University and its engineering graduates."
David Thompson, BURST project manager said:
"ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK are a brand new sponsor this year and BURST are very excited to have them on board to provide technical help and funds for the improvement of Menrva for the eISR this year. We will enjoy working closely with graduates from AEUK to increase the number of electrical systems that can be implemented in the next submarine as well as refining the current mechanical systems.”

For more information about the event itself, please visit http://www.subrace.eu/

Printed Circuits, Inc. (PCi) Acquires Microcraft Flying Probe Test Machine

Flex and Rigid-Flex circuit board manufacturer, Printed Circuits, Inc. has recently acquired a Microcraft USA flying probe test machine at their plant in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Microcraft flying probe machine will enhance PCi's technical capabilities for higher density flexible circuits, and at the same time will improve lead time and lower cost on smaller quick turn builds. Eliminating the cost and time to assemble fixtures is a major improvement for the quick turn prototyping environment.

"I am excited about our new capabilities, and what it will offer our customers" commented Ken Tannehill, President and CEO of PCi. "We have been working towards this for some time, giving us one more tool to improve our service to our customers."
For more information on Printed Circuit, Inc.’s services please call or e-mail Bob Burns at (952) 886-9307 or Bburns@PrintedCircuits.com and visit them on the web at www.PrintedCircuits.com.

About Printed Circuits Inc. (PCi)
Printed Circuits, Inc. is a US manufacturer of multilayer flex and rigid flex printed circuit boards with over 37 years of experience building circuits typically used in high reliability applications such as medical, military and commercial electronics where customers place a premium on reliability, package density, and weight. For more information, visit us at www.printedcircuits.com.

SUCCESSFUL FLIGHT TRIALS FOR SELEX ES SAGE ESM SYSTEM ON THE SCHIEBEL CAMCOPTER® S-100

Vienna, 20 December 2013 – Selex ES SAGE makes first UAS flight on Schiebel
Camcopter® S-100.

Schiebel and Selex ES, a Finmeccanica company, have successfully integrated and
flown the SAGE electronic warfare system on an unmanned air system for the first time.

On 12th December 2013 the system flew on-board a Schiebel CAMCOPTER® S-100
UAS.

SAGE is a digital Electronic Support Measure (ESM) and Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) system for Radio Frequency (RF) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions. It enhances situational awareness by passively collecting emitter data from RF
sources at a tactically significant range, comparing them with an emitter library and then identifying and geo-locating any threats.

Pete Forrest, VP Sales for Electronic Warfare at Selex ES said “Armed Forces are facing the two-headed challenge of needing to be able to detect increasingly RF threats while having to operate under tighter budgets. With SAGE, customers have a sophisticated RFdetectionand geo-location system available that they can operate cost-effectively on platforms such as the CAMCOPTER® S-100. We are pleased to be working so effectively with Schiebel and look forward to demonstrations around the world in 2014.”

Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group of companies said “The SAGE integrated simply and quickly into the S-100, proving the flexibility of both the UAS and the ESM and ELINT. SAGE forms a core component of Schiebel’s integrated suite of sensors that will provide decision makers with an unprecedented step change in tactical ISR collection capability”.

Simlat awarded a contract to deliver advanced UAS & ISR Training and Simulation Classroom to Northla

 Thief River Falls, Minnesota, October 6th, 2013 – Simlat Ltd. was selected to provide an UAS & ISR Training & Simulation Center for the Northland Imagery Analysis college program.

Northland’s Imagery Analysis and Geospatial Intelligence programs are the first of their kind in America. Developed through a Department of Labor grant, the Imagery Analysis program will be offered tuition free for the life of the grant. The programs will prepare the student to manage the tasking, processing, exploitation, and dissemination (TPED) process, and conduct end-to-end Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) operations. 

Students will acquire a variety of skills ranging from UAS general knowledge to a precise depiction of the imagery objective. Students receive hands-on training varying from still satellite imagery to Full Motion Video UAS derived imagery. The Training & Simulation Center is equipped with cutting-edge training systems in multiple configurations, allowing simultaneous training of the students on UAS operations and image analysis, in civil, commercial and military environments. 


The Training & Simulation classroom includes 26 student stations and is based on variant of Simlat’s IMPACT (ISR Multi-Purpose Advanced Classroom Trainer) product, focused on various GEOINT applications. The IMPACT supports frontal instruction, courses and training activities as well as curriculum planning and development and performance analysis of training sessions. 

The IMPACT runs a wide range of mission scenarios, allowing students to familiarize with civil and commercial applications of UAS and Imagery Analysis, such as emergencies, weather, infrastructure monitoring, fire-fighting, HLS and agriculture. The Training center will be delivered fully to Northland by the beginning of 2014.  

“We are proud to take part in this remarkable Imagery Analyst program and to contribute our advanced IMPACT solution, supporting the various training needs”, says Nira Streifler, Product Manager at Simlat. 

Ausley Awarded Unmanned Aircraft Systems Contract

Ausley will Provide Program Management Support Services to PMA-266 and PMA-262 
Under the $67-Million Contract 

Lexington Park, Md. (October 1, 2013)—Ausley Associates, Inc. has been awarded a contract to provide program management support services for the Multi-Mission Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems Program Office (PMA-266) and the Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program Office (PMA-262) at Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), Patuxent River. The $67-million contract began on September 30. 
Ausley has provided program management, engineering, logistics and foreign military sales support to PMA-266 and PMA-262 since 2006. The team, led by Ausley Program Director Tony Pucciarella, will continue this support with the new five-year contract. Ausley’s teammates include AT&T, Inc.; Aviation Systems Engineering Company; Camber Corporation; J.F. Taylor, Inc.; Sabre Systems, Inc.; Savvee Consulting, Inc.; Solute, Inc.; and Wyle Laboratories, Inc. 

“NAVAIR’s UAS programs are in an exciting stage of development, including many ‘firsts’ in naval aviation,” said Pucciarella. “Being an integral part of these important UAS programs at this point in their history is a rewarding experience for our team. We truly enjoy this work and the challenges it presents.” 

Ausley’s team supports program management, acquisition management, maintenance management, systems engineering, logistics and capabilities assessment efforts in both manned and unmanned aviation platforms and weapon systems. The company currently supports multiple facets of the

Department of Defense and has recently expanded into additional arenas including support of the University of Maryland UAS test site. 

“We are extremely pleased and privileged to continue the support we have provided over the past seven years,” said Ausley President Paul Ausley. “This win is the cornerstone to our strategy of establishing ourselves as the premier UAS service provider for Navy programs.” 

Printed Circuits, Inc. Invests in ENIG/ENEPIG Plating Line


Printed Circuits, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN) has added a Uyemura ENIG/ENEPIG plating line to their wet process area - giving customers the ability to specify a traditional ENIG final finish on their circuit boards, or an option for the newer ENEPIG plating.

ENEPIG has shown excellent results in mixed technology assemblies, where surface mount components are integrated in the same board with soft wire bondable gold devices.  Having a single solution improves PWB manufacturing yields, wire bond joint pull tests, and surface mount solder joints at the same time.

Prior to electroless processing,  PWB fabricators used a thin electroplated gold deposit for all of the surface mount pads, to prevent solder joint embrittlement.  They would then reimage and electroplate a thicker deposit for the soft wire bondable gold areas.  The multiple passes in imaging and electroplating always suffer yield loss in both bare board fabrication and assembly.

ENEPIG allows PWB manufacturers single pass final finish, with high reliability assembly yields on both wire bondable and surface mount components.

 “We have a couple of customers who have evaluated ENEPIG with excellent results in both wire bond pull strength as well as surface mount survivability in high reliability applications.  Interest in the technology seems to be growing and we want to anticipate our customers' future requirements” said Ken Tannehill, President and CEO of Printed Circuits.  “This new line gives us the flexibility to provide either finish for our partners.”

If you would like to learn more about ENEPIG as a final finish, design recommendations, buried passive rigid flex circuits, or UL qualification on rigid flex, please call or e-mail Bob Burns at (952) 886-9307, or Bburns@PrintedCircuits.com, or visit www.PrintedCircuits.com. 

Projects Unlimited Receives Nadcap Accreditation for Electronics

Projects Unlimited announced that it has received Nadcap accreditation (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors’ Accreditation Program) for electronics.

“The addition of the Nadcap accreditation for electronics is a great achievement for Projects Unlimited,” said Chris Wyse, President and Chief Operating Officer at Projects Unlimited. “Aerospace manufacturers are continually seeking higher and higher levels of quality and workmanship, and adding a premier accreditation such as Nadcap allows us to prove our commitment to the highest standards in the industry.”

Projects Unlimited received Nadcap accreditation for demonstrating their ongoing commitment to quality by satisfying customer requirements and industry specifications. 

“Achieving Nadcap accreditation is not easy: it is one of the ways in which the aerospace industry identifies those who excel at manufacturing quality product through superior special processes. Companies such as Projects Unlimited work hard to obtain this status and they should be justifiably proud of it,” said Joe Pinto, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Performance Review Institute. “PRI is proud to support continual improvement in the aerospace industry by helping companies such as Projects Unlimited be successful and we look forward to continuing to assist the industry moving forward.”

Hydroid and Kongsberg Maritime Introduce New AUV for Offshore Survey and Exploration

MUNIN Offers Higher Standards for Data Quality and Navigation for Low Logistics AUV Surveys
Pocasset, MA and Kongsberg, Norway – September 10, 2013 - Hydroid, Inc., the leading manufacturer of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), in partnership with its parent company, KONGSBERG Maritime, today announced the release of the new MUNIN AUV. Designed jointly by the two companies, the MUNIN combines the size and deployability of the Hydroid REMUS 600 AUV with the navigation systems and user interface of the KONGSBERG HUGIN AUV to give offshore users a capable and reliable solution for their survey and exploration needs.

“The MUNIN was designed to complement the capabilities of the REMUS and HUGIN,” said Christopher Von Alt, President and co-founder of Hydroid.

“The MUNIN addresses a critical market need by providing offshore users with an easily deployable and highly reliable submersible. It delivers high quality sonar data at depths up to 1,500 meters with its custom, state-of-the-art version of the EM2040 multibeam. Additionally, the MUNIN includes several other innovative features which together, position it as a leader in its category.”

The MUNIN includes a swappable battery, which increases productivity by enabling almost continual operations. Additionally, the MUNIN, with its unmatched navigation performance, is able to autonomously follow and inspect underwater pipelines and can be deployed from vessels as small as 35 feet. By using the same top-side user interface as the HUGIN, the MUNIN eliminates the need for additional operator training for users of both AUVs, making the MUNIN perfectly suited to complement the deep water operations of the HUGIN.

“With the MUNIN, we didn’t just combine the capabilities of the REMUS and HUGIN,” said Geir Espen Schmidt of KONGSBERG, “we designed an AUV that complements the strengths of both vehicles and enhances the survey and exploration capabilities of the user. We’re proud to introduce the MUNIN as the next step in The Kongsberg Maritime AUV line.”

Hydroid and KONGSBERG are now taking orders for the MUNIN AUV.

About Hydroid, Inc.

Located in the U.S. and a subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime, Hydroid is the world’s most trusted manufacturer of advanced Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). REMUS and HUGIN AUVs provide innovative and reliable full picture AUV systems for the marine research, defense, hydrographic and offshore/energy markets. Together, REMUS and HUGIN represent the most advanced, diversified and field-proven family of AUVs and AUV support systems in the world.

Simlat UAS Training Systems selected by ING Robotic Aviation for a New Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Opera

Simlat was recently selected to provide its Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Training systems, including the C-STAR and SPOT systems, to support Canadore College’s new UAV operator’s course in North Bay, Ontario Canada. 

Ontario, Canada, 02 September, 2013 – Simlat UAS & ISR Training & Simulation systems will be part of the first UAV operator’s training program in Ontario, Canada, conducted by Canadore College. Curriculum design and training system recommendations were provided by ING Robotic Aviation. ING Robotic Aviation will also be providing instructors for the course. 

Yuval Peshin, CEO of Simlat, says “we are proud to continue our collaboration with ING Robotic Aviation in this innovative UAS program for Canadore College, Canada, and to provide our various systems that are ideal for UAS Simulation, Training and Research”. 

"Being at the leading edge of the field, we realize that we need to help foster the entire ecosystem, from systems to people" says Ian Glenn, CEO and CTO of ING Robotic Aviation. “We have extensive experience in operations, and we know that we need both good systems and good people. Our use of Simlat systems at Canadore College is part of the solution.” 

About ING Robotic Aviation: 

ING Robotic Aviation delivers airborne sensing solutions and much more. We developed our skills through extensive operational surveillance work with the Canadian military. From these beginnings, we are now providing commercial services including critical infrastructure inspections, forest fire monitoring and land use planning in North America and other regions. 


Our clients are getting the right information in the right hands in a timely manner, and also discovering whole new uses and capabilities for robotic aviation. We are at the forefront of a disruptive technological and operational change, focused on replacing manned aviation. 
To learn more about ING Robotic Aviation, please visit http://www.ingroboticaviation.com 

PCi Hires Kai Warnock for Improved Quick Turns


Printed Circuits, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN) has hired industry veteran Kai Warnock to accelerate their production flow, and improve quick turn capabilities. 

Kai brings 30 years of manufacturing experience in flexible circuitry, with flex industry leaders such as Litchfield Precision Circuits, Innovex and All Flex, Inc.  His previous positions in Production Control, Manufacturing and Process Engineering will be applied to PCi's process sequencing to speed manufacturing flow, and reduce overall lead times, and in particular quick turn builds.

"We are excited to have Kai on our team" said Ken Tannehill, CEO of PCi.  "Kai's experience is what we need to take the next step to improve our value to our customers.  We are going to use his skill set, to optimize production flow, which will give our customers much faster turn times at a lower overall cost."

If you would like to learn more about higher volume rigid flex considerations, design recommendations, buried passive rigid flex circuits, or UL qualification on rigid flex, please call or e-mail Bob Burns at (952) 886-9307, or Bburns@PrintedCircuits.com, or visit www.PrintedCircuits.com. 

About Printed Circuits Inc. (PCi)
Printed Circuits, Inc. is a US manufacturer of multilayer flex and rigid flex printed circuit boards, with 36 years experience building circuits that are typically used in high reliability applications, such as medical, military and commercial electronics, where customers place a premium on reliability, package density, and weight.  For more information, visit us at www.printedcircuits.com.

Ford Using Robots to Improve “Built Ford Tough” Durability Testing of its Trucks

Ford engineers have developed the industry’s first robotic test driving program – now in use at the company’s Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo, Mich. – to meet demands that Ford trucks undergo ever more strenuous Built Ford Tough testing with greater frequency. 

The pilot program has been used most recently for durability testing of Ford’s all-new full-size Transit van, which launches in 2014.

“Some of the tests we do on our commercial trucks for North America are so strenuous that we limit the exposure time for human drivers,” says Dave Payne, manager, vehicle development operations. “The challenge is completing testing to meet vehicle development time lines while keeping our drivers comfortable. 

“Robotic testing allows us to do both,” he says. “We accelerate durability testing while simultaneously increasing the productivity of our other programs by redeploying drivers to those areas, such as noise level and vehicle dynamics testing.”

The durability technology includes a robotic control module installed in the test vehicle that controls vehicle steering, acceleration and braking. The module is set to follow a preprogrammed course, and the vehicle’s position is tracked via cameras in a central control room and GPS accurate to plus/minus one inch. Should the vehicle stray from its programmed course, engineers have the ability to stop the vehicle, course correct as necessary, and restart the test. Onboard sensors can command a full stop if a pedestrian or another vehicle strays into the path.

The robotically driven vehicles are expected to repeatedly perform tests on torturous surfaces with names like Silver Creek, Power Hop Hill and Curb Your Enthusiasm. The tests can compress 10 years of daily driving abuse into courses just a few hundred yards long, with surfaces that include broken concrete, cobblestones, metal grates, rough gravel, mud pits and oversized speed bumps. 

All North American Ford trucks must pass this battery of durability tests before they’re certified for customer use. Until now, testing speeds and repetitions for specific scenarios were limited due to restrictions placed on human drivers, who were allowed to drive certain rigorous courses only once a day.

The use of robots now accelerates this testing, allowing an unlimited number of repeats until Ford engineers are satisfied with the results. Robots also allow Ford to develop even more challenging durability tests to build tougher trucks. 

Ford engineers worked with Utah-based Autonomous Solutions Inc. to design and manufacture the software and components that enable autonomous, robotic operation of the test vehicle.

“We’re very excited to work with Ford for autonomous vehicle testing,” said Mel Torrie, CEO of Autonomous Solutions Inc. “The reliability, durability and performance enhancements we’ve developed with Ford will not only help them reach their safety and accuracy goals, but will also improve vehicle automation in other areas such as mining, agriculture and the U.S. military.”

Ford engineers designed and deployed the robotic technology with two goals in mind: protecting human drivers and engineering Ford trucks to be tougher than ever.

“The goal here was not to develop a truly autonomou
s vehicle that can drive itself on city streets,” said Payne. “Our objective was to create a test track solution that allows for this type of intense testing that could take our vehicles to the most extreme limits of their engineering while ensuring the safety of all involved.”

 
About Autonomous Solutions, Inc.
For more than 12 years, Autonomous Solutions, Inc. has been a world leader in unmanned ground vehicle systems and components. From their northern Utah headquarters, ASI serves clients in military, agriculture, industrial/mining, and automotive proving ground industries with solutions ranging from driver assistance up to full vehicle autonomy. ASI’s world-class engineering staff is dedicated to ideals of innovation, quality, simplicity, and safety.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.


 

Hi-Rel just got smaller – new 1.25mm connectors from Harwin suit demanding applications

Submitted on 6/12/2013 9:48:47 AM   
Hi-Rel just got smaller – new 1.25mm connectors from Harwin 
suit demanding applications

New GeckoTM connectors save space; deliver high performance at commercial price levels


  Harwin, the leading manufacturer of Hi-Rel interconnect solutions and cost-saving PCB hardware products, has introduced a new high-reliability connector family based on a 1.25mm pitch. Named Gecko, the new connectors have benefited from Harwin’s exceptional track record of manufacturing high-reliability connectors for safety-critical applications.

Harwin’s low profile G125 series connectors are designed to offer high performance in a miniature package. The 1.25mm pin spacing results in a 35% space saving over other high-performance connectors such as Micro-D.  The connectors are rated to handle 2A per contact.  Tested and proven to allow high performance in extreme conditions, the G125 family can operate within a wide temperature range (-65 to +150degC) and under extreme vibration (Z axis 100g 6m/s). This high performance is made possible by Harwin’s four-finger patented Copper Alloy contact.

Offering up to 50 contacts per connector and available in dual row cable-to-board and board-to-board configurations, Gecko family connectors include a wealth of features including polarization points that prevent mis-mating, easy identification of the No 1 position for fast visual inspection and optional latches that allow simple and fast de-latching that requires no special tooling. Cable connectors feature a rear potting wall adding an extra level of strain relief

Comments (Andrew McQuilken, Harwin’s CEO): “There are millions of our Datamate connectors being used today in harsh environment applications.  We have incorporated all the features that we have developed over the years thanks to user feedback on that 2mm connectors series within the new Gecko 1.25mm pitch products, so we can confidently expect a wide market uptake in applications including; UAVs and Aerospace, medical, motor sport, robotics, defense, oil and gas exploration and instrumentation – in fact anywhere where performance and safety is paramount.”

G125 Connectors are manufactured to withstand high numbers of mating cycles but also feature low insertion and extraction forces. Moldings are manufactured from RoHS-compliant, environmentally friendly materials, eliminating harmful chemicals even before they are added to restricted substances lists. Pre-assembled cable configurations are available in a variety of layouts featuring male and female single and double ended in a variety of standard lengths.  Connectors are packaged in tape and reel format.

About Harwin
Harwin is a manufacturer of standard interconnect components with an enviable reputation for high quality and exceptional customer service. Harwin has been successfully manufacturing electronic components for more than 50 years. Harwin’s sales and service extend worldwide via offices and manufacturing facilities in the UK, USA, Germany, France, Singapore & Taiwan and a world wide distribution network. Products include: High Reliability devices; RFI & PCB Hardware; and an extensive range of industry standard interconnection solutions. The company operates a continuous product development program.




Omnetics SureCon 360 Connectors Conserve Space with IP67 Nano-sized Connectors

Watertight nano-connectors pass shock, vibration and immersion testing

Many of the world’s smallest and ruggedized ultra-miniature circular connectors are used within medical, commercial and military applications that require the best electrical performance for portable and miniature electronics. To ensure integrity, Omnetics used gold-plated contacts that are polarized and shrouded by our unique liquid crystal polymer insulators. The over-molded shells were specifically designed to assist in pre-mating alignment, as well as, hold the connectors securely in place to guarantee a water-tight seal.
  
The cable jackets, strain relief system and cable surfaces are specifically designed to have a good tactile feel and maintain flexibility while providing a secure grip. Connector insulator sizes of 6, 11 and 16 positions are available with cables pre-attached. Connector body formats include in-line and protruding panel mount shells. Custom wire or cable designs are available as well as custom over-molded handles, and shapes to meet a designer’s specific applications. Click here to see available design shapes and sizes. 

The new SureCon 360 connectors are designed with pin and socket elements positioned on 25 1/1000 in. spacing to reduce size and weight by as much as three times that of the conventional micro-sized circular connectors. Typically, the installed wiring is 32 gauge standard Teflon® insulated copper wire and can carry up to 1 amp of current per line.
   
Nano-circular connector use is rapidly expanding as chip voltage and current ratings are downsizing. Applications range in the military sector from portable equipment on foot-soldiers and unmanned aerial vehicles to medical probes, sensors, and detectors. These kinds of applications prefer the smaller connectors on the cables, which are then routed to other tactical or measurement equipment. Robotics and prosthetic devices also utilize the nano-sized connectors in-line at key joint and bending positions to assist in signal transmission as well as allow quick repair and replacement of the extended portions of the instrument. SureCon offers designs, using high-speed cable that includes shielding and drain wire systems, similar to surfire® cabling, to help reduce EMI and provide better transmission of differential signal pairs used in fast transfer of digital images. 
  
The custom designer can also benefit from Omnetics’ Solid Works® design service to receive customized images to fit his application specific needs. Our goal is to return the new design to you in two days. For more information, visit www.omnetics.com     

Simlat to Deliver a Mini-UAS Training & Simulation Center to the Finnish Defense Forces

Submitted on 3/26/2013 3:15:50 PM   
Simlat Ltd. has been awarded a contract to deliver its advanced UAS Training and Simulation systems to Finnish Defense Forces as part of mini-UAS contract awarded to Aeronautics Ltd.

Simlat Ltd. was selected to provide a UAS Training Center including its high fidelity UAS training systems to the Finnish Defense Forces (FDF), as part of the FDF mini-UAS program.

The simulation center will support of the new Orbiter Mini UAS fleet, which was selected by the FDF last summer as its future UAS. The program includes the manufacturing and delivery of Orbiter Mini UAS, as well as the development of independent operational, training and maintenance capability.

Simlat Training and Simulation Center will include advanced simulator stations deployed in Finland as well as a 3-D modeling and scenario creating capability, which will enable the FDF to autonomously develop its training program and to train its new and experienced operators and instructors. The simulation will provide a high-fidelity realistic environment for Orbiter operator trainees for initial and currency training as well as mission rehearsal.

Orbiter Mini UAS, developed and manufactured by Aeronautics Ltd. is a high-end mini UAS designed for long endurance and range missions. It is equipped with an advanced electro optical payload, and with a fully digital data-link system. Having outstanding resistance to extreme weather conditions, the Orbiter MUAS may be operated in snow and rain as well as in maritime missions.

“We are glad to be a part of this program and provide our core UAS simulation products that adhere to the demanding requirements of the customer including platform, payload and weather and environment simulation,” said Nira Streifler, product manager from Simlat.

About Simlat-UAS Training
Simlat Ltd. is a leading provider of next generation training solutions for unmanned vehicle systems and for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).Based on extensive hand-on operational experience, Simlat is the right choice for training for every platform, payload and mission. Simlat’s turnkey training solutions include SIGINT, EO/IR and SAR sensors in various operational configurations. Simlat's systems are available as stand-alone or embedded/integrated to legacy control stations, as well as generic or customized solutions, and are in service in more than 20 countries. To learn more about Simlat, visit www.simlat.com

Hydroid Littoral Battlespace Sensing AUVs Enter Full Rate Production

Submitted on 2/19/2013 10:27:00 AM   
Company production schedule of AUVs for U.S. Navy accelerated
 
Hydroid, Inc., a subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime and the leading manufacturer of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), announced today that its contract to provide Littoral Battlespace Sensing (LBS) AUVs to the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) has moved directly from the Engineering Development Model (EDM) phase to full rate production (FRP).
 
The decision to make the rare move from the EDM phase directly to FRP was made by the U.S. Navy’s Milestone Decision Authority (MDA), the Navy’s Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I), after more than a year of extensive testing and evaluation determined that Hydroid’s LBS-AUV systems were ready for deployment. In response to the MDA’s approval, SPAWAR has ordered the immediate production of three LBS AUVs (REMUS 600s) and one Shipset, including a launch and recovery system (LARS), a LARS flat rack, a mission van, a maintenance van and vehicle support equipment.
 
The AUVs ordered by SPAWAR will be equipped with advanced technologies for the collection of oceanographic and meteorological data, as well as technologies for processing and dissemination of these data. This technology will enable superior decision-making based on information collected by a system of networked sensors and shared through a network of interoperable Naval and Joint networks information systems. These on-board instruments will accurately catalogue a wide variety of environmental parameters, and provide environmental data that will play a critical role in supporting worldwide Navy requirements. 
 
The ultimate end user of these AUVs is the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO), which acquires and analyses global ocean and littoral data to provide operationally significant products and services to all elements within the Department of Defense.
 
“We’re very pleased by the MDA’s decision to grant us accelerated approval for FRP,” said Christopher von Alt, president and co-founder of Hydroid. “We’re grateful to our strong team of partners for their hard work to make this possible, including the program’s sponsor, the Oceanographer of the Navy (CNO N2/N6E). We look forward to continuing this important work with PEO C4I and NAVOCEANO.”
 
Hydroid's REMUS AUVs are modular and may be fitted with a large number of different types of sensors. They have been used to aid in hydrographic surveys, harbor security operations, debris field mapping, scientific sampling and mapping, as well as many basic and applied research programs funded by ONR, DARPA and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense. With more than 200 vehicles in the field, Hydroid is currently the AUV market leader with systems in use by 13 NATO and other navies around the world.
                                              
About Hydroid, Inc.
Located in the U.S. and a subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime, Hydroid is part of the Kongsberg Maritime AUV Group, the world’s most trusted manufacturer of advanced Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). REMUS and HUGIN AUVs provide innovative and reliable full-picture AUV systems for the marine research, defense, hydrographic and offshore/energy markets. Together, REMUS and HUGIN represent the most advanced, diversified and field-proven family of AUVs and AUV support systems in the world.
 
Developed by a veteran team of engineers, the innovations of Hydroid and Kongsberg Maritime provide a safe and reliable answer to the challenges that have hampered ocean exploration and security. For more information on REMUS and HUGIN technology, visit www.hydroid.com or www.km.kongsberg.com.

Stratom, Inc. Announces Global ASP Toolkit Distribution

Submitted on 2/13/2013 9:05:07 PM   
Stratom, in partnership with ADS, is proud to announce a significant increase in sales of the Adaptive Specialty Probe (ASP™) Toolkit, as well as its large scale distribution to Army EOD teams.

The ASP Toolkit consists of four highly efficient robotic tools focused on the needs of the downrange operator and first responder. These unique tools are strong and lightweight, allowing for the exposure of suspicious devices, wrapping and cutting of wire, penetration of light cased containers, and disabling of devices.

ADS and Stratom have recently been awarded an order for hundreds of ASP™ Toolkits to be used in U.S. Army EOD team operations. ADS is an industry-leading provider of operational equipment solutions for government customers, including robotics technology.

Stratom's partnership with ADS is extremely beneficial in fulfilling requirements for toolkits. With hundreds of collective years of military experience, ADS and Stratom understand our customers' missions.

"We are excited to have the opportunity to provide this life-saving robotic technology to our customers and to work with ADS," said President & CEO Mark Gordon, "and I hope it will only increase the success of our nation's EOD teams worldwide."

About Stratom, Inc.

Stratom, Inc. provides strategic solutions, advanced technologies, program management, and logistics/supply chain management solutions to government, commercial, and global clients. Stratom specializes in C-IED/EOD, robotics, unmanned vehicles, sensor integration, payload development, and system engineering. Stratom is a certified and verified service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB), winner of the 2009 Nunn-Perry Award through the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program, and is ISO 9001:2008 certified. For more information about Stratom, visit http://www.stratom.com.

About ADS, Inc.
ADS, Inc. is a second-generation family owned small business, created in 1997 in Virginia Beach, Va. Originally Atlantic Diving Supply, ADS was the government sales division of Lynnhaven Dive Center, a local diving supply company founded in 1979 catering to the Norfolk-Virginia Beach military and commercial diving community. Since then, ADS has widely expanded its product offering and government procurement vehicles providing on-time, essential operational equipment combined with industry-leading logistics solutions to all branches of the U.S. military and Federal Agencies. From tactical and special operational equipment to fire and emergency services, expeditionary, medical, tools, kitting and heavy equipment, ADS oversees every aspect of the supply chain and ensures availability of superior equipment to our men and women in uniform. To find out more, visit www.adsinc.com

Neya Systems LLC to Provide Support for JAUS Toolset

Submitted on 2/12/2013 2:20:02 PM   
Neya Systems LLC announced that it will be providing hosting and support services for the JAUS Toolset (JTS). JTS is the only fully open, BSD-licensed software development kit for the SAE JAUS standard. 

Neya Systems LLC, a leading developer of unmanned systems technologies, will be providing multiple support options for the Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems Toolset(JTS). 

Neya Systems LLC has announced that it will be providing hosting and support services for the JAUS Toolset (JTS). JTS is a full-featured software development kit for SAE JAUS Services that was developed with Department of Defense support. JAUS, the Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems, is an SAE standard for unmanned systems interoperability that has been in development since 1998. It is currently used in a wide variety of commercial and governmental programs, including the Navy Advanced EOD Robotic Systems program and the Robotics Systems Joint Program Office (RS-JPO) Interoperability Profiles. 

JTS is a full-featured JAUS SDK that provides automatic code and documentation generation, GUI-based service creation, and integration with the popular Eclipse IDE. JTS is the only fully open source and fully SAE JAUS-compliant toolkit available today. The JTS SDK benefits unmanned systems software developers by allowing them to focus their efforts on their applications’ behaviors rather than the details of the JAUS standard. 

Neya has provided technical management and development services for JTS for the past three years, and Neya’s staff has held and continues to hold leadership roles in the SAE JAUS Working Group. The company is proud to announce new support options for JTS. This support includes providing hosting services, moderating online forums for JTS technical support, generating JTS-related blog entries, providing JTS maintenance updates, and offering to the JAUS community options for paid JTS support. “We believe JTS is an important asset to the JAUS community, and we are committed to maintaining the only fully open implementation of the SAE JAUS Standard,” said Dr. Parag Batavia, president of Neya Systems.  

About Neya Systems, LLC 
Neya Systems, LLC is a leading developer of unmanned systems technologies. Neya develops capabilities for unmanned ground and air vehicles, focusing on mission planning and management, perception, terrain classification, and navigation. Neya’s commercial offerings include a mission planning toolkit, advanced h.264 encoding hardware, and retrofit kits for range clearance equipment. Neya was founded in 2009 by Dr. Parag Batavia. JTS is hosted at http://www.jaustoolset.org.

Simlat Selected to Provide UAS Training & Simulation Classroom for Flight School at Cochise College

Simlat Ltd. has been awarded a contract to provide Cochise College a UAS training & Simulation classroom for their new UAS Program, part of the Aviation department.

Simlat Ltd. was recently awarded a contract by Cochise College, Arizona, to provide a full UAS Training classroom solution.

The training classroom will support Cochise College's new unmanned aerial systems program, as part of the college’s aviation department, which has more than 40 years of aviation training experience. The UAS Simulation will include Simlat’s C-STAR (High-Fidelity Full Crew UAS Simulator), PANEL (Operators' Automatic Performance Analysis) and SPOT (Selection by Performance-Oriented Testing), providing Cochise College a turnkey solution for training UAS Operators.

“We are glad to support Cochise College with their new Unmanned Aerial Systems program. We believe that Simlat’s systems will prove to be a valuable addition for this program, complementing the excellent facilities and staff”, says Nira Streifler, product manager at Simlat.

About Simlat-UAS Training:
Simlat Ltd. is a leading provider of next generation training solutions for unmanned vehicle systems (UVS) and for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). Based on extensive hand-on operational experience, Simlat is the right choice for training for every Platform, Payload and Mission. Simlat’s turnkey training solutions include SIGINT, EO/IR and SAR sensors in various operational configurations. Simlat's systems are available as stand-alone or embedded/integrated to legacy control stations, as well as generic or customized solutions, and are in service in over 20 countries. To learn more about Simlat, visit www.simlat.com or contact info@simlat.com

Tactical Electronics selected for SUAS Demonstrations

Submitted on 1/22/2013 1:25:55 PM   
Tactical Electronics, supplier of the RAPTR UAV, has been selected to participate in the upcoming sUAS demonstrations for the Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) project.

As stated in the privacy impact assessment for the RAPS project, “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Science &Technology (S&T) Directorate and the State of Oklahoma are partnering on the Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) project to test and evaluate Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) for potential use by the first responder community and DHS operational components.”

The RAPTR is a fully autonomous, VTOL, small unmanned aircraft system (UAS), which primarily serves as a delivery/transport platform for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance payloads. The system weighs less than 21 lbs with batteries, utilizes manual and autonomous flight modes, and advanced ground station control. The RAPS project will determine the effectiveness of the sUAS in supporting emergency responder operations. 

“The RAPTR SUAS is used to provide operators with time critical information around a target area before and during an assault, enhancing overall situational awareness and ultimately preventing loss of life,” Curtis Sprague, director of Aviation at Tactical Electronics, said. 

Tactical Electronics will participate in initial testing at the Ft. Sill U.S. Army post in Oklahoma. The RAPTR will be evaluated on “key performance key performance parameters (e.g., endurance, stability, and resolution) under a wide variety of simulated, but realistic and relevant real-world operational scenarios, focusing on response to situations where human lives or property are in imminent danger. Safety concerns are also assessed, including the aircraft’s capability for safe flight in the event of a loss of communications between the aircraft and the ground controller,” the project states. 

About Tactical Electronics:
Tactical Electronics provides wireless camera systems, IED training aids, EOD tools, and training to law enforcement and military agencies. For over a decade Tactical Electronics has been a reliable resource to lead law enforcement agencies and trend-setting military groups. Whether we are providing high-level electronics training or designing top-notch products, our goal is to deliver safety to those who protect us.

Kairos Autonomi Completes First Phase of Deliveries for National Guard Moving Ground Target Contract

Submitted on 1/8/2013 11:51:21 AM   
Unmodified ranges equipped with necessary technologies to operate unmanned moving ground targets as part of training operations

Kairos Autonomi, Inc., a world leader in robotic appliqué kits and developer of the Pronto4 Robotic Appliqué Kit, has completed the first phase of its base year contract to deliver unmanned moving ground targets at National Guard Bureau training ranges across the United States.

Working only two to three days at each range, the Kairos team modified the existing ranges and configured each of them for unmanned vehicle operation. Kairos personnel also installed radio infrastructure and ground control station hardware and software, and delivered an optionally unmanned moving ground target powered by the Pronto4.

In addition to the hardware and software delivery and installation, Kairos personnel provided training to range personnel that will enable them to remotely operate the vehicles and maintain the radio and control station infrastructure for future missions. Kairos will complete phases two and three in the first half of 2013, and will continue releasing its Pronto4 Robotic Appliqué Kits to other ranges throughout the United States.

“As we demonstrated at Airburst Range, give us a small budget and a few days, and we can provide any range with the ability to operate and maintain unmanned ground or surface targets,” said Chandler Griffin, director, Targets Programs, Kairos Autonomi. “Our effort with the National Guard Bureau shows our capability as a company to stand up existing ranges with solid infrastructure, robots and operational training in a short period of time.”

The Pronto4 Robotic Appliqué Kit can be installed in about four hours by a trained team of two technicians. For each NGB range, the Pronto4 enables an unmanned vehicle to drive by remote control operation in conjunction with communications infrastructure. The Pronto4 can also be upgraded to provide GPS path following capability.

The Pronto4 enables existing vehicles or surface vessels to be utilized as realistic, unmanned moving ground targets as part of training and test operations. Kairos supports a broad training range customer base and continues to develop cost-effective, high-quality hardware and software products for training range customers worldwide.

About Kairos Autonomi
Kairos Autonomi, Inc. (Kairos) is a world leader in delivering unmanned moving ground targets and service for training, test and evaluation operations. These moving targets and services facilitate dynamic, realistic training and test scenarios by providing optionally unmanned (a human can still drive the vehicle manually) vehicle capabilities to existing manned vehicles at a cost-effective price. The unmanned targets are powered by the Pronto4 Robotic Appliqué Kit, an add-on vehicle autonomy system that provides unmanned capabilities to current manned vehicles, rendering them optionally unmanned. Pronto4-enabled unmanned vehicles are used at training ranges and test facilities across the United States, and deliver unparalleled dependability and functionality. For more information, visit www.kairosautonomi.com

Elbit Systems Awarded Israel MOD Contracts to Supply Various Systems

The new contracts relate to a variety of the Company's fields of activity and include Unmanned Systems, Electronic Warfare, Electro-Optic Systems, Avionics and Land Systems

Elbit Systems Ltd. announced today that it was awarded various contracts by the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD", in a number of fields of activity for a total value of approximately $315 million.  

The contracts relate to the following areas:

Avionics Systems: battle management systems (BMS) and avionics for helicopters, virtual training for the Israeli Air Force's (IAF) fighter aircraft array and operation and maintenance services for the IAF's Flight Academy, in a total of approximately $75 million, covering deliveries over a six-year period.   

Unmanned Systems: Hermes® 900 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to be supplied within three years, as well as maintenance services for UAS over a period of eight years, in a total value of approximately $90 million.   

Electronic Warfare (EW) Systems: systems for F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft and for the Navy's Missile Vessels, in a total amount of approximately $90 million, for supply over the next four years.   

Electro-Optic Systems: advanced observation and long-range target acquisition systems, in an amount of approximately $25 million, to be supplied over a three-year period.   

Land Systems: Cardom electronic and mortar artillery systems, known in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as "Keshet", for a total value of approximately $35 million, for supply over a six-year period.   

Elbit Systems employs approximately 10,000 employees in Israel and provides work for an additional approximately 7,000 employees of our local subcontractors. The company operates in 15 different sites throughout Israel, from Kiryat Shmona, Tel-Hai and Karmiel in the North to Ashdod, Arad, Hatzerim and Sderot in the South.   

About Elbit Systems 
Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international defense electronics company engaged in a wide range of programs throughout the world. The company, which includes Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries, operates in the areas of aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR), UAS, advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, airborne warning systems, ELINT systems, data links and military communications systems and radios. The company also focuses on the upgrading of existing military platforms, developing new technologies for defense, homeland security and commercial aviation applications and providing a range of support services. For additional information, visit www.elbitsystems.com.

New Cost-Effective, Self-Cleaning Camera Filter Developed for Dirty, Dusty Environments

Submitted on 11/20/2012 10:22:30 AM   

Created to address an unmanned vehicle need, innovative filter design maintains clear camera view while ground vehicle or surface vessel is in operation

Kairos Autonomi, Inc., a world leader in robotic appliqué kits and developer of the Pronto4 Robotic Appliqué Kit, has introduced a Camera Roll-off Filter to use along with its Pronto4 Robotic Appliqué Kit.

The filter consists of a protective shield that fits over the standard Kairos Autonomi camera and mechanically self-cleans while the vehicle is in motion. This provides the camera with a clear view, as well as a longer lifespan that can shoot 100 frames through its own selfcleaning process.

“Kairos Autonomi has recognized the need for a self-cleaning camera filter through its experience with customers, ranges and testing sites,” said Troy Takach, president and CEO of Kairos Autonomi. “With this information Kairos has developed an economical and simple Camera Roll-off Filter, similar to those that professional racecar drivers use to keep their field of vision clear during races.”

The filter includes the following specifications:
• Distinctive, durable, lightweight metal canister design
• About 2 ½ inches wide and 8 inches long
• Innovative design protects camera in dusty and harsh weather conditions
• Reliability and functionality is smooth during operation
• Assembly and installation is simple and allows for easy on and off control

About Kairos Autonomi
Kairos Autonomi, Inc. a world leader in Robotic Appliqué Kits puts its emphasis on simplicity, cost-effectiveness and reliability. The Pronto4 Robotic Appliqué Kit is an add-on vehicle autonomy system that provides unmanned capabilities to current manned vehicles, rendering them optionally unmanned. Unmanned ground vehicles are used in military and security operations, as well as industrial and agricultural applications, Kairos is a pioneer in the industry to commercialize its products to be reliable and successful to meet the demands of military and commercial operational use. For more information, please visit us at our website www.kairosautonomi.com or at YouTube.

Ocean robot transmits real time weather data through Hurricane Sandy

Submitted on 11/1/2012 10:17:13 AM   

Liquid Robotics®, an ocean data service provider and developer of the Wave Glider®, the first wave powered autonomous marine robot, reports one of their Wave Gliders named Mercury battled through Hurricane Sandy and successfully piloted through winds up to 70 knots, all the while transmitting weather data in real time. One hundred miles due east of Toms River, N.J., the weather sensors on the Wave Glider gathered dramatic data from the ocean surface, reporting a plunge in barometric pressure of more than 54.3 mbars to a low of 946 mbars as Sandy neared landfall.

“Mercury now joins the fleet of other Wave Gliders that have come through Category I hurricanes to successfully fulfill their missions,” said Dr. Edward Lu, chief of innovative applications for Liquid Robotics. “This is a testament to our robust and reliable technology and proof of its readiness for severe weather data collection.”

Prior to Hurricane Sandy, scientists from Liquid Robotics, Sonardyne, Rutgers University and the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) (MARACOOS) deployed the Wave Glider and two Sonardyne undersea nodes as part of an extensive ocean observing technology demonstration project. This collaborative project demonstrates the use and cost effectiveness of new subsea and surface technology for advanced ocean measurement and enhanced tsunamis detection.

“In the midst of this epic disaster, Liquid Robotics wishes to express our sympathies for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy,” said Bill Vass, CEO of Liquid Robotics. “We are working closely with scientists around the world to use the Wave Glider technology for better hurricane, typhoon and tsunami prediction so we can help reduce the risk to human life and property."

About Liquid Robotics
Liquid Robotics and Wave Glider are registered trademarks of Liquid Robotics, Inc., in the United States and other countries. For more information, Inc., visit www.liquidr.com

Kairos Autonomi Awarded Military Contract for Self-Driving Vehicle Kits

Submitted on 10/12/2012 9:39:59 AM   

Fully operational remote vehicle systems to be delivered to training ranges and used as moving targets

Kairos Autonomi, Inc., a world leader in robotic appliqué kits and developer of the Pronto4 Robotic Appliqué Kit, has been awarded a contract by the Army National Guard for moving land targets.

Kairos Autonomi will equip 12 Army National Guard ranges across the nation with Pronto4 Robotic Appliqué Kits, ground control stations and radio infrastructure. The hardware, software and infrastructure will provide each range with remote moving targets controlled from range facilities with full video and radio control.

“This is a natural extension of our position as a market leader in unmanned moving ground and surface targets,” said Troy Takach, president & CEO of Kairos Autonomi. “Kairos Autonomi is the largest robotic manufacturer of unmanned ground vehicle systems in the world by volume, and our presence in the test and training markets will only grow as we continue to expand.”

The Pronto4 is a robotic appliqué kit that allows vehicles to drive themselves by following a pre-defined GPS path or by remote controlled operation. The kit can be installed in most vehicles in about one to two days. The kits provide realistic moving target that enhances realistic training and test environments for military personnel.

Product deliverables at each range may include site infrastructure and support requirements, vehicles can also be configured for laser operations. The Period of Performance (POP) is expected to be 12 months.

About Kairos Autonomi
Kairos Autonomi is a world leader in Robotic Appliqué Kits, add-on vehicle autonomy systems that provide optionally unmanned capabilities to current manned vehicles. With its emphasis on simplicity, cost-effectiveness, ubiquity and interoperability, Kairos is a pioneer in the unmanned vehicle industry and has commercialized its products to be reliable and successful. For more information, visit www.kairosautonomi.com or at YouTube.

MicroStrain Expands LXRS™ “Lossless” Sensor Family

MicroStrain’s LXRS™ wireless sensor network combines a groundbreaking lossless data wireless communication protocol with ultra-stable precision time sync and network scalability. 
 
As a result, MicroStrain sensing solutions provide the reliability of hardwired systems with wireless simplicity and cost savings.
 
LXRS™ supports a broad range of measurement capabilities including acceleration, displacement, environmental, and most analog sensor inputs.
 
Now, the LXRS “Lossless” protocol is supported on even more MicroStrain wireless sensors.
 
New LXRS sensing solutions include TC-Link® wireless thermocouple nodes as well as SG-Link®-OEM wireless analog sensor nodes.
 
LXRS enables MicroStrain wireless sensors to provide 100% packet success rate under most operating conditions while maintaining extended range radio link to 2 kilometers, supporting continuous, burst, and hybrid sampling modes, and maintaining time synchronization within +/- 32 microseconds.
 
In addition to more reliable data throughput, MicroStrain’s wireless thermocouple and OEM nodes provide interoperability with other LXRS wireless acceleration (G-Link®), displacement (DVRT-Link®), environmental monitoring (ENV-Link®), and multi-channel analog (V-Link® and SG-Link®) sensor nodes.  Users benefit from greater wireless sensor network configuration options that easily adjust and scale their unique applications.
 
Synchronized data collection, combined with robust and reliable data acquisition, allows users to select lower sampling rates and reduced RF power levels. This leads to longer battery lifetimes and also enables energy harvesters to be used in place of primary batteries.
 
“Wireless sensor networks are a key element to supporting smart structures, advanced manufacturing, industrial machinery, environmental monitoring, and vehicle health,” says Steven Arms, director, BusinessDevelopment, Sensing Systems at MicroStrain, a LORD Company. “By enabling data collection from scalable sensor networks without loss of information, MicroStrain’s LXRS™ solutions support high-performance monitoring without the need for hardwires.”

Lockheed Martin Procerus Technologies Unveils New Unmanned Quad Rotor Vertical Take-off, Landing Sys

Submitted on 8/6/2012 2:56:15 PM   

Lockheed Martin Procerus Technologies’ new small vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft system gives warfighters, first responders and others in small, cluttered, urban environments an eye-in-the-sky in just minutes.

The rugged, five-pound VTOL quad rotor, dual-sensor platform features an extended hover, perch and stare capability that provides military, civil and commercial customers with aerial reconnaissance in crowded areas unreachable by fixed-wing unmanned aircraft systems. The VTOL’s gimbal mount includes electro-optical and infrared sensors and a laser illuminator to provide continuous 360-degree panning capability.

“We are leveraging years of experience in building small, innovative avionics and payload technologies to develop an affordable and efficient VTOL solution,” said Todd Titensor, senior manager of Lockheed Martin Procerus Technologies. “Our system is quiet, can operate day or night in challenging weather conditions and has longer operating time than other VTOL platforms.”

Equipped with the Lockheed Martin Procerus Technologies’ proven Kestrel 3 autopilot, the compact, lightweight VTOL can be deployed in minutes and operate for up to 40 minutes. The collapsible VTOL platform folds into a man-packable unit that requires no tools for assembly.

The VTOL system includes a wireless hand controller, which provides an easy-to-use interface for intuitive, untethered vehicle operation. For full ground control station capabilities, the Virtual Cockpit v3.0 features a user-friendly 3-D map interface, powerful mission planning tools, in-flight re-tasking and full waypoint navigation.

The VTOL also can land and gather surveillance data from a remote location and then take off and return home.

Acquired in January 2012, Lockheed Martin Procerus Technologies is the developer of the Kestrel™ Autopilot avionics and Virtual Cockpit™ system for fixed-wing and rotary aircraft. Additional products include small vertical take-off and landing platforms and OnPoint OnBoard™ vision systems for target tracking, stabilization, geo-location and terminal guidance applications.

About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation's net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.

Xsens sets new standard for industrial grade MEMS motion trackers

ENSCHEDE, NETHERLANDS/CULVER CITY, CA, USA – 2 August 2012 -  Xsens, the leading innovator in 3D motion tracking technology and products, has launched a new MTi® product portfolio for industrial applications such as antenna/camera stabilization and unmanned system control. With the introduction of the 4th generation high-performance product line, MEMS based motion trackers (IMU, VRU, AHRS and GPS/INS) now match the requirements in terms of accuracy and robustness for many applications previously depending on fiber-optic gyroscope (FOG) based solutions. The new MTi builds on the benefits in size, price, power consumption and flexible interfacing options Xsens’ customers have relied on for the past 12 years. With 7 distinctive models in the product portfolio offering 3D orientation, 3D position, 3D velocity, 3D dynamic data and a range of interface options, there is a match with any industrial application.

The MTi® product portfolio consists of two product lines. The MTi 10-series extends the proven technology of the previous generations of the MTi, of which more than 20.000 units have been deployed since 2005. The MTi 10-series improves orientation accuracy while under vibrations with at least a factor of 50. The bandwidth of the accelerometers and gyroscopes has been increased by a factor of 15. Available products are the MTi-10 IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit), the MTi-20 VRU (Vertical Reference Unit) and the MTi-30 AHRS (Attitude and Heading Reference System).

The MTi 100-series is Xsens’ new high-performance product line, incorporating state-of-the-art vibration rejecting gyroscopes and a powerful multi-core processing unit running a new embedded sensor fusion core that goes beyond standard Kalman-filter based solutions. Available as MTi-100 IMU, MTi-200 VRU and MTi-300 AHRS, it is an excellent drop-in alternative to the MTi 10-series when extra accuracy is required. The MTi-G-700 GPS/INS is the successor of the MTi-G introduced in 2007. The MTi-100 series can serve as a cost-effective replacement unit for high-grade IMU’s, making the end-product more economically viable.

Xsens is working closely with customers in developing and testing the products. “We have integrated the Xsens MTi-G AHRS sensor with a range of products designed for installation on land, sea, and air platforms, including tactical (TACAIR) and rotary wing aircraft”, explains Paul Wynns, Aircraft Systems Program Manager at Argon ST, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company. “We value the Xsens MTi product line for its ease of integration, reliability, and accuracy, along with its small size and rugged packaging”.

As the market leader, Xsens is relied upon by many high-profile companies such as Sonardyne, Kongsberg, Argon ST (Boeing), Sagem (Safran Group), Electronic Arts, NBC Universal and Siemens. Casper Peeters, CEO and co-founder of Xsens, emphasizes the advancements of this 4th generation MTi: “These products are designed for many levels of integration and are all highest quality in terms of accuracy, robustness, cost effectiveness and ease of use. With the new MTi, Xsens strengthens its position as the leading company for orientation and position.”

Xsens will publicly demonstrate the new MTi product portfolio for the first time at AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems show in Las Vegas, NV, USA (6 - 9 August 2012) at booth 2251. Orders can be placed as of today.

About Xsens
Xsens is the leading innovator in 3D motion tracking technology and products. Its sensor fusion technologies enable a seamless interaction between the physical and the digital world in consumer electronics devices and professional applications such as 3D character animation, motion analysis, and industrial control & stabilization. Clients and partners include Electronic Arts, NBC Universal, Daimler, Autodesk, Sagem (Safran Group), Siemens and various other leading institutes and companies throughout the world. Founded in 2000, Xsens is a privately held company with headquarters in Enschede, the Netherlands and a US subsidiary in Los Angeles, California.

For more information, please visit http://www.xsens.com.

Orientation. Position. Xsens. 

Hull Inspection Robot Completes Government Testing

Submitted on 8/2/2012 3:22:52 PM   
Bluefin Robotics, a leading provider of Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) solutions for U.S. Navy Programs of Record announced that the HAUV-3, a hovering underwater robot, has completed Government Acceptance Testing as the production system for the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Hull Unmanned Underwater Vehicle Localization Systems (HULS). The HAUV-3 is designed to autonomously perform ship hull inspection and obtain 100% sonar coverage-a demanding task typically performed by divers to secure our ports and harbors.
 
The week prior to the formal Government Acceptance Testing, Bluefin provided training to Fleet personnel. Trainees then operated the HAUV-3 in several in-water operational scenarios as part of the formal testing. The system demonstrated increased operational speeds and nearly twice as much endurance as its predecessor-the prototype HAUV-2. In addition to its standard DIDSON imaging sonar, it is equipped with a camera, which provides vital supplemental visual information to divers tasked with re-locating contacts.
 
The Navy also conducted a series of environmental tests consisting of freezing, shaking, and baking one of the vehicles and its support equipment. Testing highlighted specific areas for ruggedization in order to optimize the system for very harsh conditions. However, even after the tortuous testing, operators were able to power up all of the vehicle subsystems successfully.
 
In 2011, Bluefin Robotics was awarded a contract modification from Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head to move the system design into production. Since then, Bluefin has delivered one system, which constitutes two vehicles and support equipment. An additional two systems are in production now.

Brock Technologies, Inc. Redefines Small Portable Ground Control Stations

Submitted on 8/2/2012 3:21:38 PM   

Brock Technologies, Inc. of Tucson, Ariz., announced their latest innovation, the Micro Portable Ground Control Station (uPGCS). The uPGCS builds upon the functionality provided by the Cloud Cap Technologies Portable Ground Control Station (PGCS) commonly used for the Command and Control (C2) of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) utilizing the commercially available line of Piccolo autopilots. 

In addition to providing standard C2 capabilities, the Brock Technologies handheld uPGCS also includes a pilot console, ground station computer, video monitor, two video receivers, and an assortment of internal antennas thereby creating an all-in-one control solution. The uPGCS form factor of 12.0” L x 9.25” W x 4.95” H weights a mere 5.875 lbs and features an ergonomic, all waterproof case and a 7” daylight readable touchscreen.

An accessory port on the top of the uPGCS enables shore power to be used for charging of the two internal batteries or for continuous operation during extended missions. Additionally, the accessory port has a USB interface enabling the use of Human Interface Devices (HID)s such as external keyboards, mice, data hubs, video capture devices, and even external storage devices. The uPGCS is customizable, but the standard is equipped with both a 2.4GHz and L-Band video receiver.                                                                       

“This new system is very comprehensive - providing everything needed to plan and execute a wide assortment of missions with minimal hardware. The uPGCS permits communication with the UAS and the ability to down-link the images and other information with a single handheld device” said Keith Brock, vice president of Brock Technologies.
 
Brock Technologies is currently utilizing the uPGCS with their own UAS platforms. The firm envisions the uPGCS will replace collections of other systems employed by UAS operators which require a backpack or shipping case to house all the components which are often sprawled out in an operations trailer or center during use.

With the added flexibility to use the system as a standalone video receiver, or pass control of a UAS from one uPGCS to another, the handheld device can be used by many mission participants in the field enabling mass dissemination of data and increasing the operational range of UAS utilizing a Piccolo autopilot. The uPGCS aims to reduce the logistical footprint of UAS operations without compromising capabilities of those systems in both the military and civilian UAS markets.

Black-I Robotics Wins Air Force Contract to Help Secure Robots from Hackers

Submitted on 7/26/2012 9:28:17 AM   

Black-I Robotics, Inc. has won a contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y. to supply unmanned ground vehicles and related consulting services. The program will make unmanned vehicles and automobiles more secure from cyber hackers and thus safer.

ABOUT THE AIR FORCE CONTRACT
Black-I Robotics will provide unmanned ground vehicles and consulting services to the Air Force in support of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program. Black-I’s contract amount is $528,000 for the initial delivery to be completed in October 2012. The contract was officially posted 10 July. Black-I Robotics will locally build three LandShark Series H unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). These vehicles will consist of an advanced and proven LandShark mid-sized unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), an operator control unit, a military radio system and several special payloads for the DARPA project. Initial payloads will be a mobile turret, anti-collision radar system and an advanced sensing platform with high-end optical and thermal imaging cameras.

ABOUT THE DARPA HACMS PROGRAM
The DARPA program, sponsored by the Air Force, is called High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems or more commonly “HACMS”.

Iran Caught a Drone.  It was funded by the Air Force shortly after Iran caught a US unmanned spy drone in late 2011 – the RQ-170 Sentinel –purportedly by hacking and spoofing its GPS and computer systems causing it to land in Iran. Air, ground, water surface, and underwater unmanned systems; commonly called drones, unmanned systems or robots; are likewise vulnerable to cyber attack of various kinds. “Using robotic vehicles against uneducated combatants is one thing, using them against nation-states is quite another” said Brian Hart, president of Black-I Robotics.

Automobile Hacking. Automotive safety and privacy vulnerabilities emerged last year, as reported in the New York Times. Automobile electronics, communications and navigation systems where hacked to gain control of vehicle engines, brakes and other controls. Car and Driver reported in August 2011, “Currently, there’s nothing to stop anyone with malicious intent and some computer-programming skills from taking command of your vehicle. After gaining access, a hacker could control everything from which song plays on the radio to whether the brakes work.” Hart said, “It is only a matter of time before malicious individuals exploit these automotive vulnerabilities.”

Simulated Attacks. DARPA will be announcing late this month, red and blue team winners that will use Black-I’s robots for a three phase 4 ½ year program. Red teams will attack the LandShark UGV simulating an enemy such as an advanced nation-state or malicious hacker. Blue teams will defend, working to upgrade hardware and software, to prevent the Red teams from gaining control or disrupting the robot’s operation. Research participants that will use these robots are expected to include major US research universities, government labs and automotive companies. Those selected should be announced later this month by DARPA.

WHY BLACK-I AND THE LANDSHARK UGV
“Black-I Robotics was selected by DARPA and the Air Force because it uses an open-architecture configuration specified for military systems on a user friendly and modifiable mid-sized robot. “Many unmanned ground vehicles are simply too small for research purposes or lack adequate computer intelligence. Larger ATV or Humvee sized robots are too dangerous. Likewise, unmanned aerial systems make poor choices for hacking research because loss of control causes catastrophic crashes. The LandShark UGV weighs between 500-800 lbs and while very powerful for outdoor field reconnaissance, is still small enough to go indoors through a door frame,” said Hart.

Advances derived from this program will likely be integrated by Black-I into future robot designs as the program evolves which should put Black-I Robotics front and center in the emerging cyber-secure robot environment. “It is evident that older robotic systems are vulnerable to electronic or cyber attack,” said Hart.

TURRET WITH SIMULATED WEAPONS
For this project Black-I is developing a robust firing turret that can be activated remotely by an operator. “Any future weaponized robots will have to be secure from outside meddling to prevent them from being turned on their masters. For safety purposes we are mounting on the turret a remotely fired paint-ball gun to simulate a weapons system,” said Hart. These initial units are likely to go to major research universities. 

AUTOMOTIVE ANTI-COLLISION RADAR
The radar systems which will be mounted on the robots are used in automobiles as anti-collision systems which may one day be the basis of autonomous automobiles. “Keeping automotive anti-collision systems and other components secure from outside hacking is part of this project with obvious relevance to automobile safety,” said Hart.

HIGH-END CAMERA AND THERMAL IMAGING ARRAY
The high-end camera and thermal imaging array is used regularly on military vehicles and border security structures. “Robots have emerging applications as border patrol scouts or base perimeter guards, but losing control of the camera array to an enemy would be catastrophic,” said Hart. This program will help secure those systems.

ABOUT BLACK-I ROBOTICS
Black-I Robotics was founded in 2005 by brothers Brian and Richard Hart to make affordable robust mid-sized unmanned ground vehicles.  Black-I is located in Tyngsboro, Mass., and is a small privately owned business. Black-I has worked with all branches of the military and most particularly with the counter-terrorism elements of the Department of Defense that focuses on dual-use technologies for military, law enforcement and public safety applications. “If it weren’t for the Counter Terrorism Technology Support Organization’s Technology Support Working Group (TSWG), our LandShark UGV program would never have unfolded,” said Hart. “TSWG is a small and nimble agency whose critical counter-improvised explosive defeat capabilities are slated to be defunded by the Senate for FY2013 which will quickly erode our nation’s law enforcement counter IED capabilities to pre-911 levels with grave consequence,” said Hart.

VectorNav Releases the World's First GPS-Aided Inertial Navigation System on a Chip

Submitted on 7/25/2012 2:12:03 PM   

VectorNav Technologies, a pioneering company in embedded navigation solutions, announced today the release of the VN-200, a high-accuracy GPS-Aided Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) on a surface-mount chip the size of a postage stamp.  Combining an advanced GPS module with the latest in MEMS inertial and pressure sensor technology, the patent-pending VN-200 provides a coupled position, velocity and attitude solution that is robust to a wide range of static and dynamic operating conditions. The VN-200 onboard microprocessor runs an aerospace-grade Kalman filter algorithm at an unparalleled rate of up to 200 Hz and provides accuracies better than 0.25 degrees in pitch and roll and 0.75 degrees in heading. VectorNav will be introducing and demonstrating the VN-200 at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) North America conference from 6-9 August at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas at Booth #660.

The release of the VN-200 GPS/INS marks a significant advancement in the field of inertial navigation. Over the past few decades, the size, weight, power, and cost constraints of typical GPS/INS systems have greatly limited the type and number of end-use applications. The advent of MEMS sensor technology created the potential to produce smaller, more compact and embeddable inertial navigation systems. With the release of VectorNav's VN-200, there is now a fully embeddable, high-accuracy GPS/INS on the market that provides performance competitive with the "heritage" systems that have long defined the standard for inertial navigation. Boasting the lowest size, weight, and power (SWAP) requirements of any GPS/INS available today and at a unit price of $900 USD in volume, the VN-200 is the sensor that will enable the next generation of aerospace, automotive, marine, entertainment, military, and robotics applications.

"The VN-200 is an embeddable solution designed to meet the needs of customers whose current or emerging applications are size or cost constrained, but still demand high performance and accuracies," said VectorNav Technologies President, John Brashear. "By combining our knowledge of MEMS sensor technology, aerospace filtering methods and calibration techniques, we have created a powerful inertial navigation solution and demonstrated our continued commitment to developing the most advanced MEMS-based navigation solutions on the market."

The VN-200 GPS/INS is well suited for guidance, navigation and control of UAVs and other unmanned vehicle systems, camera and platform stabilization, targeting/positioning, robotics, pointing and attitude reference, military and maritime applications, flight control and simulation, and augmented reality applications. Production units of the VN-200 are now available for order. 

About VectorNav Technologies
VectorNav Technologies specializes in manufacturing high-performance navigation and orientation sensors using the latest miniature solid-state MEMS inertial sensor technology. Since its founding in 2008, VectorNav has been providing customers worldwide access to high-quality, fully calibrated inertial navigation sensors with state-of-the-art digital filtering technology. With a strong background in aerospace engineering and experience in the development and testing of spacecraft, launch vehicles, and micro-aerial vehicles, VectorNav brings high-performance aerospace filtering and calibration techniques into the world of low-cost industrial grade MEMS sensors, expanding the possibilities of today's navigation technologies.

Chinese elite units rely on German aircraft-technology

Submitted on 7/11/2012 9:17:56 AM   

German engineering company awarded by Chinese Armed Police Forces (CAPF)

They belong to the most skilled and equipped top elite units within the "Middle Kingdom", the Chinese Armed Police Forces (CAPF). The General himself personally made the long journey to Germany to hand over the Golden Emblem of the CAPF to the engineer Udo Juerss, the CTO of the company. The head of the Chinese Armed Police Forces and his 12-member delegation of highly decorated police officers thank with the words: “The microdrones are playing a more and more important role in our different operations, and have done a good job in aerial monitoring, reconnaissance and photographing.”

The microdrones are rotary wing aircraft based on the principle of a quadrocopter. They are equipped with high-quality cameras and provide insights fast and easy wherever people typically reach their limits: Perhaps in dangerous or inaccessible regions. The aerial platforms of microdrones are getting used in different areas for example in environmental research or in search and rescue operations.
 
At the 1st International Roundtable Police-Workshop in April this year the CAPF had presented video-clips and speeches about their successful operations and training techniques. The focus though was on the products of microdrones, which during a long period of testing and several real operations had demonstrated their effectiveness and reliability.

In surveillance missions and challenging Search & Rescue operations in remote terrain, the microdrones convinced the Chinese elite units. Therefore, the microdrones now will be used all over People's Republic of China.
 
Udo Juerss can feel doubly honored. The Golden Emblem, which usually only is entitled to diplomats, was awarded for the first time to a German inventor as a sign of deep appreciation and esteem.
 
Since 2005, the microdrones GmbH has produced and exported more than 1000 aerial platforms worldwide.

View video on youtube

Simlat to Provide St. Louis University with Turnkey UAS Training System

Submitted on 6/28/2012 1:27:43 PM   

Simlat announces a recently awarded contract to provide a highly advanced UAS training system to Saint Louis University’s Center for Aviation Safety Research (CASR). Simlat’s full-crew trainer, the C-STAR, includes high-fidelity flight simulation for pilot training, as well as realistic and diverse mission simulation for payload operator training.The C-STAR includes advanced scenario generation tools incorporating Hartech's SSG. The C-STAR’s configuration enables both generic and platform-specific training, customized to the Williams Aerospace Taurus UAS.

“We are excited to take part in Saint Louis University’s cutting-edge training and research programs that contribute to aviation safety” Says Yuval Peshin, Simlat president.

About Simlat-UAS Training:
Simlat Ltd. is a leading provider of next generation training solutions for unmanned vehicle systems and for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). Based on extensive hand-on operational experience, Simlat is the right choice for training for every Platform, Payload and Mission. Simlat’s turnkey training solutions include SIGINT, EO/IR and SAR sensors in various operational configurations. Simlat's systems are available as stand-alone or embedded/integrated to legacy control stations, as well as generic or customized solutions, and are in service in over 20 countries. To learn more about Simlat, visit www.simlat.com

Volz Servo Orders Increase to Support AAI’s Recent Aerosonde® SUAS Contract Awards

Submitted on 5/2/2012 9:44:00 AM   

Volz Servos has been contracted by AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems to supply servos for their Aerosonde® Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) to support recent contract awards. Volz’s DA-15 servos are being utilized on the Aerosonde SUAS to actuate the air vehicle’s flight control surfaces and engine throttle. The DA-15 servo is a 15mm / 0.59" wide “micro actuator” with a salt water resistant CNC-machined aluminum case offering a sealant meeting IP67 standards for water/dust intrusion, EMI/RFI shielding and hardened steel gears.

Volz was founded in 1983 and designs and produces servos in Offenbach Germany (just outside of Frankfurt). Volz servos are currently used on several UAV and industrial applications that meet performance, reliability and durability requirements that cannot be met with off the shelf remote control (RC) aircraft servos.  

Volz actuator products continue to evolve to meet the most demanding actuator applications. “AAI’s Aerosonde SUAS is full of features and capabilities that make it world class which is evident by the recent contracts they have won with the US Department of Defense”, said Phillipp Volz, Volz’s CEO. “We are excited that AAI is using our servos on this advanced UAV and are looking forward to supporting AAI’s success in their expanding SUAS business”.

About Volz Servos:
Volz Servos is a privately held company that has been designing and producing advanced actuators in Germany since 1983. Volz provides actuators that are used in the aviation, aerospace, robotic, automotive, and medical industries. They are also used in various engineering and university laboratories around the world for fundamental research.

Sikorsky Innovations Launches Entrepreneurial Challenge Competition

Submitted on 3/21/2012 3:04:27 PM   

On 2 Feb., Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development organization of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, launched its first Entrepreneurial Challenge competition. The competition is designed to identify and accelerate the development of emerging, revolutionary technologies in aerospace and beyond.

The Challenge is open to any small company with revenue under $5 million, including newly formed and pre-revenue entities. The contest centers on five Challenge Questions posted on the Sikorsky Innovations website. The questions, which will remain on the website through 11 April, target the aerospace market as an initial customer but have significantly broader applications.

A subset of the applicants that apply to the challenge will be invited to participate in a final round at Sikorsky’s headquarters in Stratford, Conn. None, one or more entrepreneurial entities will be selected as the winner(s) per competition. Every winning team will receive one year rent-free space utilization within the new Stamford Innovation Center, which is a new, state-of-the-art incubator located in Stamford, Conn.

While in the Stamford iCenter, teams will have access to all services and programs offered by the center at no additional charge. In addition, each team will participate in a three-month long Sikorsky education program, designed to provide both targeted technical and business strategy guidance. Each winning entity will be assigned a technical mentor and be given access to the full body of Sikorsky technical experts and business professionals. Upon completion of a maturation cycle in the incubator, each team will also benefit from an investment evaluation in which judging criteria will focus on technical and business maturity.

The current Challenge Questions target key technologies at the intersection of aerospace and high-growth industry verticals including cleantech, life sciences and mobile communications:

1. How can we make an aircraft more intelligent with wireless sensing?
2. Which adaptive signature control and active survivability technologies can make aircraft operations safer?
3. How do we create and distribute robust, certifiable transportation ‘Apps’?
4. What is the next high power/density energy storage technology?
5. How do we cool future avionic and sensor systems?

For more information on the Challenge Questions, as well as the full list of application guidelines, contest rules and judging guidelines, visit the Entrepreneurial Challenge website. The deadline for the five-page first round application is 1700 EDT on 11 April.

Bluefin, Battelle and The Columbia Group Investing to Propel Proteus Vehicle into the Seas

Bluefin Robotics, a subsidiary of Battelle, is joining with The Columbia Group to invest in the next generation large submersible vehicle.

Bluefin is a leader in design and manufacture of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) and related technology. Battelle has a long history of meeting the technology needs of the U.S. Navy including work on the advanced SEAL delivery system. The Columbia Group has provided the U.S. and foreign navies with swimmer delivery vehicles for more than 20 years.

The Columbia Group currently is developing the hull mechanical and electrical systems for the large dual mode undersea vehicle, capable of operation in either manned or autonomous modes. Called Proteus, it will be advanced by incorporating Bluefin’s autonomy technology for use in unmanned missions. Bluefin is also supplying mission planning capabilities and the power solution. Battelle is providing battery charging and systems integration support. Developers plan to hold an at-sea demonstration in the spring.

The Navy has persistently outlined the need for industry to develop next-generation UUVs with increased mission time, range and payload capacity. “Our team has overlapping competencies, proven products and ongoing efforts that will benefit this development,” said David P. Kelly, president & CEO of Bluefin Robotics. “By combining the strengths of our organizations, we can field a vehicle that will meet the Navy’s needs and take UUV capabilities to the next level.”

Dubbed a “beastly drone” by Wired magazine last year, the vehicle is 25-feet long, weighs 6,200lbs and has up to 400lbs of lift capability. It is capable of operating unmanned or manned.

“The Columbia Group has a strong history of developing and manufacturing both manned and unmanned undersea vehicles for military customers around the world,” said Ross Lindman, senior vice president for the Columbia Group’s Engineering Solutions Division. “Working with Battelle and Bluefin only strengthens our ability to build this specialized craft for our Navy customers.”

About Bluefin Robotics
Bluefin Robotics designs, manufactures and operates unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) systems and related technology. Founded in 1997, the company has grown to become a world leader in UUV products designed for defense, commercial, and scientific applications. Bluefin Robotics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Battelle. For more information, visit www.bluefinrobotics.com.

About Battelle
As the world’s largest independent research organization, Battelle provides innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing needs through its four global businesses: laboratory management; national security; health and life sciences; and energy, environment and material sciences. It conducts $6.5 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide. For more information, contact Katy Delaney at delaneyk@battelle.org.
 
About The Columbia Group
The Columbia Group’s Engineering Solutions Division is a design and development organization that specializes in military undersea vehicles, diving systems, and shipboard launch and recovery systems for the Navy, as well as ground robotics for the Marine Corps. TCG has more than 30 years of experience in design and construction of undersea vehicles, including both manned and unmanned vehicles. They are the U.S. Navy’s support contractor for the Navy Special Warfare SEAL Delivery Vehicle Program, as well as a provider of vehicles for mine hunting and neutralization. The Columbia Group has a total employment of more than 1,100 employees serving all five branches of the military in locations throughout the United States. It is headquartered at 20 M Street, Washington, D.C.

 

AeroVironment, Sentient Sign Exclusive License Agreement

Submitted on 2/15/2012 5:55:40 PM   

AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV) and Australia-based Sentient today announced the signing of an exclusive global license agreement that allows AeroVironment to distribute Sentient’s automatic target detection software for full motion video for use with small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Sentient’s Kestrel Land MTI Tier I is specifically designed to enable automated detection of targets, in real time, from small UAS. Over the past 18 months Sentient and AeroVironment have optimized and integrated the software with AeroVironment’s existing common Ground Control System (GCS), which serves the Puma™, Raven® and Wasp™ small UAS.

“The Kestrel software adds capability to our existing small UAS by automatically detecting moving objects on the video screen and presenting that information visually to the operator,” said Tom Herring, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of Unmanned Aircraft Systems. “This software makes it much easier to detect and track multiple moving objects in the battle space, thus delivering improved situational awareness to the system operator and tactical commander.”

Military forces frequently deploy AeroVironment’s small UAS in dynamic and complex operating environments. Kestrel has the ability to give operators an immediate cue to potential threats. This capability enhances situational awareness on the ground, which can help save lives.

“Kestrel Land MTI is deployed in a variety of theaters all over the world,” said Simon Olsen, sales and marketing manager at Sentient. “The automated cueing capability has proven to be a decisive edge in a number of operational missions. This extensive operational experience was a key prerequisite for this relationship to proceed.”

The license agreement between AeroVironment and Sentient does not include Sentient’s automated target detection software solutions Kestrel Land MTI Tier II, Kestrel Land MTI Tier III and Kestrel Maritime.

About AeroVironment
AeroVironment is a technology solutions provider that designs, develops, produces and supports an advanced portfolio of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and electric transportation solutions. Agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense and allied military services extensively use the company’s electric-powered, hand-launched Raven®, Wasp™ and Puma™ systems to provide situational awareness to tactical operating units through real-time, airborne reconnaissance, surveillance and communication. Multiple government agencies have helped to fund the development and demonstration of Global Observer®, a hybrid-electric, stratospheric UAS designed to provide affordable, persistent reconnaissance and communication over any location on the globe. SwitchbladeTM is a loitering munition designed to provide a rapid, lethal, pinpoint precision strike capability with minimal collateral damage. AeroVironment’s electric transportation solutions include a comprehensive suite of electric vehicle (EV) charging systems, installation and data services for consumers, automakers, utilities and government agencies, power cycling and test systems for EV developers and industrial electric vehicle charging systems for commercial fleets. www.avinc.com.

About Sentient
Sentient successfully develops and deploys computer vision technology for defense and civil projects. Since 1999 Sentient has been specializing in video analytics with a strong focus on the development of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision software. Sentient is a member of the Defence Recognised Supplier Scheme and a trusted partner of the Australian Department of Defence. www.sentientvision.com.

The microdrone's md4-1000 Proves Endurance, Tested Impartially with Swiss Precision

Submitted on 2/10/2012 10:26:10 AM   

Especially for "tough jobs" microdrone's md4-1000 is qualified. A highly efficient working drive- and enery-supply-system allows the microdrones md4-1000 breaking all records in terms of flight time. An endurance test in the form of a video impressively demonstrates the 70 minutes flying time, which was detected under laboratory conditions. Of course, with the help of an impartial referee. Urs Meier, a former FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) soccer referee was just the right person for this particular task.

Kick-off! At the second zero, the microdrones md4-1000 ascends in the air and hovers. Up to this point nothing special. Even after 45 minutes of hovering, no signs of fatigue could be identified: The microdrone md4-1000, which is the "flagship" of the product line of microdrones, hovers consistently in its position, tireless - no rest for the referee as he is usually accustomed. The stop watch, which is projected onto a large wall in the background, achieved the detected 70th minute as expected. The md4-1000 is still hovering calmly and reliably in its position.
 
Now the surprise: The game takes an unexpected turn. The power achieved an unexpected level. Final whistle only in the 88th minute – without half time for the superior microdrone md4-1000. Referee Urs Meier did not need to show either yellow or red cards within this match. The triumph of microdrones is impressive for all involved parties. microdrones has once again promised not too much: Full 18 minutes, the md4-1000 was into overtime and accomplished a total flight time of 88 minutes.

“To our knowledge this is the world record for a NonStop hover flight of a serial-production and electric driven MUAV of the 5 kg class," Sven Juerss, microdrones GmbH CEO, said. "Especially when you consider that our system was fully equipped for this record flight. Although GPS was not available in the film studio, we still had our whole GPS system on board fully functional. Telemetry and video link were of course also be fully operational. In addition, a high-resolution daylight camera was mounted as a payload. If you now consider the fact that md4-1000 is not only designed exclusively for long flight times, but also for highest weather resistance and maximum payload capacities, this result is even more impressive.”

SC Technologies to Launch OEM Preferred Partner Program at AUVSI's Unmanned Systems Program Review

Submitted on 2/2/2012 4:58:07 PM   

SC Technologies (SCT) announced its plans to launch a comprehensive OEM preferred partner program at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Unmanned Systems Program Review in Washington, D.C. The Preferred Partner Program will offer OEM partners access to an extensive line of visual and audio technology components and customizable solutions, dedicated technical resources, and exclusive discounts.

SCT offers a broad range of manufacturing services that enable integration partners to compress time-to-market and improve supply-chain efficiency without compromising quality. The company’s full scope of capabilities includes: solution design, project and order management, manufacturing, product lifecycle management, configuration, sourcing and logistics, and warranty repair services. The company maintains strategic relationships with a broad range of manufacturers – many ISO 9001:2000 certified – all sharing SCT’s deep commitment to quality in manufacturing.

“We understand that every customer and project has a unique set of needs – from design and development to support and maintenance,” said Bill Rogers, vice president of sales. “We feel that our robust supply chain, combined with our product management, customization and technical support capabilities, offers an end-to-end value proposition that few competitors can match.”

SCT currently serves a wide range of industries requiring visual and audio technology, including: unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned weapon systems, robotics, helmet mounted systems, vehicle traffic safety systems, infrastructure security, and banking/ATM services.

SCT is a Platinum Member of AUVSI, and is a registered GSA Contract holder for government projects. To learn more about SC Technologies, visit www.sctechnologies.com or call 866.883.0492.

About SC Technologies
SC Technologies (SCT) is a specialized arm of Observint Technologies, a Carlyle Group portfolio company that owns and operates several independent, high-tech businesses in the security sector.  Over the past 20 years, Observint companies have become a trusted source for thousands of manufacturing partners, government, law enforcement, military and business professionals. SCT was formed in 2011 to focus on the company’s rapidly-growing OEM business.

Former Program Director for F-22 Program Joins Executive Team at AME Unmanned Air Systems, Inc.

Submitted on 1/23/2012 5:05:49 PM   

AME Unmanned Air Systems, Inc., a Chandler/May company, announced that retired U.S. Air Force Col. Sean Frisbee has been named vice president of AME Unmanned Air Systems and will oversee the development, production and manufacturing of the company’s portfolio of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including the Fury® 1500 UAS, also known as “FOXBAT.” 

Col. Frisbee retired from the Air Force in January 2012 after 22 years of active duty, most recently serving as the program director for the $66 billion F-22 Program, one of the largest aircraft development and production efforts in history. 

“We are extremely honored to add a leader of Sean’s caliber to our team,” said John Purvis, president & CEO of AME. “He is a first-round draft pick and renown for delivering extraordinary results. His entrepreneurial and visionary leadership style along with his unique Air Force and intelligence background will be invaluable as AME expands its portfolio of unmanned air system solutions.”

Col. Frisbee is a nationally recognized leader in developing, procuring and sustaining military weapon systems. During his 22 years in the Air Force he commanded or led a variety of organizations including propulsion programs at an Air Force logistics center; foreign threat analysis at the air intelligence center; aircraft maintenance in an operational wing; and numerous aircraft, missile, and bomb acquisition programs at Air Force product centers. Prior to his service as F-22 program director, he spent a year in Iraq developing the strategy for rebuilding the Iraqi Air Force. 

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to join the AME team,” added Col. Frisbee. “I’ve worked with the defense industry my entire career and believe that companies like AME, who focus on providing top value for every defense dollar spent, are what we need in today’s fiscally constrained environment.

“AME’s latest UAS solution, the FOXBAT version of the Fury 1500, is a perfect example of an adaptable, flexible, and cost effective system. Its physical shape, open architecture and industry leading payload capacity enables rapid mission adaptation at an affordable cost. Fury’s runway independence makes it possible to launch and operate from the ground, sea, or air, and has proven to have the longest endurance of any aircraft in its class, logging more than 300 hours of flight time, including multiple flights in excess of 14 hours duration.”

Col. Frisbee has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from West Virginia University and Master of Science Degrees from Embry Riddle University and Air University. He is also a graduate of the Air Force’s prestigious School of Advanced Air & Space Studies and a 2006 National Defense Fellow at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Ill.

About AME Unmanned Air Systems, Inc.
AME Unmanned Air Systems is one of the world's leading producers of Unmanned Aerial Systems, having provided more than 1,500 aircraft to multiple customers worldwide, including tactical systems addressing urgent needs in Afghanistan and Iraq. As a full spectrum design, engineering, integration, and manufacturing company, AME UAS is capable of providing everything from engineering and sub-system support through complete systems, including the Fury®, a long endurance and runway independent UAS, the SkyShark Gimbal™ - a low cost, rapidly customizable High Definition EO/IR turret system, and SharkFin® — the premier UAS Mission Management and UAS control software capability in the field today.

About Chandler/May, Inc.
Chandler/May is a System Integration and Tactical Product Development company that has delivered hundreds of C2 shelters, rugged computing systems, and I/O solutions to the Defense and Aerospace Markets. These military systems designed and built by Chandler/May include the development and production of tactical ground control shelters, custom C2 systems on air defense control platforms, portable ground control stations, submarine tactical equipment test stations, UAV flight and payload computers, and field-rugged system simulators and trainers. www.chandlermay.com

Bluefin Robotics Receives ISO 9001:2008 Certification

Submitted on 1/5/2012 2:16:57 PM   

Bluefin Robotics received ISO 9001:2008 Certification for the design, development, manufacturing, operation, and servicing of their autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and related products. The certification was granted by the International Organization for Standardization, TÜV SÜD America Inc, a non-governmental organization that is the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards.
 
“The ISO certification is a culmination of the cultural changes and operational improvements which show our commitment to meet and exceed customers’ satisfaction and will help us better position ourselves for more wins and sustainable growth,” said Dr. Bachir Kharraja, director of Quality at Bluefin Robotics

To receive the certification, Bluefin underwent a major transformation that included the development of a quality management system (QMS). Implementation of the QMS has translated into successful program execution, market expansion, and business growth fueled by new design wins, improved infrastructure and robust processes.

“ISO certification was a critical step in preparing the company for full-rate production for current key programs,” said David P. Kelly, president and CEO of Bluefin Robotics. “It is imperative for all companies to adhere to well-established standards of quality to be successful and satisfy customer needs. It was especially important for Bluefin as we manage and grow the company as a world leader in subsea technology.”

About Bluefin Robotics
Bluefin Robotics designs, develops, manufactures, operates and services autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) systems and related technology. Founded in 1997, the company has grown to become a world leader in AUV products designed for defense, commercial, and scientific customers worldwide. Bluefin Robotics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Battelle. For more information, visit www.bluefinrobotics.com.

Bluefin Spray Glider Completes Two-Month Shallow Op at Pulley Ridge

Submitted on 12/19/2011 11:33:40 AM   

Bluefin Robotics announced that the Bluefin Spray Glider recently completed a two-month deployment conducted by the Glider Research and Operations Center (GROC) at FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI). The Spray Glider operations took place at Pully Ridge near the West Florida Shelf in approximately 60 meters water depth. It performed 3,200 dives more than100 kilometers distance. In addition to the Spray’s high quality conductivity, temperature and depth payload, the system was equipped with optical scattering and chlorophyll sensors.

“The Spray Glider is an ideal platform for ocean monitoring over large areas and in diverse environments. This mission took place in shallow water; the next one will be in waters close to a mile deep. The Spray Glider’s combination of endurance, depth-capability, reliability and payload capacity fills the exact needs of oceanographic research and monitoring,” said Fraser Dalgleish, Ph.D., Director of the Ocean Visibility and Optics Lab at HBOI. “The data acquired are providing valuable information about the large scale distribution of plankton and larval populations and the next mission will allow us to venture into much deeper waters with two Spray units to also determine background hydrocarbon levels around these deep coral reef ecosystems.”

The deployment was in support of the Florida Shelf Edge Exploration (FLOSEE-II) expedition led by HBOI. The expedition objectives were to locate and characterize coral reefs that are so deep that natural light barely reaches them. The scientists focused on coral communities and commercial fish species on these reefs. They also collected data about the effectiveness of marine managed areas for ecosystem restoration, and took samples to test for the presence of hydrocarbons.

Results of this cruise will be presented by HBOI researchers at The American Geophysical Union’s Ocean Sciences Meeting in Salt Lake City in February 2012.

About Bluefin Robotics
Bluefin Robotics designs, manufactures and operates Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) systems and related technology. Founded in 1997, the company has grown to become a world leader in AUV products designed for defense, commercial, and scientific applications. Bluefin Robotics is a wholly owned subsidiary of Battelle. For more information, visit www.bluefinrobotics.com.

About Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University is a research institute dedicated to exploration, innovation, conservation and education related to the oceans. Harbor Branch was founded in 1971 as a private non-profit organization. In December 2007, Harbor Branch joined Florida Atlantic University. The institute specializes in ocean engineering, at-sea operations, drug discovery and biotechnology from the oceans, coastal ecology and conservation, marine mammal research and conservation, aquaculture, and marine education. For more information, visit www.hboi.fau.edu.

About Florida Atlantic University
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.

Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100: Convincing First Flights onboard New French Navy OPV L'ADRIOT

Submitted on 11/29/2011 3:52:15 PM   

Schiebel's CAMCOPTER® S-100 unmanned air system (UAS) has once again successfully proven its highly efficient maritime capability, this time onboard the new Gowind class OPV (offshore patrol vessel), L'ADROIT built by DCNS and handed over to the French Navy in October 2011. Operating at the cutting edge of technology, the S-100 successfully completed a series of flights and trials onboard the L´ADROIT OPV at the beginning of November, under the command and control of the French Navy. The L'ADROIT is believed to be the first ship ever to be specifically designed to operate unmanned vehicles and has been fitted out to operate the maritime proven CAMCOPTER® S-100. Thanks to its modular system architecture, the unmanned helicopter could be easily managed.

"With the unmanned airborne system it is possible to gather information without tiring the crew and without exposing the crew towards an enemy and/or bacteriological and/or chemical hazards or also to act as communication relay." said DCNS OPV Manager Denis Menage.

During the four days of operation in the Bay of Biscay, the CAMCOPTER® carried out 11 flights and 89 deck landings using a harpoon developed by Schiebel. As part of the trials, the S-100 used its electro-optical and infrared sensors to identify exercise potential threats such as small boats. It was shown that the UAS significantly increases the capability of the ship and the missions conducted during the trials demonstrated its high potential for surveillance, harbor and costal patrol, environmental protection, intelligence gathering, drug interdiction, anti-piracy tasks, as well as supporting search & rescue operations.

"This versatile and very capable UAV can fly a complex mission as planned, without any direct interaction from the operator it is fully automatic. Its positioning systems (a combination of GPS and inertial measurement) guarantee precise navigation and stability, necessary conditions for the accurate landing on a moving platform at sea," a naval spokesman supplemented.

"We believe that embarking a tactical rotary UAS such as the CAMCOPTER® S-100 onboard such a ship will provide a step-change in its surveillance and reconnaissance capability in the future. The missions conducted during these trials aptly illustrate this enormous potential. Given the fact that many Navies seem to be focusing more on procuring smaller ships for future operations, coupled with the fact that indigenous manned helicopters are often too expensive, opens the door for UAS, such as the S-100. This potential capability gap in terms of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) is where the S-100 fits in," said Neil Hunter, sales director for Schiebel and retired Naval commander.

About Schiebel:
Founded in 1951, the Vienna-based Schiebel Group of companies focuses on the development, testing and production of state-of-the-art mine detection equipment and the revolutionary CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS). Schiebel has built an international reputation for producing quality defense and humanitarian products, which are backed by exceptional after-sales service and support. Since 2010 Schiebel offers the new division composite and is able to supply high-tech customers with this high-quality carbon fiber technology. All products are quality-controlled to meet ISO 9001 standards. With headquarters
in Vienna (Austria), Schiebel now maintains production facilities in Wiener Neustadt (Austria), and Abu Dhabi (UAE), as well as offices in Washington, DC and Phnom Penh (Cambodia).

About the CAMCOPTER® S-100:
Schiebel s CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) is a proven capability for military and civilian applications. The vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAS needs no prepared area, supporting launch or recovery equipment. It operates day and night, under adverse weather conditions, with a beyond line-of-sight capability out to 200km, both on land and at sea. The S-100 navigates via pre-programmed GPS waypoints or is operated with a pilot control unit. Missions are planned and controlled via simple point-and-click graphical user interface and high-definition payload imagery is transmitted to the control station in real-time. Using "fly-by-wire" technology controlled by a triple-redundant flight computer, the AV can complete its mission automatically. Its carbon-fiber and titanium fuselage provides capacity for a wide range of payload/endurance combinations up to a service ceiling of 18,000ft and, in the standard configuration, carries a 75lbs/34kg payload for over six hours.

Bluefin to Provide UUVs for Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship Surface Mine Countermeasure Program

Last updated on 11/21/2011 4:29:56 PM

Bluefin Robotics, a leader in the design and manufacturing of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) is being awarded a subcontract from General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems for engineering and manufacturing of the Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (SMCM UUV). As a critical part of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mine Warfare mission package, the SMCM UUV system will provide the fleet mine warfare commander and sailors with enhanced mine-hunting capability and address the Navy's need to reliably detect and identify buried mines in high-clutter environments.

The SMCM UUV system will include two Bluefin-21 UUVs in addition to launch and recovery equipment, a support container, spare parts and support equipment. The UUV will feature Bluefin’s modular and flexible vehicle architecture, pressure-tolerant field-swappable subsea batteries, and low-noise propulsion technology. In addition, the vehicle will also include an advanced sonar payload developed by the General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems Team.

“Bluefin is excited to be a part of this industry team led by General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems to deliver a much needed war-fighting capability for the MCM mission package,” said David P. Kelly, president and CEO of Bluefin Robotics. “We are looking forward to leveraging proven Bluefin technologies demonstrated over the past decade and further advance the vehicle capabilities to fully satisfy the LCS mission requirements.”

The subcontract includes an option for the production of up to five low rate initial production systems (ten UUVs) as well as other options. Work will be performed in Quincy, Mass.

The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, Panama City Beach, Fla., is the contracting activity (N61331-11-C-0017) for the prime contract to General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems.

About Bluefin Robotics
Bluefin Robotics manufactures and develops Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) systems and related technology. Founded in 1997, the company has grown to become a world leader in UUV products designed for defense, commercial, and scientific applications. Bluefin Robotics is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Battelle. For more information, please visit www.bluefinrobotics.com.

Researchers, Responders to Jointly Develop UAV Visual Common Ground

Submitted on 10/18/2011 4:28:50 PM   

Researchers and responders from The Texas A&M University System have received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create a visual “common ground” between operators and responders who use micro and small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for search and rescue.

Following principles in how people know what other people are talking about in conversations, visual common ground will allow responders to easily express where they want the UAV to fly and what angle to examine collapsed structures using an iPad or other tablet. The responders would also be able to review imagery and video while the UAV continues its mission rather than waiting for the UAV to land. 

Response professionals from the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Disaster Preparedness and Response Division (DPR) will fly weekly at Disaster City® with researchers from the Texas Engineering Experiment Station’s (TEES) Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR), speeding the development and refinement of the natural user interface.

Disaster City® is a 52-acre facility featuring full-scale collapsible structures that replicate community infrastructure. The site includes simulations of a strip mall, office building, industrial complex, assembly hall/theater, single-family dwelling, train derailments, three active rubble piles and a small lake.

The grant is the first direct partnering of emergency responders with university professors/researchers for UAV research. Bob McKee, DPR director and agency chief for Texas Task Force 1, serves as a principal investigator with Dr. Robin Murphy, Texas A&M University professor and CRASAR director. The partnership leverages the capabilities of top academic researchers and the preparedness and response expertise of TEEX, all existing within the A&M System.

“Being able to work directly and routinely with responders under conditions as near to a real disaster as one can get will allow the research to progress faster. This could only happen at Texas A&M,” Murphy said. “Normally we’d have to try to condense a year of work into one week of trials, and if something went wrong we’d have to wait months for another opportunity for responders or a demolished building to become available.”

McKee said, “TEEX has been actively involved in efforts to develop and adapt robots for search and rescue applications. Through working with the National Institute for Standards and Technology project to develop standard test methods for emergency response robots to collaborating with scientific researchers and commercial developers at our unique Disaster City® facility, we’re hoping to someday use small UAVs and other unmanned systems to help save lives.”

The grant will help enable emergency responders to take advantage of small “personal” UAVs being developed for the U.S. Department of Defense. Urban search and rescue operations can be more challenging than military peacekeeping operations as they can require assessment and analysis of damaged structures, hazardous areas, and other unique situations.

The idea for creating shared displays is a result of more than a decade of research on rescue robotics by Murphy, who was recently named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company magazine. She has led UAV deployments at numerous disasters starting with Hurricane Katrina. Her work with Dr. Jenny Burke (a former graduate student currently with Boeing), based on CRASAR experiences with ground robots at the World Trade Center, showed that search and rescue specialists were nine times more effective if two responders not one worked together using a shared visual display.

The team expects to have an open source tablet interface for AirRobot and Dragan UAVs within 24 months that leads to a significant, measurable improvement in team performance as well as high user acceptance.

Ultra Electronics DF-70 Tri-Fuel Engine Flies Brock Technologies SPEAR UAS

Submitted on 10/18/2011 4:21:13 PM   

Brock Technologies, Inc., an unmanned systems solutions provider, has teamed with Ultra Electronics Precision Air Systems, a leading aerospace and defense systems company, to integrate capable propulsion technology, the DF-70. The DF-70 is a heavy fuel, fuel injected, internal combustion engine that is capable of operating on different fuels for extended periods of time.

After a short period of successful ground-based testing, the Ultra Electronics’ DF-70 was integrated onto the Brock Technologies’ SPEAR Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for flight testing. The SPEAR UAS features an independently shifting wing and fuselage pod enabling it to be reconfigured to hold a wide variety of payloads without the need for ballast.

In early 2010, the SPEAR flew in an electric configuration for over 1 hour while carrying 14lbs of payload and drawing a nominal 375W of power. Currently, the SPEAR has been fitted with the DF-70 3HP heavy fuel engine enabling it to achieve flight times longer than any other UAS in its class.

During the maiden flight with the DF-70, the SPEAR weighed in at 28.95lbs and demonstrated cruising speeds of 36 kts and mild dashes at just over half power of 62kts.

Keith Brock, vice president of Brock Technologies, Inc. said, “Each flight we are slowly expanding the SPEAR’s flight envelope as we unleash the power of the DF-70 and work our way up to full power and full endurance. It is a good feeling to improve upon capabilities of past designs in the same class.” he adds.

During the maiden flight, the DF-70 engine utilized Jet-A fuel. However, the DF-70 is capable of utilizing other fuels such as JP-8, Diesel or Mo-Gas. Brock described the engine as a “powerful beast at full throttle with an unmatched low, quiet idle” that will give the Brock SPEAR high speed dash capability, a reduced noise signature for ISR and a potential hand launched capability reducing the logistical footprint of other systems with catapult launchers.

Brock sees real opportunities for the DF-70 equipped SPEAR in the currently small but growing numbers of civil applications such as firefighting, costal, pipeline and power line monitoring where a human observer would be at risk or too cost prohibitive for the operation. Further advantages can be seen with police observation of civil disturbances, crime scenes, and reconnaissance support in natural disasters.

The modular construction and adjustable wing position of the Brock SPEAR and low development risk also make this platform suitable for very fast configuration changes for different mass payloads. The new addition of the DF-70 to the SPEAR permit can increase in sensor payload and longer flight times, making this system a perfect match for the military and other UAS applications.

“Working with Ultra Electronics on this project has been amazing.” Brock says. “You can see the innovative approach in their product and as a result, Ultra has provided the market with a highly reliable engine. Their product’s quality and company’s support has enabled us to have nothing but success.”

For more information, contact Info@BrockTechnologies.com

Ultra Electronics DF-70 Tri-Fuel Engine Flies Brock Technologies SPEAR UAS

Submitted on 10/18/2011 4:21:13 PM   

Brock Technologies, Inc., an unmanned systems solutions provider, has teamed with Ultra Electronics Precision Air Systems, a leading aerospace and defense systems company, to integrate capable propulsion technology, the DF-70. The DF-70 is a heavy fuel, fuel injected, internal combustion engine that is capable of operating on different fuels for extended periods of time.

After a short period of successful ground-based testing, the Ultra Electronics’ DF-70 was integrated onto the Brock Technologies’ SPEAR Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for flight testing. The SPEAR UAS features an independently shifting wing and fuselage pod enabling it to be reconfigured to hold a wide variety of payloads without the need for ballast.

In early 2010, the SPEAR flew in an electric configuration for over 1 hour while carrying 14lbs of payload and drawing a nominal 375W of power. Currently, the SPEAR has been fitted with the DF-70 3HP heavy fuel engine enabling it to achieve flight times longer than any other UAS in its class.

During the maiden flight with the DF-70, the SPEAR weighed in at 28.95lbs and demonstrated cruising speeds of 36 kts and mild dashes at just over half power of 62kts.

Keith Brock, vice president of Brock Technologies, Inc. said, “Each flight we are slowly expanding the SPEAR’s flight envelope as we unleash the power of the DF-70 and work our way up to full power and full endurance. It is a good feeling to improve upon capabilities of past designs in the same class.” he adds.

During the maiden flight, the DF-70 engine utilized Jet-A fuel. However, the DF-70 is capable of utilizing other fuels such as JP-8, Diesel or Mo-Gas. Brock described the engine as a “powerful beast at full throttle with an unmatched low, quiet idle” that will give the Brock SPEAR high speed dash capability, a reduced noise signature for ISR and a potential hand launched capability reducing the logistical footprint of other systems with catapult launchers.

Brock sees real opportunities for the DF-70 equipped SPEAR in the currently small but growing numbers of civil applications such as firefighting, costal, pipeline and power line monitoring where a human observer would be at risk or too cost prohibitive for the operation. Further advantages can be seen with police observation of civil disturbances, crime scenes, and reconnaissance support in natural disasters.

The modular construction and adjustable wing position of the Brock SPEAR and low development risk also make this platform suitable for very fast configuration changes for different mass payloads. The new addition of the DF-70 to the SPEAR permit can increase in sensor payload and longer flight times, making this system a perfect match for the military and other UAS applications.

“Working with Ultra Electronics on this project has been amazing.” Brock says. “You can see the innovative approach in their product and as a result, Ultra has provided the market with a highly reliable engine. Their product’s quality and company’s support has enabled us to have nothing but success.”

For more information, contact Info@BrockTechnologies.com

Datron World Communications Announces Strategic Investment in Aeryon Labs

Submitted on 10/12/2011 1:50:23 PM   

Funding will Advance Development of Scout Micro-UAV Platform and Expand International Market Presence

Datron World Communications, Inc., a leader in the tactical and public safety communications industry, announced a significant equity investment in Aeryon Labs, a Canadian-based technology innovator of robotics for aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Under terms of the agreement, Datron will become an equity partner in Aeryon Labs while maintaining its private label status and exclusive rights to distribute the Scout through the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. FMS funding allows foreign militaries access to U.S. government-sponsored assistance to purchase advanced communications technologies. The investment will also facilitate worldwide expansion and advance development of the Scout for tactical, government, public safety and commercial markets. Details of the arrangement were not announced.

“Datron’s passion is to sell cost effective communications products that are extremely easy to use and allow operators to focus on the mission and not the technology, which could ultimately save lives,” states Art Barter, president and CEO of Datron. “Our previous private label agreement with Aeryon Labs solidified the Scout as a natural addition to our company’s product offerings. The Datron investment in Aeryon will further extend the effectiveness of our worldwide distribution network and exclusive U.S. Foreign Military Sales relationships in making Scout the preferred, small form factor Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) solution.”

Recently, Datron and Aeryon successfully completed exhaustive evaluations as part of the URBEX Trials (UK), Spartan Bear (Canada) and Empire Challenge (U.S.). The Scout has also been deployed by the Libyan National Council in their efforts to overthrow the Gadhafi regime.

“Our relationship with Datron has been invaluable to the evolution of Scout, using information from the field and requirements of real users to drive new innovations,” says Dave Kroetsch, President of Aeryon Labs. “Datron’s equity investment will help us put the Scout in the hands of more users worldwide and continue to advance product development for military and commercial applications.”

Weighing only 2.6 lbs (1.17 kg), Datron Scout has a robust design with modular assembly and battery-powered brushless motors that enable it to silently “hover and stare” and follow any point of interest. Its carbon-fiber rotor blades easily fly in altitudes up to 13,000 feet (3,962.4 meters) and 31 mph (50 kph) winds – with gusts up to 50 mph (80 kph) - making it ideal for operation in inclement weather. Controlled from a tablet-PC, the Datron Scout combines a point-and-touch interface with intelligent applications for intuitive control and mission effectiveness – from mapping of new territories to nighttime surveillance using the FLIR Tau thermal imaging camera. Tool-less assembly means an operator can launch Datron Scout into any environment within minutes. In addition to impressive aerial intelligence capabilities, the Scout has been mission-tested and field-proven in real world operations around the globe.

Datron and Aeryon Labs will continue collaboration on the design and performance of the Scout as users adopt the product and provide valuable input on enhancements required by the soldier, first responder and commercial user in the field.

About Datron World Communications, Inc.
Datron World Communications Inc. delivers communications products and systems worldwide. The company’s offerings enable governments, security forces and commercial users worldwide to establish and maintain critical voice, data and video connectivity. Known for their ease-of-use and reliability, Datron’s products and systems are currently deployed in more than 80 countries worldwide. Datron World Communications Inc. was established in 1971 and is headquartered in San Diego. For more information, visit www.dtwc.com.

About Aeryon Labs, Inc.
Aeryon Labs provides robotic solutions to real-world problems through the design and manufacture of best-in-class small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and related systems. Recently proven in several military trials, including the 2011 US DoD Empire Challenge, the Scout allows police, military and civil users to easily collect real-time aerial intelligence, with a system small enough to fit in a backpack or car trunk. With expertise in robotics, control systems, and digital imaging, Aeryon Labs develops state-of-the-art products while remaining focused on end-user ease of use. For more information, visit www.aeryon.com

Two Utah Companies Combine to Take Top Prize at DOD-Sponsored Robotic Range Clearance Competition

Submitted on 9/23/2011 2:02:33 PM   

Kairos Autonomi and Autonomous Solutions Use Autonomous Mobility Appliqué Systems (AMAS) To Win $1.25 million As Part of Effort to Bring Robotic Capabilities to Range Clearance Efforts

Kairos Autonomi, Inc. and Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI), were the key systems integrators for Team UXOD Automation, named the overall winner and awarded $1.25 million at the Robotic Range Clearance Competition (R2C2) held recently at Camp Guernsey, Wyo.

Kairos and ASI utilized Autonomous Mobility Appliqué Systems (AMAS) technology in bringing automation and unmanned systems technology to unexploded ordinance (UXO) clean-up on munitions ranges. These capabilities can improve the safety and effectiveness of the four primary range clearing tasks: 1) Vegetation Clearance, 2) Surface Clearance, 3) Geophysical Mapping, and 4) Subsurface Clearance.

Team UXOD fielded three unique vehicles that competed in all four tasks. Each vehicle employed Autonomous Solutions’ Mobius Command and Control Software as its AMAS A (Autonomy) Kit, and Kairos’ Pronto4 Robotic Appliqué Kit for the AMAS B (By-wire) Kit. Team UXOD achieved a 70% level of autonomy for the range clearance tasks. Video of the vehicles can be found at www.kairosautonomi.com/videos/R2C2_UXOD_VideoAug2011_640x480.wmv.

“We have demonstrated that Mobius and the Pronto4 are fielded, proven technologies that can be utilized for range clearance tasks,” said Troy Takach, president and CEO of Kairos Autonomi. “Our success at the R2C2 is further proof that autonomy appliqué kits and by-wire appliqué kits are the future of unmanned vehicle operation.”

Mel Torrie, president of Autonomous Solutions, said, “I have been awed by the personal sacrifice and team work that came together to make possible this monumental step forward in automating such a dangerous application. This will change the industry as we know it and it wouldn’t have been achievable without partners like John Deere and SAIC.”

The Mobius software solution commands, controls and monitors multiple unmanned systems. It includes a robust set of features — including autonomous behaviors — developed for unmanned vehicles in military, mining, agriculture, material handling and surveillance applications.

The Pronto4 system is a robotic appliqué kit that enables ground vehicles to drive themselves by receiving inputs from an autonomy kit such as Mobius. The successful use of the kits in training operations, range clearance tasks and other industries will see them increasingly used in adjacent and future markets, Takach said.

Team UXOD is making its technology and robotic vehicles available for immediate use across the United States in range clearance operations. Team UXOD is comprised of Kairos Autonomi, Autonomous Solutions, Science Applications International (SAIC), Zonge International, VKR, John Deere and WM Robots. The Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD), in collaboration with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army, sponsored the R2C2.

About Kairos Autonomi 
Kairos Autonomi, Inc. is the pioneer in Robotic Appliqué Kits, add-on vehicle autonomy systems that provide unmanned capabilities to current manned vehicles, rendering them optionally unmanned. With its emphasis on simplicity, cost-effectiveness, ubiquity and interoperability, Kairos has proven since 2006 that one-third unmanned by 2015 is achievable only with robotic appliqué kits.

About Autonomous Solutions
Autonomous Solutions, Inc. designs and manufactures unmanned vehicle systems, software, and components for mining, agriculture, material handling, and military customers. Autonomous Solutions has fielded hundreds of vehicles both large and small leveraging their expertise in multi-vehicle command and control, mission planning, sensor fusion, obstacle avoidance, tele-operation, and point-and-click ease of use.

Bluefin Robotics Aquires Hawkes Remotes

Submitted on 9/16/2011 4:04:16 PM   

Bluefin Robotics Acquires Hawkes Remotes and Expands into ROV Market

Quincy, MA, USA—14 September 2011—Bluefin Robotics, a leader in the design and manufacturing of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) announced today that the company has acquired the assets of Hawkes Remotes, Inc (HRI), a spinoff from Hawkes Ocean Technologies (HOT), that develops advanced Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). Bluefin plans to leverage their AUV autonomy and subsea vehicle experience to add hybrid capabilities to the Hawkes ROVs and offer them as an extension of their current product line to the oil and gas industry.

“We are thrilled to be working with Bluefin Robotics to take this technology to market,” said Graham Hawkes, Co-Founder and CTO of Hawkes Remotes, Inc. and President and CTO of Hawkes Ocean Technologies. “Thanks to many years of experience and an extensive track record of designing and building AUVs, they’re a perfect fit to carry on the HRI vision of combining new and existing technologies to rethink the core designs of unmanned underwater vehicles.”

Bluefin’s decision to acquire the HRI designs stems from their mission to develop highly capable platforms for subsea survey and inspection-related tasks for the oil and gas industries. The Hawkes technology and design approach stood out among the crowd because it challenges the economics of deep ocean access via a ROV. The designs offer scalable, modular solutions including a thin, armored fiber-optic tether and on-board high-energy density batteries that will reduce the total cost of ownership/operating costs while simultaneously outperforming existing ROV technology.

“When we first considered purchasing HRI’s assets, we discovered that the companies shared many of the same philosophies and innovation goals,” explains David P. Kelly, President and CEO of Bluefin Robotics. “…vehicle modularity, on-board power, very deepwater ops, an efficient and cost-effective op tempo, rapid response deployments, for example.”

By combining the Hawkes Remotes technology with their own, Bluefin will provide a superior platform capable of providing an enhanced benefit to the commercial IRM market. The acquisition will enhance Bluefin’s product line by spanning the gap between the company’s fully autonomous systems and traditional ROVs.

“Offering additional autonomous platform options is essential in meeting current market needs, so we are pleased to be integrating this technology into our portfolio,” said Kelly. “We look forward to working with the Hawkes team and our commercial customers to optimize it for today’s IRM requirements.”

As part of the acquisition, Bluefin and Hawkes Ocean Technologies entered into a strategic relationship to bring the HRI ROV technology to market, but also to continuously advance the design and development of ROV platforms and technology.

ABOUT BLUEFIN ROBOTICS
Bluefin Robotics manufactures and develops Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) systems and related technology. Founded in 1997, the company has grown to become a world leader in subsea platforms designed for defense, commercial, and scientific applications. Bluefin Robotics is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Battelle. For more information, please visit www.bluefinrobotics.com.

ABOUT HAWKES OCEAN TECHNOLOGIES
Hawkes Ocean Technologies, founded in 1995 by renowned marine engineer, Graham Hawkes, is a privately-held company based in the San Francisco Bay Area that designs, builds and operates the world’s most advanced manned vehicles for ocean exploration. Hawkes Ocean Technologies is currently working with private clients, industry, science and government to advance its DeepFlight series of winged submersibles for cost effective exploration of the oceans to all depths. The Company also serves as a skunkworks to spin out new technologies and companies, including Precision Remotes, Inc., Hawkes Ocean Sports, and Hawkes Remotes, Inc. For more information, please visit www.deepflight.com.

ABOUT HAWKES REMOTES, INC.
Hawkes Remotes Inc. was founded in 2010 as a spinoff from Hawkes Ocean Technologies, with the goal of introducing a new generation of battery-powered unmanned underwater vehicles. The Company has a deep array of proprietary technologies and a 40-year heritage of innovation in marine engineering from co-founder Graham Hawkes. Hawkes has designed and developed more than sixty manned submersibles, as well as diving suits, ROVs, manipulators and other tools for ocean access and work. For more information on Hawkes Remotes, please visit www.hawkesremotes.com.

 

Simlat Selected by an Advanced Navy to Deliver Unmanned Vehicles Maritime Simulation Laboratory

Submitted on 9/6/2011 1:29:09 PM   

The Navy Unmanned Vehicles Directorate has selected Simlat to provide a high-end Unmanned Vehicles Simulation Laboratory (UVSL). Simlat will provide its renowned UAV simulator and a USV variant, both customized for maritime training and supporting comprehensive sensors and scenarios.

Simlat Ltd. announced a recent agreement to provide an unmanned vehicle maritime simulation lab by a Navy Unmanned Vehicles Directorate. As part of the collaboration between the organizations, Simlat will provide its widely used UAV training system, including integration and customization to various maritime environments, and the introduction of various radars simulation.

"The Simlat-Navy collaboration will provide Navy end-users with cutting-edge training and experimentation tools," says Roy Peshin, Simlat chief technology officer. "The Simulation Lab will be equipped with Simlat's high-fidelity simulation of a maritime arena, complete with unmanned surface vehicles (USV) and various types of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The newly introduced radar simulation will further enhance user experience, rendering the simulation lab a leader in its field."

About Simlat-UAS Training
Simlat Ltd., an Israeli-based company located in Herzliya, Israel and Grand Forks, N.D., is a leading provider of next generation training solutions for unmanned vehicle systems and for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). Based on extensive hand-on operational experience, Simlat is the right choice for training for every platform, payload and mission. Simlat’s turnkey training solutions include SIGINT, EO/IR and SAR sensors in various operational configurations. Simlat's systems are available as stand-alone or embedded/integrated to legacy control stations, as well as generic or customized solutions, and are in service in more than 20 countries.

To learn more about Simlat, visit www.simlat.com.

OSU and EDCO Announce Partnership to Test Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

Submitted on 8/10/2011 7:30:14 AM   

Agreement is the first critical step to establish a UAS focus in Central Oregon 

Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) and Oregon State University (OSU) have signed an agreement to develop technologies related to unmanned aerial systems (UAS) that will benefit OSU’s academic and research programs, particularly natural resource management. Simultaneously, the agreement would help EDCO incubate new UAS startups and bring additional UAS businesses to the region and to Oregon.

EDCO conservatively estimates the potential economic impact of recruiting UAS companies to the region to be approximately 450 employees, $28 million in payroll, and an overall economic impact of nearly $75 million within a seven-year period.

“To diversify Central Oregon’s economy, we systematically review all the industries EDCO targets,” noted Roger Lee, executive director of EDCO. “We’ve now identified the growth segment in aviation—the UAS sector—that capitalizes on our region’s natural and human resources. We see UAS, and other technology initiatives, as key steps in growing jobs and economic activity in the tri-county area and beyond. 
 
“The signing of this MOU,” Lee added “is an important step in attracting UAS testing activities. In turn, that groundwork will attract industry to either relocate or start up in Central Oregon.”

The initial goal of the partnership is to establish one or more specific projects in which OSU researchers can conduct remote-sensing and engineering experiments, and EDCO can create an initial series of UAS test flights for those experiments. Through special licenses called Certificates of Authorization (COAs), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorizes test flights. 

As a public partner, OSU benefits from the partnership by creating a test infrastructure to advance technologies such as robotics and sensor development and deploy them in ways beneficial to a number of OSU academic programs, including engineering, forestry, agriculture and other earth sciences. 

“For OSU, the ability to test in our backyard is exciting,” said Rick Spinrad, vice president for Research at OSU. Current testing for the university that measures snowpack from the air is taking place in Colorado, for example. “It could be quite beneficial and efficient to conduct these tests over the Cascades, closer to university resources, receiving real time data and working with Oregon companies,” he said. Spinrad oversees OSU’s substantial research efforts, which last year translated to over $260M in support.        
 
Last year, EDCO’s aviation recruitment committee developed strategic goals to establish Central Oregon as an R&D center for UAS research and as an incubator for UAS businesses operating in the Northwest. An important component of the plan, required by the FAA, is a public partner to initiate testing. 

“With this agreement with Oregon State University,” said Collins Hemingway, volunteer chair of EDCO’s Aviation Recruitment Committee, “our initiative gains major ground in its goal to establish a UAS industry in Central Oregon.”

According to numerous studies, the current UAS market is $5 billion and is projected to grow annually by 10%. Applications of particular benefit to the Northwest include firefighting, search and rescue, rural law enforcement, infrastructure monitoring, low-impact inventory of plant and wildlife populations, and overall resource and land management.

Currently, UAS companies face long delays in securing air space to test new technologies, which include airframes, controls, sensor packages and software. Few places in the country meet the safety protocols required for testing by the FAA. Delays of six months or more for only a few days of testing are common for some smaller UAS firms.

Because Central Oregon has large expanses of airspace that are over lightly populated rural areas and away from major airports and air traffic corridors, and because the region has a history of developing and testing experimental manned aircraft, the region believes it can obtain approval for the testing of experimental unmanned systems while meeting the FAA’s strict safety protocols.

Under the EDCO-OSU partnership, the initial series of test flights will use the COA method, but the hope is that the FAA will designate Central Oregon as one of six permanent testing areas in the nation. The proposal to create six new permanent sites is currently before Congress.

EDCO has gathered support from both public and private entities, Central Oregon’s congressional delegation, the Oregon legislature, Governor Kitzhaber, and cities and counties to establish one or more test sites in the region.

“We are all working together to make UAS testing a reality in Central Oregon,” said Collins Hemingway. “The sooner we start, the sooner we attract high-quality companies and start adding well-paying jobs.”

About Oregon State University
About Oregon State University (OSU) is one of only two U.S. universities designated a land-, sea-, space- and sun-grant institution. OSU is also Oregon’s only university to hold both the Carnegie Foundation’s top designation for research institutions and its prestigious Community Engagement classification. Its nearly 24,000 students come from all 50 states and more than 90 nations. OSU programs touch every county within Oregon, and its faculty teaches and conducts research on issues of national and global importance.

About Economic Development for Central Oregon
Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is a private non-profit corporation founded 30 years ago and dedicated to building a vibrant and thriving regional economy by attracting new investment and traded-sector jobs (manufacturing, professional, headquarters and high technology businesses) through marketing, recruitment and substantive assistance to existing companies. Learn more about EDCO at www.edcoinfo.com.

Airbus to acquire Satair A/S

Submitted on 7/29/2011 8:51:47 AM   

Airbus, an EADS subsidiary, and Satair A/S, a Danish company, have entered into an agreement under which Airbus will offer the shareholders of Satair a price of DKK580 in cash per share - and the warrant holders in Satair a price of DKK378.661 per warrant. The acquisition will be effected through a public voluntary conditional tender offer, which the Board of Directors of Satair has undertaken to recommend the company’s shareholders to accept. Airbus will make the offer through a wholly owned special purpose entity, Airbus Denmark Holding ApS.

Led by an experienced management team with a proven track record, Satair is the premier independent distributor of aircraft parts and services specializing in expendables and components. Through its worldwide supply chain network and its regional sales offices, Satair provides aviation parts and innovative services to a broad customer base around the world, supporting all major aircraft families in the commercial aviation market. With 360 employees globally, Satair expects $403 million of revenues and $36 million of EBITDA in the fiscal year ended 30 June 2011, equally distributed in the United States, Asia and Europe.

Achieving a better balance between platforms and services is a key element of the EADS Vision 2020. Consistent with this strategy, this acquisition facilitates the growth of Airbus’ Material Management division and is an opportunity to develop new services through the combined entity in both the civil and governmental markets. Completion of the offer will enable Airbus to capitalize on its own commercial network together with Satair’s offering and distribution capabilities to position itself as a leading global service and support provider for airlines and maintenance, repair and overhaul providers (MROs).

Satair benefits from long-standing and privileged relationships with suppliers and customers thanks to their on-time delivery record, combined with an innovative services offering. Leveraging Airbus’ industry knowledge and relationship and Satair’s highly scalable operating model, Satair will continue developing its world-renowned brand name as a standalone company within Airbus. Coordination with Airbus’ Material Management division will allow a full offering to the aviation industry.

Marwan Lahoud, EADS chief strategy and marketing officer, stated: “This acquisition perfectly fits EADS’ Vision 2020 strategy by increasing the services business and our international presence. It is also an excellent investment opportunity for Airbus, as Satair has proven resilient during the financial crisis and has been able to show a continuous profitable growth. We see an accretive transaction for our shareholders through this synergistic acquisition. Further to the recent acquisition of Vector Aerospace, EADS is actively pursuing and delivering its growth service strategy through internal and external growth. Satair is a first step towards a one-stop shop integrated offering in the material management activity, which is an essential part of EADS’ and Airbus’ services growth strategy to fulfil our vision 2020”.

Didier Lux, executive vice president of Airbus Customer Services, said: “This acquisition is a logical step towards our vision to become one of the leading companies in integrated aftermarket services for our customers. Satair is a good strategic fit for Airbus thanks to its wide product and service range, established network of suppliers and customers, strong growth and proven financial track record. Leveraging Satair’s lean operating model and diversified product range with Airbus’ own parts distribution business, its supplier and customer relationships, and global footprint will help to further improve Satair’s growth perspectives and allow Satair to position itself among the world’s leaders in this market.”

About Satair A/S
Satair A/S, which was founded in 1957, is a world-leading supplier of aircraft parts and service solutions for aircraft maintenance. Satair A/S offers various services, ranging from parts supply and distribution to a selection of tailor-made service provider solutions. In the Asia Pacific region Satair A/S also offers repair service on a broad selection of its product portfolio. Customers include all types of commercial operators and maintenance providers as well as several military operators worldwide. With approximately 360 employees worldwide, Satair A/S is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark and serves its business partners globally through sales and warehousing locations in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and China.

About EADS
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. In 2010, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of €45.8 billion and employed a workforce of nearly 122,000.

About Airbus
With 52,000 employees worldwide and revenues of approximately €30 billion in 2010, Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer whose customer focus, commercial know-how, technological leadership and manufacturing efficiency have propelled it to the forefront of the industry. Airbus’ modern and comprehensive product line comprises highly successful families of aircraft ranging from 100 to more than 500 seats. The company also continues to broaden its scope and product range by applying its expertise to the military market. Overall, more than 10,700 Airbus aircraft have been ordered by around 320 customers worldwide, and the healthy order backlog today stands at over 3,900 aircraft.

Airbus’ dedicated “Material, Logistics and Suppliers” (MLS) business unit supports the rapidly growing Airbus fleet worldwide with spare parts and innovative spares-related services. In addition to MLS’ main facility in Hamburg, Germany, a global network of material and logistics centres and warehouses worldwide ensures fastest deliveries of spares to Airbus operators. Customers also benefit from integrated solutions to maximize aircraft utilization over the aircraft lifecycle. MLS has 600 staff around the globe, a 24/7 customer order desk and fulfils more than 300,000 orders each year.

Kestrel Automated Detection Software Being Evaluated by Canadian Forces

Automated Target Detection to Enhance Canadian Forces Situational Awareness Capabilities for Domestic, International Surveillance

Sentient announced that the Canadian Forces (CF) are currently conducting an operational evaluation of Kestrel’s automated target detection capabilities on board the CP-140 Aurora, Canada's primary Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft. This represents the first sale of Kestrel into Canada.

The CP-140 Aurora is primarily used in coastal surveillance and sovereignty patrols. To improve the aircraft’s operational capabilities (in line with the Aurora Incremental Modernization Project) the CF Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit (MPEU) has purchased a Kestrel Land and Kestrel Maritime license for evaluation purposes.

Kestrel is plug-and-play automated target detection software that processes in real time the aerial surveillance imagery from the CP-140 Aurora aircraft’s EO/IR full motion video sensors. Automatically detecting small, moving targets such as vehicles, fishing vessels and dismounts on the ground, it will support CF commanders in their wide area surveillance tasks.

“The CP-140 Aurora’s maritime and overland surveillance missions are of vital importance in protecting Canada’s sovereignty”, stated Simon Olsen, sales manager of Sentient. “Kestrel’s unique ability to automatically detect and track small targets down to 2x2 pixels will enhance effectiveness of these missions. The software offers ISR operators/image analysts a clear understanding of the situation on the ground, assisting them in their security, counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling operations.”

Sentient is working with MPEU to ensure that Kestrel addresses all CF requirements, providing an advanced situational awareness capability for domestic and international surveillance.

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About Sentient
Sentient successfully develops and deploys computer vision technology for defence and civil projects. Since 1999 Sentient has been specialising in video analytics with a strong focus on the development of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision software.

Sentient is a member of the Defence Recognised Supplier Scheme and a trusted partner of the Australian Department of Defence. For more information, visit www.sentientvision.com.

About Canadian Forces Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit (MPEU)
The Maritime Proving and Evaluation Unit is the CP140/A Operational Flight Test agent for the Canadian Forces. The unit is composed of highly trained, hand-picked military and civilian specialists from the Department of National Defence. For more information, visit www.airforce.forces.gc.ca.

Ricardo, NW UAV and XRDi Form Alliance to Provide Superior UAV Heavy-Fuel Engine Solutions Partnersh

On 1 June, Ricardo, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Ricardo plc, the leading independent provider of technology, product innovations and engineering solutions, announced the formation of a strategic business alliance with XRD Inc. (XRDi) and NW UAV to design, develop and manufacture a family of heavy-fuel engine solutions for unmanned systems.

Branded Wolverine, the new engine line combines Ricardo’s engineering expertise with XRDi’s propriety combustion technology and NW UAV’s advanced manufacturing capabilities. The result is the industry’s most capable, dependable and flexible heavy-fuel engines available.

“This partnership allows Ricardo to offer unmanned propulsion solutions from concept design to development, and prototype to production and support,” said Kent Niederhofer, president of Ricardo, Inc. “We are now in the unique position to offer a range of heavy-fuel engines, desperately needed for military and homeland security tactical unmanned systems.”

The Wolverine engine line ranges in size from three to more than 50 horsepower with the potential to significantly reduce the logistics footprint by utilizing many common parts.

XRDi’s Mechanically Compressed Direct Injection (MCDI) system is a proprietary technology that allows two-stroke engines to run on multi-fuels, greatly improving the Wolverine engines fuel-efficiency, and has been tested in accordance with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Federal Aviation Regulation Part 33 (airworthiness standards, aircraft engines).

“XRDi views the alliance with Ricardo and NW UAV as an evolutionary step forward within the marketplace, a step that promises engineering solutions and superior products which are designed and manufactured in America,” said Forrest Bowen, president of XRDi.

The Wolverine engines, currently under consideration for several military programs, meet the U.S. Army’s “One Fuel Forward” initiative and will be manufactured by NW UAV, one of the largest UAV engine manufacturers in the United States.

“A robust series of heavy fuel engines is a tool our warfighters have asked for several decades,” said Chris Harris, President of NW UAV. “This alliance combines the skills needed to build fuel efficient, purpose-built engines, for the small engine market. NW UAV is excited to be part of this innovative teaming approach.”

“There’s no question that increased surveillance time in theater saves lives,” said Dr. Ron Storm, director of military business development at Ricardo. “This partnership brings together the industry’s predominate heavy-fuel engine leaders to provide immediate, market ready solutions to the unmanned systems industry.”

Ricardo is already accepting orders for the Wolverine engine and anticipates announcing its first order within the next several weeks.

Ricardo first launched the Wolverine family of engines in May 2010, with the unveiling of the Wolverine3 a 3.1 horsepower engine. Less than six months later, Ricardo announced the Wolverine3 successfully powered a small tactical UAV in October 2010 at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Nevada National Security Site.

About Ricardo
With technical centers and offices throughout Europe, the United States and Asia, Ricardo provides strategic consulting and engineering expertise to customers in the world’s major automakers and suppliers, as well as manufacturers in the military, commercial, off-highway and clean-energy sectors. The company also serves in advisory roles to governmental and independent agencies. Ricardo’s U.S. operation, Ricardo, Inc., is headquartered in Van Buren Township, Mich. For more information, visit www.ricardo.com.
 
About NW UAV Propulsion systems
NW UAV Propulsion Systems is one of the largest UAV Propulsion Systems manufacturers in the United States. NW UAV has been building systems for the aerospace industry since 2005 and has proven to be a reliable and capable supplier of land, sea or air – if it can be designed, NW UAV can build it.  Visit NW UAV’s family of companies at: www.nwuav.com, www.rpadvancedmobilesystems.com and www.nwrapidmfg.com.

About XRDi
XRD Inc. (XRDi) is a technology-driven company with technical capabilities in the field of multi-fuel engine and development. XRDi is one of a very few companies in the world devoted to the development of technologies to create robust, lightweight, efficient, emission friendly, lightweight, multi-fuel engines for today’s market. For more information visit www.xrdi.com.

Subsea 7 Completes Design, Build of First Commercial Autonomous Inspection Vehicle

Subsea 7, a global leader in seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services, today announced that it has completed the design and build of the first commercial AIV, a technology which has the potential to revolutionize Life-of-Field projects.

Subsea 7 has an ambitious plan to develop a series of Autonomous Inspection Vehicles (AIV), initially capable of general visual inspection, through to fully capable work-class sized intervention vehicles. A combined project team comprising hardware developers and operational personnel from Subsea 7 and Seebyte, a Scottish-based software developer for the autonomous robotics market, has been working together to deliver the first vehicle.

The design and build of the vehicle is complete and successful progress through in-water trialling and commissioning phase is underway. Following completion of extensive in-water testing and capability development, the first commercial AIV is expected to be available in late 2011.

Through the development process, many technical challenges have been overcome, the shape of the vehicle has changed from the original design concept due to the significant work done using the latest Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling to optimize the vehicle’s shape with regard to stability and maneuverability, while conserving the onboard power resources.

The vehicle is fully autonomous and can operate for a 24-hour period on a single charge of its lithium-ion batteries, which are housed in pressure vessels within the hull. These batteries have been specifically designed for the vehicle and provide a more cost-effective solution to pressure tolerant batteries, with a lower capital cost and much improved cycle lives.

The sensor package has been developed to cover the requirements of general visual inspection; it comprises the latest sonar technology coupled with high quality video cameras and low power LED lighting.

A significant software integration and development project has been running in parallel with the hardware development and this too has used the most advanced techniques to manage, debug and control the development.

During OTC 2010, a significant amount of interest was generated in the AIV and once again, at OTC 2011, program managers will be available at Subsea 7’s booth, #2824 in the Reliant Centre, to enable visitors to understand the technology and provide further information on the commercialization program.

Neil Milne, Subsea 7’s vice president of Life-of-Field Services, commented: “We are delighted with the success of the commercialization program to date for what represents a significant technological advance in the area of subsea remote inspection and intervention. With the arrival of the AIV, subsea structures such as manifolds, wellheads and risers will be able to be inspected by this tether-less technology, significantly increasing flexibility and efficiencies throughout the life-of-field cycle. Following completion of extensive trials and further development over the coming months, we look forward to bringing the first commercial AIV into operations towards the end of 2011.”

Adaptive Methods Announces Launch of Net Penetration Equipment

Centreville, VA, January 27, 2011 – Adaptive Methods, developer of advanced sensor systems, announced the release of their fishing net penetrator called NET PEN.  The NET PEN provides the means for an Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) to cut through nets and continue on its mission.

Adaptive Methods’ internal-mounted NET PEN is adaptable to a wide range of vehicle sizes. It is intended to mount within a UUVs nosecone without affecting existing equipment (e.g., forward-looking sonar arrays), and integrates with existing UUV power and propulsion systems to detect, deploy, penetrate, and retract, upon contact with a net. External hull-mounted NET PEN is also available, which will ensure unencumbered net penetration, for UUVs with larger protruding surfaces such as masts, snorkels, etc.

Adaptive Methods can design, prototype, integrate, test, and manufacture NET PEN to address virtually any production-UUV net-mitigation deficiency, or to meet any new or developing program requirement.

Adaptive Methods, Inc. (www.adaptivemethods.com) is a developer of advanced sensor systems and sensor processing and computing architecture products for surveillance, security and military combat systems based in Centreville, VA.

CONTACT:  Fernando Aunon
Telephone:  (703) 968-8040
Email:  netpen@adaptivemethods.com

See video on Net Pen:  Net Pen

NovAtel Wins 2010 Alberta Export Award

 

(Calgary, Alberta, Canada, November 29, 2010) — NovAtel Inc., the world’s leading original equipment manufacturer of precise global positioning technology, was presented last Friday with the 2010 Alberta Export Award for Advancing Technologies, an award which recognizes companies who "have effectively harnessed the powers of intellectual property and value-added know-how". The award was given out as part of the Alberta Export Awards competition, which celebrates excellence and innovative approaches to exporting by Alberta-based companies.

Mr. Ritter, CEO and President of NovAtel commented, "All NovAtel employees share in this award, as it is a direct result of each individual's skill, dedication and professionalism. The result of our collective effort is the export and promotion of GNSS products that truly set the standard in our industry."

All of the 2010 winners are profiled in the December edition of Alberta Venture magazine which can be found online at www.albertaventure.com.

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About NovAtel

NovAtel Inc. is a leading original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of precision Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) components and subsystems, including GNSS receivers, antennas, enclosures and firmware. An ISO certified company, NovAtel’s products are developed for efficient, rapid integration into our customers’ precise positioning applications. These applications include surveying, Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping, precision agriculture machine guidance, port automation, mining, marine and defense industries. NovAtel’s reference receivers are at the core of national aviation ground networks in the USA, Japan, Europe, China and India. The NovAtel Inc. 1120 – 68th Avenue N.E. Calgary, AB., Canada T2E 8S5 Tel: (403) 295-4900 Fax: (403) 295-4901

Company maintains its leadership position through significant R&D investment focusing on the modernized Global Positioning System (GPS), the revitalized Russian GLONASS and the emerging European Galileo satellite systems, as well as the integration of additional complementary technologies such as Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs). NovAtel Inc. is based in Calgary, Canada and is part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden. For more information, visit: www.novatel.com.

VP MARKETING:

Gordon Dale (403) 730-4161

MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS:

Lori Winkler (403) 730-4677

Themis unveils new platform agnostic UAV instruction method

Themis has recently completed the training and qualifying of internal pilots for an undisclosed Asian customer. The course that provided the trainees with all the tools necessary in order to safely operate a tactical UAV was the first step in Themis complete UAV training and instruction curriculum.

Over the last 3 years Themis has been developing a revolutionary training and instruction approach that perceives the operating of UAVs as a core profession. Based on this assumption Themis trains and instructs all UAV crew members, from IPs to maintenance staff, in a platform agnostic approach, converting them to the final platform only at the end of the curriculum.

"Because we don't dedicate the training to a specific platform we allow the crews to easily adapt to new platforms and technologies" says Amit Noam , Themis VP for Instruction and Operations, " we believe that a platform agnostic training approach will be the basis of the international regulation and certification standard, and we're preparing our customers to fit the standard from the first day."

According to Noam, the recent course engulfed only the first building block of the training, and additional instruction is expected to occur during 2011.

SeeByte Awarded Contract from US Department of Defense

 

Edinburgh, Scotland, 8th December 2010 - SeeByte, the global leader in creating smart software technology for unmanned systems, is pleased to have been awarded an $8,973,290 modification to previously awarded contract (N00174-09-D-0001) to exercise option two for Common Operator Interface command and control software for Navy explosive ordnance disposal teams. The software application is used for mission planning, equipment data transfer, mission execution tracking, post mission analysis, and data reporting by Navy explosive ordnance disposal mobile units, mobile diving and salvage units, and research and development activities. Work will be performed in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is expected to be completed by December 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Surface Warfare Centre, Indian Head, Md., is the contracting activity.

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ABOUT SEEBYTE

Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, SeeByte has been creating the most advanced awareness control systems for the latest generation of unmanned systems, including autonomous underwater vehicles and remotely operated vehicles since 2001. These technologies have been successfully integrated into land, air and sea solutions for the military and security, offshore and subsea, and renewable energy sectors. These integrations have earned a remarkable number of world-first technologies that showcase the unique capabilities and SeeByte’s innovative drive.

For more information, contact:

Ioseba Tena, +44 (0) 131 447 4200

ioseba.tena@seebyte.com

www.seebyte.com

 

Aurora's Orion Wins First Phase of the MAGIC JCTD

COLUMBUS, MS--(Marketwire - September 30, 2010) - Aurora Flight Sciences announced today that its "Orion" unmanned aircraft system has been competitively selected by the US Air Force Research Laboratory for the first phase of the Medium Altitude Global ISR and Communications (MAGIC) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) contract. MAGIC is a new start under the Department of Defense's Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) program to demonstrate 5-day endurance flying at 20,000 ft with 1,000 lbs payload.

"Selection of Orion for the JCTD program is confirmation that MAGIC's game-changing capability is demanded by our warfighter and affirms Aurora's efforts in accelerating delivery of this affordable, extremely long endurance ISR capability. With quick-paced innovation in aircraft sensors, Orion is designed to provide a flexible and modular platform for high-priority DoD payloads. This selection is a great honor for Aurora," said Aurora CEO John Langford. "Both Predator and Global Hawk began as similar programs, and have matured to where they are operational systems supporting the US military around the world; Aurora will build on and learn from these programs."

Orion has been under development at Aurora's Columbus, Mississippi plant since 2006. The all-composite aircraft has a wingspan of 132 feet and is powered by twin diesel engines.

In addition to the work to be performed in Columbus, MS, Aurora's facilities in Bridgeport, WV, Manassas, VA, and Cambridge, MA are all expected to be involved in the MAGIC JCTD.

About Aurora Flight Sciences

Aurora Flight Sciences designs and builds robotic aircraft and other advanced aerospace vehicles for scientific and military applications. Aurora is headquartered in Manassas, VA and operates production plants in Bridgeport, WV and Columbus, MS and a Research and Development Center in Cambridge, MA. To view recent press releases and more about Aurora please visit our web site at www.aurora.aero.

NEW FISCHER LANDFORCETM MILITARY CONNECTORS SERIES

Fischer Connectors, a trusted partner of Future Soldier Programs around the world, announces new secure interconnect solutions specially designed for Defense Forces: Fischer UltiMateTM Military Connectors Line. First within this line, the new Fischer LandForceTM Series offers compact, rugged, lightweight circular connectors for an improved protection of Future Soldiers, vehicles and other land-based equipments.

Major features of the new Fischer LandForceTM Series include miniature, ultralight and rugged design, extremely robust keying, high shock and vibration resistance, excellent shielding, and ultimate sealing level IP68/69K even unmated with Fischer’s new facilitated cable assembly solutions.

Fischer LandForceTM Series is complete with EMC 360° high performance shielding tested according to IEC norm 60512-23-3, four extremely robust mechanical codings allowing an easy mating even in the dark, and a wide range of configurations including multipole contacts from 2 to 19 poles. The plug is available in two body sizes with push-pull locking or emergency release system. Additional body styles, sizes and contact configurations will follow shortly.

Thanks to its new one-piece plug body design associated with cable assembly containing highly performing epoxy potting, Fischer has achieved a new industry benchmark. Fischer LandForceTM Series are Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Radiological (NBCR) ready, with IP68/69K sealing level even unmated, tested according to IEC norm 60529. Easy cleaning on the field is then also possible.

Made of special high resistant aluminium, Fischer LandForceTM Series are 50% lighter than typical metal connectors. With its extremely rugged design for harsh and demanding environments, as well as vibration and corrosion resistance, this new line of connectors is immune to even the toughest elements including fog, salt spray (5% 35°C, MIL STD-202 Method101A), sand, and moisture. Its long lifetime usage is guaranteed for 10,000 mating cycles.

Fischer Connectors provides complete, easy to assemble, turnkey solutions — connectors, cabling and overmolding — all from one supplier. Cable assembly solutions are available in both straight and right angle overmolding to accommodate devices conveniently on the future warrior’s uniform.

 

For more than 50 years, Fischer Connectors has been designing, manufacturing and distributing high performance connectors and cable assembly solutions. Known for their reliability, precision, and resistance to demanding environments, its products are commonly used by military forces worldwide. Primary design and manufacturing facilities are located in Switzerland, with subsidiaries and distributors located worldwide. For more information, log on to www.fischerconnectors.com

 

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Fisher Connectors
1735 Founders Parkway
Alpharetta, GA  30009
Tel:  678.393.5400
Fax: 678.393.5401
mail@fischerconnectors.ch
www.fischerconnectors.com

Contacts:
Richard Bickford
National Sales Manager
Direct: 678.393.5430
richard.bickford@fischerconnectors.com

Contacts:
Elizabeth Rubbo
Marketing Communications Manager
Tel: 678.393.5400
elizabeth.rubbo@fischerconnectors.com

 

 

SeeByte Expands Naval Outreach with Sale of SeeTrack Military to Royal Netherlands Navy

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SeeByte Expands Naval Outreach with Sale of SeeTrack Military to Royal Netherlands Navy

Edinburgh, Scotland, April 20th 2010 - SeeByte, the global leader in creating smart software for unmanned underwater vehicles, is proud to announce the sale of their SeeTrack Military system to the Royal Netherlands Navy. Having worked successfully with SeeByte’s SeeTrack Military software for many years now, this sale reconfirms the Royal Netherlands Navy’s confidence in the technology.

“This is another exciting sale for the SeeByte team. SeeTrack Military’s utilisation throughout the world’s largest naval fleets is further testament to the adaptability and vast capability this system offers to its users. We attribute the success of this system to our ability to work in a collaborative nature with our clients to ensure their needs are met,” remarked Dr. Ioseba Tena, SeeByte Sales Manager.

Lt Gert Vlaming of the Royal Netherlands Navy commented, “Throughout the product implementation SeeByte came through as a great partner. We believe that the Royal Netherlands Navy’s mine countermeasures programme will greatly benefit from SeeTrack Military’s advanced software technology. We are currently seeking to integrate SeeTrack Military with divers and other systems due to the fact that it allows all platforms to be viewed in a single, integrated system. We are very pleased with the collaboration and look forward to future ventures.”

SeeTrack Military has become the de facto standard smart technology for the worldwide defence market. Showcased in a multitude of military situations, this product is currently used by Navy teams to identify man-made underwater objects, search and recovery missions and to enhance the capabilities of their remote vehicles, marine mammals and divers. As a result, our customers are saving time, money and valuable man-hours while reducing unnecessary risk for the human operators who eventually have to interface with the underwater objects.

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ABOUT SEEBYTE
Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, SeeByte has been creating the most advanced awareness control systems for the latest generation of unmanned systems, including autonomous underwater vehicles and remotely operated vehicles since 2001. These technologies have been successfully integrated into land, air and sea solutions for the military and security, offshore and subsea, and renewable energy sectors. These integrations have earned a remarkable number of world-first technologies that showcase the unique capabilities and SeeByte’s innovative drive.

SeeByte has since established a global network to service its expanding customer market in San Diego, California and appointing representatives in Houston, Texas, Japan and New Zealand.

For more information, contact:
Ioseba Tena, +44 (0) 131 447 4200
ioseba.tena@seebyte.com
www.seebyte.com