sábado, 26 de octubre de 2013

Spain: UAV Navigation recognized "Best Tech Company"

The Spanish UAV Navigation, a pioneer in the development of inertial navigation systems for unmanned aircraft avionics, was honored for his contribution to the energy and industrial sectors in the category Global Growth during the "II Spain Startup & Investor Summit 2013 ", held in Madrid. The closing event was presided over by the Prince of Asturias, who made the award to Guillermo Parodi, CEO and cofounder of UAV Navigation. (Read more)

Beijing gets large-scaled UAV industrial base

A large-scaled whole-chain unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) industrial base will settle in southern Beijing’s Daxing District, according to the top management of China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA) under China Aerospace Sci &Tech Corporation, Beijing Daily reported.

The UAV industrial base, which covers a total area of 134 ha, will be the first of its kind in China. The base will cluster flagship enterprises and regional S&T leaders in the sophisticated industry within three years. It will also develop a top-notch technological service system and explore new modes for commercial application so as to turn itself into a UAV tech and service hub with high value-added.

Police officers honoured for UAV

The “Excellence in Police Aviation” award, sponsored by Bell Helicopter, was accepted by Detective Dave Banks and Constable Andrew Olesen for their efforts in the concept, research, formation and operation of a small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program for the police service. Halton has been using a small unmanned aerial vehicle since 2009 following the establishment of a partnership with the University of Toronto- Forensic Science Program and Waterloo Company, Aeryon Labs Inc. Use of the UAV has resulted in improved efficiencies for police and the enhancement of service delivery in a multitude of scenarios, including: search and rescue, crime scene forensics, traffic collision reconstruction and marine operations.

eBee footage of Matterhorn

When UAV manufacturer SenseFly wanted to show off their eBee drones, which are designed for aerial photography, they decided to try something different: Throwing their vehicles off the top of the Matterhorn.

At the top of the famous Alpine mountain, a team from SenseFly and nonprofit Drone Adventures flew the eBees on multiple flights and fed camera and sensor data into 3-D imaging software. Once they were done, SenseFly had the first ever UAV-generated map of the Matterhorn. Five drones circled the base and lower portions of the mountain, while another set of UAVs systematically mapped the mountain’s peak. And the Matterhorn, which straddles the border of Italy and Switzerland, is a massive mountain, which challenges the relatively modest battery life of most consumer drones. According to SenseFly, the eBee only has 45 minutes of battery life. As a result, the company had to fly their drones around the mountain on multiple flights.

PA forces thwart attack drone plot

During intensive activities near Hebron, in which PA security authorities arrested activists at the city’s university, officers uncovered a network in the advanced stages of planning to launch a UAV into IsraelInvestigation of the cell found that operatives had already run several test flights on the drone, and had intended to attach explosives to it in order to strike targets in Israel. (Read more)

Agreement between Aerovironment and Eurocopter

AeroVironment and Eurocopter have agreed to explore business opportunities for their respective products.

The cooperative accord was announced this week at the annual Association of the U.S. Army conference and exhibition in Washington and follows urging from industry and government in Europe for the development and manufacture of European Unmanned Aerial Systems.

"AeroVironment's extensive operational UAS experience in delivering to end-users reliable solutions working effectively in harsh operating environments makes us uniquely positioned to understand customers' requirements and to determine future market trends," said Clive Schley, Eurocopter's senior vice president, strategy and company development. "This cooperation will be particularly valuable as Eurocopter defines its unmanned product strategy, building on the success of our first unmanned flights with the EC145 helicopter this year."

"The combination of AeroVironment's market leading unmanned technology and unique knowledge with Eurocopter's world-class helicopter and systems expertise makes a formidable team," said Roy Minson, senior vice president and general manager of AeroVironment's Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment. "This cooperative agreement creates the opportunity for both companies to explore expanding into new markets and developing new capabilities to meet future customer needs."

The European focus on unmanned aerial systems is primarily in regard to large, medium-altitude, long-endurance aircraft such as the Grey Eagle and Predator by U.S. manufacturers. EADS, Eurocopter's parent company, is currently developing the Talon medium-altitude, long-endurance with Turkish Aerospace Industries. Another EADS subsidiary, Cassidian, makes small unmanned aircraft systems.

jueves, 24 de octubre de 2013

UAV eyes in the Open Sky

Unmanned aircraft are currently in the crosshairs of legislators at varying levels of government. At issue is the ability of UAVs to conduct and record aerial surveillance over private property, an act which many consider a violation of personal privacy.

When we fly over our neighbor’s houses and peek into their backyards, we’re doing essentially the same thing as a UAV peering down with a camera. When a UAV plies the skies above us and peers down with its unblinking eyeball, it can see much more clearly because its optics far exceed even the most clear eyed of aviators.

The digital memory onboard the UAV or at its control site far exceeds even the most detail-oriented of brains.  Quite literally, the UAV’s operator has the capability to take what the aircraft sees and share it to a level that would humble even the most prolific gossip. Earlier this year, some states implemented laws restricting the taking and distributing of aerial imagery obtained by using UAVs.

Barracuda: A brief look

Development on the EADS Barracuda fully-autonomous, medium-altitude, long-range UAV began in 2003, and is backed by both Germany and SpainDespite crashing during a 2006 test flight, which grounded the project for nearly two years, the Barracuda has since successfully completed more than a dozen test flights.

Barracuda is built from a mix of off the shelf components and custom hardware systems. Its entire fuselage — save for a pair of reinforcing wing spars — is composed of the same carbon fibre composite that covers the Eurofighter Typhoon. What’s more, the 8m long, 2.7-tonne demonstrator does almost entirely away with hydraulics — aside from the landing gear, the UAV operates entirely on electronic actuators. And while it isn’t as quick as the Taranis, the Barracuda reportedly packs a 14kN Pratt & Whitney jet turbine capable of achieving mach .85 with a 6000 m service ceiling and an estimated 200km operational radius.

For the foreseeable future, the Barracuda will remain a developmental test bed for future Cassian UAV technologies with hopes of eventually developing a system that can operate in unsegregated airspace alongside manned and civilian aircraft. And with both the nEUROn and Taranis gunning for deployment by the end of the decade, the skies over Europe are going to get crowded.

Infoca realizará pruebas de seguimiento de incendios con UAVs

El Plan Infoca, dispositivo para la prevención y extinción de incendios forestales en Andalucía realizará pruebas de seguimiento de incendios en horario nocturno con un avión no tripulado (UAV) de Elimco. (Seguir leyendo)

Nuevo UAV de EEUU con 1.600 km de autonomía

La necesidad de dotar de vigilancia marítima de gran alcance a los buques de pequeño tamaño ha impulsado a la Agencia de Proyectos de Investigación Avanzados de Defensa, DARPA, a desarrollar un programa de aviones no tripulados (UAV), de gran permanencia en vuelo a altitudes medias (MALE). (seguir leyendo)

Turkey plans to equip Anka UAV with satcom capability

Turkey is planning to add satellite communication (SATCOM) capability to the domestically manufactured Anka unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) head Murad Bayar has revealed.

Bayar also informed that Turkish Engine Industries (TEI) has been ordered to develop an engine for the Anka after the original manufacturer, Avic International decided to abandon military business, and stopped deliveries in August. Anka manufacturer, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has previously ordered the Centurion engine for an initial batch of ten UAVs, but is now required to explore other options. ''Alternatively, we could consider an engine like Rotax, or modify an existing automobile engine for the Anka,'' Bayar noted, adding that the SSM is also very soon expected to sign a contract with TAI for acquisition of ten Anka systems for the Turkish Air Force.

Having completed acceptance tests in late January, the Anka medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAV is designed for real-time image intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), target detection, recognition, identification and tracking missions.

Raytheon to provide MTS-B for the Reaper

Officials of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Medium Altitude Unmanned Aircraft Systems office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, awarded Raytheon a $50.2 million contract to provide the Multispectral Targeting System (MTS)-B for the Reaper  UAV.

The contract calls for Raytheon to provide MTS-B turret units, 37 MTS HD electronics units, containers, spare parts, and support equipment. The MTS-B provides electro-optical, infrared, laser designation, and laser illumination packaged in one sensor package. The MTS-B uses a digital architecture to provide long-range surveillance, high-altitude target acquisition, tracking, rangefinding, and laser designation for the Hellfire missile and for all tri-service and NATO laser-guided munitions, Raytheon officials say.

A turreted or forward-looking pod combining several sensors, the MTS has visible-light and infrared full-motion video cameras for long-range surveillance. The systems offer multiple wavelength sensors; near-infrared and color TV cameras; target illuminators; eyesafe laser rangefinders; image merging; spot trackers; and other avionics. The system’s Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) pod also is used with Paveway, JSOW, and HARM munitions. The MTS sensors carry the military designations of AAS-52, AAS-53, ASQ-228, DAS-1 and DAS-2.

UAVs Manufactured On the Fly

UAV Solutions Inc. in Jessup, Maryland, specializes in UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and UAV control systems.

The video above includes a flight demonstration of a UAV that was manufactured using Stratasys Fortus 400mc Production Systems. Typical applications of this vehicle include use by police departments, fire departments, and other emergency first responders, as well as military applications. According to company CEO Bill Davidson, when the company bought their first Stratasys 3D Printerthey thought that it was an impressive technology – but they didn’t really understand all that it could do.

While they originally figured they would use it to produce little prototypes or giveaways for their customers, FDM-based (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printing has now “crept” into every aspect of their manufacturing process. In particular, they found that the ULTEM™ 9085 resin material is particularly well-suited to aviation applications.

As flame retardant high performance material, ULTEM exhibits a high strength-to-weight ratio and FST (flame, smoke, and toxicity) rating which make it an excellent choice for the commercial transportation industry – especially aerospace, marine and ground vehicles. The FDM-based manufacturing process allows UAV Solutions to very rapidly make changes to the avionic structures, thereby enabling them to meet the high performance and precise demands of their customers. In fact, Davidson states that using the ULTEM 9085 allows them to manufacture components that could not be made with standard milling procedures.

Quadcopter footage of Australian 'firestorm'

Footage within the area of Lithgow, New South Wales (Australia) during current fire season. 

miércoles, 16 de octubre de 2013

Ventajas de la fabricación aditiva

La impresión 3D está cambiando lentamente la visión de cómo se van a fabricar las cosas a partir de ahora.

Como todos los lectores de este blog saben, la impresión 3D, también conocida como fabricación aditiva, crea productos de una vez, partiendo de la nada y agregando capas de material.

Este proceso representa un cambio radical frente a la fabricación sustractiva, donde los objetos se forman comenzando con un tocho de material de construcción que se va tallando o rebajando hasta conseguir el objeto deseado.

Crear geometrías complejas y combinar diferentes materiales en una pieza son tan sólo algunos de los principales beneficios del uso de la impresión 3D en la industria manufacturera. A modo de muestra, Jeffrey Immelt, Presidente y Director Ejecutivo de General Electric, nos ofreció en The Economist su visión acerca del enorme impacto que la impresión 3D está teniendo en el proceso de diseño y fabricación:  ”Si se pueden fabricar formas únicas con materiales de alta tecnología en un período corto de tiempo, vale la pena mi tiempo y, por supuesto, la inversión”. (Fuente: Entrevista con Jeffrey Immelt, Presidente y Director Ejecutivo, General Electric, y Greg Ip, Editor de Economía de EE. UU., The Economist, a través de Blip.tv)

Este nuevo proceso de fabricación permite una personalización precisa, lo cual beneficia a múltiples industrias que fabrican desde productos de consumo hasta dispositivos médicos. Pero más allá del proceso de fabricación, los efectos de la impresión 3D se están haciendo sentir en otros lugares de la cadena de abastecimiento, lo cual plantea nuevas interrogantes para los fabricantes y los consumidores:

¿Quién modelará el producto? ¿Donde? ¿Cuándo? ¿A qué precio?
¿Dónde se fabricará?
¿Cómo se enviarán los nuevos productos?

La impresión 3D puede hacer posible que los productos se fabriquen en series cortas bajo pedido, de acuerdo con las especificaciones individuales de cada cliente. Esto representa un método muy diferente al de la fabricación habitual que hasta ahora se realiza en las fábricas. En opinión de de Jay Timmons, Director Ejecutivo y Presidente de la National Association of Manufacturers (USA): “Desde el punto de vista de la fabricación [la impresión 3D] va a revolucionar la industria. Es realmente una tecnología asombrosa.”. (Fuente: Malia Spencer, periodista de Pittsburgh Business Times)

DoD seeks a common controller for many unmanned systems

The Pentagon is looking for a single system that could be used to control a wide variety of Unmanned Air Vehicles. It would save money while simplifying training and operations. Industry has approached the problem from different directions, including service-oriented architecture, “black box” hardware and plug-and-play software interfaces. Still, companies contend that the Defense Department will also need to change how it develops unmanned systems, which are now under the authority of siloed program offices. (Read More)