Weekend Roundup

By AUVSI News posted 19-05-2017 10:59


Insitu’s ScanEagle UAS will join a collection of historical artifacts and contemporary objects at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan, as a part of the Drones: Is the Sky the Limit? temporary exhibit. The exhibit tells a holistic story about drones, from when they were first being tested and used, to present day where they are quickly becoming a fabric of society. The ScanEagle is known for being a revolutionary UAS, as it was the first UAS to operate from a U.S. Navy Destroyer, the first to conduct an FAA-approved commercial beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight in the United States' National Airspace System, and the first UAS to be flown by students pursuing America's first undergraduate degree in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations. (Insitu)

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman a $303.9 million contract modification, for “low-rate initial production of three lot 2 MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft systems.” According to the Defense Department, under the modification, Northrop Grumman will also provide one main operation control station, one forward operation control station, tooling and trade studies. Through April 2021, Northrop will perform work in several states, including California, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. (GovCon Wire)

Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology has unveiled a new strategic UAS program, and a new Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAS named the Saqr-1, which has an endurance of more than 24 hours, a range of more than 2,500 kilometers, and it can fly at an average altitude of 20,000 feet. The UAS features a KA-band satellite communications system. (UPI)

Earlier in May, a Nevada UAS Consortium (Team Roadrunner) set a record for long distance drone delivery, by flying a fixed wing UAS over 97 miles from a “central Texas urban location” to the city of Austin, Texas. The UAS, which flew autonomously on a pre-planned route, delivered a four pound package. Visual observers were around during the flight, and they were equipped with enhanced radios and cell phone communications. (Post & Parcel)

As a part of the U.S. Air Force's plan to upgrade its remotely piloted capability, the North Dakota National Air Guard's 119th Wing will receive two MQ-9 Reaper UAS this summer. The MQ-9 Reaper is a “multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance precision attack and reconnaissance aircraft.” (The Bismarck Tribune)

The Brick Township Police Department in Brick Township, New Jersey will begin using UAS, after purchasing one using funding from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety’s Comprehensive Traffic Safety Grant. The UAS will be used to assist with a variety of tasks, such as search and rescue missions, security, and emergency situations. Two traffic safety officers underwent successful training at Eagle View Aviation in Farmingdale, New York, and passed a 60-question exam that was administered by the FAA. (Micromedia Publications, Inc.)

Two companies, Aeromao Inc. and Foresight Surveyors, worked together to complete a full photogrammetric survey of an entire island, with just one UAS flight that lasted just 45 minutes. The flight, which was conducted in December 2016, used an Aeromapper Talon UAS to fly over an island in the Maldives. During the flight, the UAS surveyed a total area of approximately 251 acres (or one square kilometer), at a ground sample distance of two centimeters per pixel, while flying a maximum distance of two kilometers from the ground control station. During its flight, the Aeromapper Talon UAS collected 1,422 photos. The purpose of the flight was to map the island by generating an orthophoto, to prepare for future developments. (Unmanned Aerial)

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Photo Courtesy of Insitu

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