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Tweet by AUVSI News Students from North Dakota State University (NDSU) are working to develop software that will help protect driverless vehicles from cyberattacks. Thanks to funding from the school, students a part of the NDSU software design team are working on different elements of cybersecurity, including but not limited to, the management of vehicles in the case of an accident, security systems for individual vehicles, and control among groups of vehicles, also known as vanets, and identifying attacks. The students are using computer simulations and model vehicles to test out their technology. This is the type of technology where you dont want to wait for the attacker to make his attack, says assistant professor of computer science Jerry Straub via the Bismarck Tribune . Straub, who is guiding the design team, hopes that the school is positioned for potential future federal funding that would go towards advanced research and real-world testing. Students on the design team working on the software are very excited about the potential for this type of technology for future vehicles. I want to see a future thats smarter. ... Humans can make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes are real costly, says Abdullah Almosalami, a freshman on the design team that is working on protecting vehicles when they are not connected to a network. Almosalami adds, but If we have a machine that doesnt make mistakes and handles things in a better way, we have a better world. The goal is progress. John McMillan, a sophomore on the design team, says, to really be the first people to research into this was super appealing. Were defining this as we go and defining questions no one has looked at yet. McMillan adds that over the next month and a half or so, students will work to fix any issues with the technology. << Back to
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Tweet Industry involvement with the integration process for unmanned aircraft will be the key to getting it done in a timely way, Federal Aviation Administration officials said Monday at the kickoff of the 2017 FAA UAS Symposium. FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta said often there is a combative atmosphere between government and the industries it regulates, but I dont think we have that here. The symposium is the second one the FAA has held. This one, in Reston, Virginia, was held in partnership with AUVSI. He noted the progress made thus far in allowing the safe, commercial use of small unmanned systems, but said, this was the easy stuff. As we move toward integration, the questions we need to answer are getting more and more complicated, such as flying drones over people and beyond visual line of sight. There are valid concerns about safety with these areas, and others, but FAA cant and shouldnt solve these on their own, he said. As we tackle these new safety and security challenges, were coming to you [industry] again. For example, he said FAA is setting up a new rulemaking committee to create standards for remotely identifying and tracking unmanned aircraft, one of the law enforcement communitys top concerns. That process, and the existing Drone Advisory Committee, are examples of how the FAA wants to provide venues for smart people in technology and aviation, he said. We all need to have skin in the game, and be invested in producing the best possible outcomes for all parties, he said. We know how fast youre churning out new drone designs and we dont want the bureaucracy to hinder your progress, Huerta said. In fact, we want to be supportive of it. At a panel discussion with top FAA officials, the speakers gave other examples of industry involvement in rulemaking. Terry Bristol, chief operating officer of the FAAs air traffic organization, said the agency is seeking to automate the LLANC, or Low Altitude Authorization Notification Capability process, to allow UAS to notify air traffic control of flights within five miles of an airport, or to get authorization to fly in certain airspace classes. The existing notification process is manual, which worked fine before unmanned aircraft, but now the demand is too high so its not unusual to have thousands of authorizations waiting to be processed, she said. The solution is to partner with industry, she said. The agency has developed maps for all of our airports with the important info that needs to be on them, and the industry will manage through that, she said. So if you want to operate your UAS in a controlled airspace near an airport it could be a very rapid authorization. The FAA expects to have this capability online before the end of this year, she said. Were going as quickly as we can. Testifying before Congress on March 15, Earl Lawrence, director of the FAAs Unmanned Systems Integration Office, said automating LLANC is the first step toward an unmanned traffic control system. Jim Eck, the assistant administrator in the FAA NextGen Office, said eventually a UTM system and automated LLANC will go a long way toward helping counter problems from rogue UAS operators. Once things like LLANC and UTM move into the community, air traffic control will know that most vehicles are where they are supposed to be. If theres an aberration, its either a blunder or something nefarious, he said. So the sooner ...
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Tweet by AUVSI News Riptide Autonomous Solutions, a developer of unmanned maritime vehicles, has announced its two latest platforms, the 1-Man and 2-Man Portable UUVs, that will complement the companys Micro-UUV, which was launched last year. We are pleased to expand our offerings and deliver expanded capabilities, at exceptional pricing, says Riptides President Jeff Smith through press release. Our new family of low logistics vehicles offer our users extensive flexibility for greater energy and payload volume while leveraging the proven benefits of the Micro-UUV design. The 1-Man Portable UUV has a 7.5-inch diameter, a base weight of more than 60 pounds, and has a depth rating of 300 meters, while the 2-Man Portable UUV has a 9.375-inch diameter, a base weight around 120 pounds and a depth rating of 600 meters. The two new UUVs share a lot of similarities with Riptides original Micro-UUV. Some of the similarities that the two new UUVs share with the original Micro-UUV include the same high efficiency electronics, the proven hydrodynamic hull shape and they also use the same technical architecture as the Micro-UUV. During Sea Air Space in Washington D.C., Riptide will display its full family of UUVs. During Ocean Business in Southampton, England, Riptide will display the Micro-UUV. Both events take place during the week of April 3-7. << Back to
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Tweet by AUVSI News After the North Carolina Department of Transportations (NCDOT) division of aviation held a workshop with emergency management personnel from around the state of North Carolina in January, NCDOT has released a final report on the best practices and recommended policies for agencies in the state using UAS for first response operations. Via Unmanned Aerial , Bobby Walston, the director of NCDOTs aviation division, highlights the importance of the January exercise by saying, the exercise produced several key findings and recommendations that support the immediate, safe integration of drones into the National Airspace System. Walston adds, the need for this type of exercise has never been stronger. Ensuring the use of this technology is properly coordinated is top priority in guaranteeing operations are conducted safely and effectively. NCDOT has noted several advantages of using UAS for disaster response, including providing a quicker response time, and the ability to conduct search and rescue missions at a cheaper price. UAS also eliminate the need for larger aircraft, which reduces the human risk that comes with using larger aircraft, and smaller aircraft also allow access to areas that might not be accessible by larger aircraft. A statement from NCDOT says, the division of aviations goal is to ensure that drones flying within North Carolina are flown safely and responsibly. The purpose of this resource page is to provide state and local governments the appropriate tools to create and manage UAS programs to support their specific operational needs. While the Federal Aviation Administration has exclusive authority over the use of airspace in the United States, including the airspace being used by UAS, NCDOT has the authority to manage and implement regulations that surround state laws in regards to operations in North Carolina. << Back to
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Tweet by AUVSI News The Smith County Sheriff's Office in Smith County, Texas has purchased two UAS to help with its investigations, and give deputies in the field the ability to see on their cell phones what pilots see on the UAS screen. Once the department has the proper waivers and licenses from the Federal Aviation Administration necessary to operate the UAS, they will begin using their new technology, and currently, six deputies are being trained to use the UAS, which were purchased using funding from a private donor. The department used UAS technology for the first time last year, when a deputy brought in a personal UAS of his own to help find a piece of evidence in a homicide investigation. According to Sheriff Larry Smith, using a UAS for that investigation last year was very helpful. That personal drone was put up and I think within 15 minutes we had located the vehicle, Smith says via KLTV . It was critical for us to recover that vehicle. The vehicle we also learned had been used to discard the body. While the UAS will have special use for criminal investigations, they will also be used for other operations that the department conducts, including situations involving lost children or a missing elderly person. << Back to
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Tweet by AUVSI News Through a collaborative research and development granting program called the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) and the University of Toronto and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) have signed a sponsored research and collaboration agreement to develop a vision-based navigation system for UAS. Designed to help UAS navigate safely on their journeys without relying on GPS, the auto-pilot, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) technology will eventually be installed on DDCs FLYTE auto-pilot system. This collaboration will greatly accelerate our development of vision-based navigation technology for our FLYTE software management and auto-pilot systems required for commercialization, says DDCs CTO Paul Di Benedetto via press release . We are working on this next-generation BVLOS drone technology with some of Canadas smartest minds. The project, which will be jointly funded by DDC and DRDC, will be co-led by Angela Schoellig and Tim Barfoot, both of whom are professors at the University of Torontos Institute of Aerospace Studies (UTIAS). << Back to
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Weekend Roundup

Tweet by AUVSI News This Week in the Unmanned Systems and Robotics World Police in Cecil County, Maryland recently used a Phoenix Ace V2 UAS to help recover almost $400,000 worth of construction equipment that had been missing across three states. After receiving a tip from the New Jersey State Police that the equipment was being stashed in Elkton, Maryland, Cecil County Sheriff Scott Adams used the UAS to get an aerial view and locate the specific location of the equipment behind a building. It was the first mission of the UAS since the launch of the departments drone program on March 1. ( Technical.ly Baltimore ) A Falcon 8 UAS equipped with a thermal camera was used to locate a missing Chihuahua-Pomeranian dog named Cherry, who had been missing for five days in South Wales. Thanks to a collaborative effort between the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, the Gwent Police and the unmanned aviation services group of Wales-based Resource Group, it took just 20 minutes using the UAS to locate Cherry inside of an old mining tunnel. ( Unmanned Aerial Online ) A DJI Inspire 1 UAS, equipped with a Zenmuse XT camera, which is powered by FLIRs infrared technology, was recently used by the Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue in Florida to help battle a large brush fire. Not only was there heavy smoke present while trying to battle the blaze, but the conditions were also dry, and there were winds of 35 mph, which made the UAS that much more valuable, as it helped personnel get an idea of the scope of the fire, and how to deploy the resources to battle the fire. The fire was brought under control, and there were no injuries. ( Unmanned Aerial Online ) An Australian life-saving organization named Little Ripper has begun using JTT Technologys T60 industrial UAS to help patrol the Australian Coast, in an effort to detect sharks, conduct search and rescue missions for people in danger, and deliver aid packages and life buoys for those in perilous situations. Boasting a stable performance, the T60 UAS has a long battery life and a large payload capability, which makes it ideal for its use on the Australian Coast. ( UAS Weekly ) With a goal of having 25% of all trips in the city completed by automated systems by 2035, 2getthere, which develops autonomous transit systems for smart cities, has received a contract that will result in it delivering an automated vehicle system to the city of Dubai that will connect Dubai's network of metro stations to a new waterfront living destination of Bluewaters. At its height, the new transport system, which will be fitted with 25 driverless Group Rapid Transit (GRT) vehicles capable of carrying 24 people each, is expected to be capable of servicing 5,000 people per hour, per direction. The system is expected to be the largest metro of its kind in the world. ( Euro Transport ) From April 25-27, the Tulsa Community College (TCC) will offer a new course on pilot training for commercial users of UAS. The course, which is uncredited, is geared towards teaching those who want to become licensed pilots, and will teach them how to fly UAS, how to prepare for the Remote Pilot Airman Certificate aeronautical knowledge test, and help them understand how to operate within the national airspace while following all rules and regulations. ( Tulsa World ) Walmart is considering adding UAS to its stores to help retrieve and ...
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Tweet by AUVSI News Macquarie University has received a Full Crew UAS training and simulation platform for research purposes from Simlat, which provides next generation training systems for UAS. Simlat provides its Performance Analysis & Evaluation suite (PANEL) module, alongside Macquaires C-STAR simulation, which ultimately supports the Human Factors research for UAS operators at the university. The PANEL module will give the Sydney, Australia-based Macquarie University the ability to perform automatic evaluations during simulation-based training and assessments of UAS operators. The module manufactures comprehensive reports on the various malfunctions, missions and tasks performed by a trainee throughout a session, by compiling and processing simulation data. The advanced Human Factors research Macquarie is running with their C-STAR is impressive and we are very pleased to provide the simulation that enables it, says Simlat's CTO Roy Peshin through press release . The Director of the Macquarie University Integrated Simulation Hub, Professor Mark Wiggins, adds, the combination of C-STAR's UAS simulation and PANEL enables us to collect highly detailed performance measures quickly and easily, across a range of different scenarios, and with operators of different capability and experience. << Back to
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Tweet by AUVSI News A report produced by members of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) agency says that the city is years away from having autonomous vehicles that could potentially be used for public transit, and the agency doesnt have enough information to take the steps necessary to adopt the technology, but if these vehicles do become available, the TTC would be happy to become a leader in their use, according to the Toronto Star. The report outlines the potential benefits of highly automated and fully automated buses, including, but not limited to, the potential to save money, cutting down on collisions, and reducing stress for operators. Ross McKenzie, managing director for the Waterloo Centre of Automotive Research at the University of Waterloo, believes that the key to utilizing autonomous vehicles as a part of the public transit system in the future, is transferring existing autonomous technology to city streets, which is something that McKenzie believes is closer to fruition than many people probably think. Its certainly on the horizon, McKenzie says via the Toronto Star . Is it going to happen tomorrow? Is it going to happen 20 years from now? No, it wont take that long. While the report highlighted the potential benefits of this technology, it also looked into some of the potential pitfalls of the technology as well, such as challenges surrounding customer service, the possibility of cyber-attacks against the transit system, and the issue of how to deal with passenger incidents on vehicles. According to TTC CEO Andy Byford, the agency will continue to look into the technology in an effort to see how it could best work for the citizens of Toronto. The TTC has in the past had its fingers burnt by getting in at the early edge of technology, Byford says. I dont think Torontonians will thank us if we race into embracing new technology before its been proven. << Back to
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Tweet by AUVSI News As a part of the NASA UAS Traffic Management (UTM) R&D Technical Capability Level 3 (TCL 3) project, NASA used SmartPlanes Freya UAS to help with testing related to beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations at the Nevada UAS test site. The ultimate goal of NASAs UTM platform is to safely integrate and manage UAS into the low-altitude airspace. SmartPlanes, which is a manufacturer of UAS that can be used for surveying, surveillance, remote sensing and aerial mapping, is confident in its UAS abilities, especially the Freya UAS, to conduct BVLOS flights. At SmartPlanes we are convinced that fixed wing UAVs and especially our latest Freya prototype is very well suited to BVLOS tasks with its 12+ miles line-of-sight telemetry range and 2+ hours flight time, SmartPlanes says in a company press release . The fixed wing type UAVs has far more energy efficient flight characteristics and are quickly stretching the boundaries for long distance flights. With experiences from the World Wildlife Fund nature conservation activities in Tanzania, Africa, we are comfortable that Freyas flight endurance will sufficiently enable and succeed in long range tests. SmartPlanes is currently working with the US Army Corps of Engineers in Maryland, as they conduct long range tests, and they are also working with Alta Devices Technology to achieve a partly solar powered, 24-hour flight. << Back to
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Tweet In an effort to learn about the features of the RQ-11 Raven UAS, and how it could help with future missions involving reconnaissance and aerial surveillance, U.S. and Romanian forces recently conducted a training exercise with the UAS on March 22 in Romania at the Babadag Training Area. The Raven UAS allows operators to scout an area ahead of time by surveying the area around units, which lowers the danger of collecting intelligence in the field. The Raven gives a unit the ability to have eyes on the ground as a reconnaissance tool, instead of putting troops out on the battlefield in harms way, says U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Nathan Streeter via DVIDSHub . Streeter, who led the training exercise, is a platoon sergeant with Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment. The training came as a part of a NATO mission called Operation Atlantic Resolve (OAR). The goal of OAR is to bring together the U.S. and its European Allies, along with other partners, so that they can work together to deter aggression and promote regional stability. We share a lot of the same equipment with our NATO Allies, Streeter says. We can show them how we use our UAVs, they can show us how they use theirs and bounce ideas off of each other to learn from each other. << Back to the News Raven UAV takes flight over Romania, Photo Courtesy of DVIDSHub << Back
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2017 Contact: Tom McMahon, tmcmahon@auvsi.org , (571) 255-7786 AUVSI's Brian Wynne Named to RTCA Drone Advisory Committee Interactive analysis of more than 300 waivers granted to Part 107 finds nighttime operations most common request ARLINGTON, Va. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) today released a report that finds nearly 90 percent of the waivers granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under Part 107 went to small businesses. According to the report, most of the waivers allow businesses to operate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) at night, which is not permitted under the current rule. The report also finds that businesses in 44 states received waivers in the first six months since the rule took effect. Whether inspecting infrastructure or surveying crop yields, there is clear evidence that Americas small businesses are leading the way in embracing the capabilities and benefits of UAS, said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. At the same time, UAS regulations can, and should, allow for more expanded operations, such as operations at night or beyond line of sight. This would open up a whole new world for UAS that may one day include package delivery and internet services. Part 107, also known as the small UAS rule, went into effect on August 29, 2016, creating a uniform regulatory framework for civil and commercial UAS operations. Among the rules requirements, operators must fly below 400 feet, within visual line of sight and during daylight hours. Additionally, Part 107 established a waiver process to allow businesses to request the FAA to allow them to fly outside the permitted operating standards, if they demonstrate it can be done safely. So far, the FAA has granted 314 waivers for commercial UAS operators to fly outside the parameters of Part 107. In addition to nighttime operations, the FAA has granted waivers to fly beyond line of sight, use multiple UAS at a single time and conduct flights over people. The most popular UAS application for the waivers is for aerial photography, representing 84 percent of the granted waivers; followed by real estate (58 percent), aerial inspection (58 percent), construction (52 percent) and infrastructure (51 percent). The industry projects to create more than 100,000 jobs and provide more than $82 billion in economic impact once UAS are fully integrated into the airspace. With an expanded regulatory environment, theres no question these numbers could go even higher, Wynne said. But this can only happen if the government puts in place a true, holistic plan for full UAS integration that allows for nighttime operations as well as flights over people, beyond line of sight operations, access to higher altitudes and platforms above 55 pounds. By allowing these expanded operations, UAS stand to have an even bigger economic impact. The complete analysis can be found here . The future of commercial UAS operations, including expanded operations, will be discussed at the second annual FAA UAS symposium, co-hosted by the FAA and AUVSI at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, Virginia from March 27 to 29. The symposium will feature discussion on a wide range of issues to help the FAA develop long-term policy on UAS integration. To register or for more information, visit http://bit.ly/2kx2xVC . # # # About AUVSI The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International ...
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Tweet by AUVSI News Photogrammetry software developer SimActive Inc. has integrated its Correlator3D software into Tianlifas China Star UAS, creating a high-end mapping UAS. The Correlator3D software is powered by GPU technology and multi-core CPUs, and provides aerial triangulation (AT), while also producing point clouds, ortho mosaics, vectorized 3D features, digital surface models (DSM) and digital terrain models (DTM). The software helps support the fast production of large datasets, by ensuring matchless processing speed. With twice the average flight time, the China Star drone offers increased autonomy and robustness, says SimActives President Dr. Philippe Simard, through press release . Tianlifas industry expertise paired with our software will give customers an incomparable cartography experience. Mr. Shutian Zhao, Group Chairman of Tianlifa, adds, we wanted the best available software for the significantly higher quality of sensors and stability offered by the China Star. SimActive offers pioneering, scalable technology, making them the ideal fit for our exponential drone sales. Tianlifa has been a firm in the Asian surveying market for 20+ years. Since 1996, the company has produced advanced equipment and measuring system platforms for the geographic information, surveying and mapping industries. << Back to
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Tweet by AUVSI News On March 17, a UAS was used to survey and document runway pavement at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport . That pavement, which was surveyed and documented using an Intel Falcon 8 UAS , is slated to receive future maintenance. The mission was deemed successful, and more UAS flights are expected to occur at the airport. This UAS survey was a part of the ATLNext construction project, which is a $6 billion initiative aimed at upgrading various aspects of the airport, as it seeks to, among many things, modernize the domestic terminal and concourses, build new parking decks, and expand cargo facilities. In January, the first Federal Aviation Administration-approved UAS flight at an airport was conducted at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, under the Part 107 rules. 3D Robotics and Autodesk conducted the flights, which were used to collect aerial data of two parking structures that are set to be demolished at the airport. The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which has more than 63,000 employees, has routinely been the worlds busiest airport, as it annually serves more than 100 million passengers. << Back to
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Mar. 22, 2017 Contact: Tom McMahon, tmcmahon@auvsi.org , (571) 255-7786 FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta to Address Annual UAS Symposium, Co-hosted by the FAA and AUVSI Other government officials, industry executives also to speak on UAS policy ARLINGTON, Va. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) today announced that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael P. Huerta will address the annual FAA UAS Symposium. The event will also feature panel discussions with other high-ranking government officials and industry executives who are working on public policy to further the deployment of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The multi-day symposium, co-hosted by the FAA and AUVSI, will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, Virginia, from March 27 to 29. "We are pleased to welcome Administrator Huerta and other distinguished officials to the UAS Symposium. Their participation ensures that key stakeholders from both government and industry will come together to discuss the challenges and opportunities regarding UAS, said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI. These conversations are vital as we continue to advance a true, holistic plan for full UAS integration into the airspace, including beyond line of sight operations, flights over people, access to higher altitudes and system platforms above 55 pounds. The first FAA UAS symposium was held last April in Daytona Beach, Florida. It provided a forum to broaden the dialog with industry and the public on how to safely integrate UAS into the airspace. This years symposium will feature discussion on a wide range of issues to help the FAA develop long-term policy on UAS integration. Breakout sessions will focus on a variety of issues, including UAS security challenges, setting R&D priorities, UAS traffic management and expanded operations. To register or for more information about this years symposium, panels and speakers, visit http://bit.ly/2kx2xVC . # # # About AUVSI The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics represents more than 7,500 members from more than 60 countries involved in the fields of government, industry and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets. For more information, visit
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Tweet by AUVSI News With the hope of eventually replacing their diesel-powered shuttle buses used to transport passengers to and from the airport's terminal and the long-term carpark, the Adelaide Airport, in partnership with the South Australian government, will begin testing driverless shuttles as a part of an AU$2.8 million trial. Through ZD Net , Mark Young, the managing director at Adelaide Airport, explains the benefits of these shuttles by saying, their compact size and agility will enable them to operate on a dedicated path at an increased frequency, potentially operating 24 hours a day, reducing road congestion, and significantly lowering carbon emissions." Young adds, this will be a flagship project that, following a full feasibility study, has the potential to substantially improve customer service to match the expectations of visitors and travelers to our modern gateway airport. As a part of the project, the shuttles will have access to a charging station, that is partially fed by the airport's existing onsite 1.17MW solar PV generation. There will also be new bus shelters that are equipped with LED lighting, CCTV, solar PV and Wi-Fi. This trial is one of several projects that is pulling money from the South Australian government's AU$10 million Future Mobility Lab Fund, which is designed to push the local movement in driverless vehicle technology development. According to SA Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan, Australia is quickly becoming one of the main adopters of autonomous technology. Our Australian-first driverless car trials, our Australian-first law changes to allow for on-road trials, and our international Driverless Car Conference sent a message that we are the place to do business when it comes to autonomous vehicle technology, he says. The announcement of this trial comes on the heels of the South Australian government providing permission for driverless cars to operator on the states roads for trials, after the successful completion of the countrys first autonomous vehicle trial on Adelaide's Southern Expressway. That trial was conducted by the state government and the ARRB Group, which is a national independent road research agency. << Back to
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Tweet General Dynamics Mission Systems and the U.S. Navy have completed a full-scale evaluation of the Knifefish autonomous surface mine countermeasure (SMCM) UUV, that is designed to be deployed from surface vessels of the U.S. Navy. Using mine test targets on the seafloor and at various depths in the water, the evaluation confirmed the UUVs ability to detect and classify potential mines at different depths that could potentially threaten naval vessels operating in a mission area. The system performed well against a variety of surrogate targets and we are confident we will refine its performance to support the planned schedule in 2017, says Captain Jon Rucker, the US Navy Unmanned Maritime Systems Program Office (PMS406) program manager, via a General Dynamics press release . The navy continues to work with its industry partner General Dynamics Mission Systems to develop, test, and deliver the needed Knifefish capability to the fleet. The UUV, which was tested off the coast of Boston, is built to protect personnel and take them out of harms way, as it operates as an off-board sensor in the minefield, taking the host vessel outside of the minefield boundaries. General Dynamics Mission Systems Maritime and Strategic Systems vice-president and general manager Carlo Zaffanella believes that the UUV could be a game changer for Navy personnel. The information and situational awareness Knifefish will deliver to sailors is a quantum leap in clarity and accuracy over other mine-hunting systems currently used by the navy, Zaffanella says. The UUV will go through more at-sea testing later in 2017 to continue improving the performance of the system. This extra testing will take place before the U.S. Navy conducts formal System Acceptance Testing. << Back to the News Knifefish, autonomous surface mine countermeasure, unmanned undersea vehicle undergoes at-sea evaluation << Back
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Tweet On February 15, before representatives from ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP, WFS Technologies, a provider of subsea wireless automation, and Seatronics Inc., a marine rental equipment specialist, combined to demonstrate wireless communications between a UAS and a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV), using Seatooth wireless controllers. A Seatronics Predator II Inspection Class ROV and a DJI Inspire UAS were each equipped with the Seatooth wireless controllers, allowing the ROV and the UAS to demonstrate 2-way data communications while the ROV was submerged in a test tank under water and the UAS flew above. This demonstration has opened the door to using drones to harvest sensor information from assets in shallow water, says Brendan Hyland, Chairman of WFS. Using proven subsea wireless automation deployed by inspection and light class ROVs, we are delivering improved asset integrity information at a fraction of the cost. Seatronics Inc. Vice President Euan Mackay adds, Seatronics Predator II ROV has the ability to fully interface WFS wireless communication products with ease. There are many benefits in using the Predator II ROV system for this application due to its size, stability and flexibility of interfacing sensor packages over other solutions. The demonstration took place during at a Subsea Internet of Things event in Houston at the Delta SubSea (DSS) test tank facility. << Back to the News Photo Courtesy of WFS Technologies << Back
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Tweet by AUVSI News Kalashnikov Concern, an arms manufacturing company that is best known for inventing the AK-47 rifle, has announced plans to develop an unmanned, 20-ton tank, that is capable of carrying anti-tank missiles and machine guns. It will be a reconnaissance-strike complex weighing about 20 tons, says Kalashnikov Concerns CEO Alexey Krivoruchko, via the Daily Mail . Last year, the Russia-based company debuted its seven-ton BAS-01G Soratnik (which means Comrade-in-arms) UGV. Before the Russian Ministry of Defense, Kalashnikov demonstrated the UGVs capabilities in December, as it was equipped with a machine gun and four anti-tank rockets. Capable of autonomous operation for up to 10 days in standby mode, the Soratnik is capable of carrying a 30mm gun or eight Kornet-EM laser-guided anti-tank missiles. It can also travel at a top speed of 25 miles per hour, and can be operated remotely by a solider from a distance as far away as six miles. The new 20-ton tank would be three times the size of the Soratnik, and would look to build off the autonomous capabilities of the Soratnik. It is expected to be comparable in size to the United States Armys M1126 Stryker ICV. << Back to
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Tweet by AUVSI News Salmon Holes in Albany, Australia is a popular fishing spot, but it is also one of Western Australias most common sites for drownings, as 13 people have died at that beach over the last three decades. With the constant evolution of technology, the Albany Sea Rescue (ASR) squad in Western Australia has begun considering using UAS to help with search and rescue missions in the area. On March 18, the ASR successfully completed a test using UAS, in which volunteers located and recovered a black wetsuit using the unmanned system and a rescue craft. Albany Sea Rescue has $1 million worth of boats, there's a lot of technology on these boats, says Chris Johns, a coordinator for ASR, via abc.net.au . We believe drone technology is another advancing piece of technology that we should be embracing." Johns adds, when we're out there, if we've got a drone in the air the rescue boat can see exactly what the drone is seeing, so while we're searching we can direct the jet skis or the boats. The UAS and its accompanying equipment is worth nearly $20,000, and is privately owned by Brad Harkup, a member of the ASR and an officially accredited UAS operator. The tests conducted on March 18 were done without any government involvement. << Back to
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