Tag Archives: drones

The Obama administration to sell armed drones to allies

 

The United States said Tuesday that it will allow for the first time the export of armed drones to some allied countries.

Armed drones are a cornerstone of Washington’s military strategy against armed groups and militants in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

“The United States is the world’s technological leader in the development and deployment of military Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS, or drones),” the State Department said in a statement.

“As other nations begin to employ military UAS more regularly and as the nascent commercial UAS market emerges, the United States has a responsibility to ensure that sales, transfers, and subsequent use of all US-origin UAS are responsible and consistent with US national security and foreign policy interests, including economic security, as well as with US values and international standards.”

The statement did not say which countries would be customers, but several allies are eager to get their hands on the hardware, with The Washington Post citing Italy, Turkey and the Gulf.

So far, the United States has sold its armed drones only to close ally Britain, the newspaper said.

“The technology is here to stay,” a senior State Department official told the Post. “It’s to our benefit to have certain allies and partners equipped appropriately.”

Drones are hugely controversial with many campainging against their use, pointing to the devastating impact these weapons have on civilians.


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Look! Up in the sky! 10,000 drones in US by 2020

Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers Unmanned Air Vehicle Design and Unmanned Aircraft System Fundamentals courses.  The information below could be of interest to our readers.

The idea of thousands of drones buzzing high above Main Street, USA may sound just a bit too odd for most people. But according to the FAA, the future is already here.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicts that swarms of unmanned aircraft systems could be taking to the skies of America in the next five years, with up to 10,000 active commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) patrolling from above by 2020.

Looking at aeronautical trends up to 2032, the FAA projects rapid growth of the UAS industry.

“In the United States alone, over 50 companies, universities, and government organizations are developing and producing some 155 unmanned aircraft designs,” according to the agency.

In February, the FAA said it had issued 1,428 permits to domestic drone operators since 2007, a number that far exceeds previous certifications. Meanwhile, some 327 permits are listed as active.

This startling rate of growth of a potentially pervasive technology has rights groups expressing concern over privacy issues and the potential for abuse of power.

Also, Even when controlled by skilled, well-intentioned operators, drones can pose a hazard—that’s what the FAA is concerned about. The safety record of military drones is not reassuring. Since 2001, according to the Air Force, its three main UAVs—the Predator, Global Hawk, and Reaper—have been involved in at least 120 “mishaps,” 76 of which destroyed the drone.

What is your opinion on the drones?  Please comment below.


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Drones begin descent on US agriculture

No one is laughing now. Once considered only a cut above remote-controlled toys, drones have proven their potency in Afghanistan and the Middle East, and manufacturers are eyeing U.S. agriculture as a tremendous market opportunity.

Chris Mailey, vice president of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), said, “Agriculture is gonna be the big market.”

Wired reports that Japan used drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to spray 30 percent of its rice fields in 2010.

UAV technology is rapidly evolving and drones are already seeing limited use in the wine industry.

The Federal Aviation Administration, after getting swamped with thousands of drone applications from universities (with a heavy agricultural focus), law enforcement and private citizens, has a 2015 “deadline” to open up U.S. skies to civilian drones. The drone makers have sought congressional help to speed their entry into a domestic market that is worth billions.

Some put the drone market value at $5.9 billion and growing and is expected to double in the next decade.  Drones can cost millions of dollars for the most sophisticated varieties to as little as $300 for one that can be piloted from an iPhone.

Regardless of how good the drone technology is, the  profit potential for agriculture will depend on drone costs. Mailey believes farming and drones will be a fit.

What is your opinion?

Please comment below.

Read more here.

Interested in learning more about Unmanned Aircraft Systems, register to attend ATI’s Unmanned Aircraft System Fundamentals courses which will be presented on July 23-25, 2013 in Columbia, MD.


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Warfare of the future: does it belong to the drones?

There is no doubt that the use of unmanned aircrafts or drones has seen a tremendous growth over the last few years. Since 2005 there has been a 1,200% increase in combat air patrols by UAVs. Al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by a drone only last month. But does this mean that the future belongs to UAS? What are the pros and cons of using unmanned aircraft vehicles vs manned?

What are the pros and cons of UAVs?


Pros include:

    1) significantly lower cost compared to manned vehicles (although they can get pretty expensive depending on their sophistication); this should allow the military to buy UAVs in much larger quantities than manned aircraft
    2) expendability, you can afford to send them into heavily defended areas and risk losing some without endangering a pilot
    3) more maneuverable than manned planes without the limitations of a human pilot
    4) can be built stealthier than a manned plane since one of the least stealthy parts of the aircraft (the cockpit) is unnecessary
    5) should be lighter, smaller, and easier to transport

Cons include:

    1) limitations of their programming, may not be able to compensate for the changing battlefield environment (such as being able to attack a new more desirable target that appeared after the aircraft was launched or changing course to avoid enemy defenses)
    2) because they are typically smaller than a manned plane, they cannot carry as large a payload (however, they do generally have a greater ratio of payload to total weight)
    3) along the same lines, they may not be able to carry as much fuel and therefore may have a shorter range
    4) typically tailored to specific kinds of missions and not as versatile as a modern multi-role fighter
    5) if contact is lost with a ground station, the vehicle may be lost

Overall, but the pilot in the cockpit is already an endangered species.

What is your opinion? Please comment below.

Read more here.


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Keylogger Virus Vs US Drones? Place your bets?

Yes, it has come to this! Apparently, a “keylogger” virus (that the nasty kind that records EVERY keystroke) has hit Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. Chreech is the main base of operations for US Drones. The virus kept coming back resisting every attempt to remove it from the drives. Eventually, the drives had to be wiped clean and rebuilt from scratch. That is a lot of man hours!

The virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military’s Host-Based Security System, has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying their missions overseas. Nor have there been any confirmed incidents of classified information being lost or sent to an outside source. But the virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech’s computers, network security specialists say. And the infection underscores the ongoing security risks in what has become the U.S. military’s most important weapons system.
Drones have become America’s tool of choice in both its conventional and shadow wars, allowing U.S. forces to attack targets and spy on its foes without risking American lives. Since President Obama assumed office, a fleet of approximately 30 CIA-directed drones have hit targets in Pakistan more than 230 times; all told, these drones have killed more than 2,000 suspected militants and civilians, according to the Washington Post. More than 150 additional Predator and Reaper drones, under U.S. Air Force control, watch over the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. American military drones struck 92 times in Libya between mid-April and late August. And late last month, an American drone killed top terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki — part of an escalating unmanned air assault in the Horn of Africa and southern Arabian peninsula.

But despite their widespread use, the drone systems are known to have security flaws. And this recent virus definitely proves it!

What do you think?

You can read more about the virus here.

 


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Last Chance to Sign Up for Course on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Video Clip: Click to Watch
ATI Offers Short Technical Course on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Worldwide government, commercial and military use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) is anticipated to increase significantly in the future.

If you need to know more about UAS maybe you should attend the Applied Technology Institute (ATI) Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Applications course?

This one-day course is designed for engineers, aviation experts and project managers who wish to enhance their understanding of UAS. The course provides the “big picture” for those who work outside of the discipline. Each topic addresses real systems (Predator, Shadow, Global Hawk and others) and real-world problems and issues concerning the use and expansion of their applications.

Attending training courses can also put you in touch with peers in your industry affording you the opportunity to network. Networking can help you discover new industry trends, as well as new ideas and insights from others.

Our short courses are designed for individuals involved in planning, designing, building, launching, and operating space and defense systems. Whether you are a busy engineer, a technical expert or a project manager, you can enhance your understanding of complex systems in a short time. You will become aware of the basic vocabulary essential to interact meaningfully with your colleagues.

Course Outline, Samplers and Notes

But don’t take our word for it; determine for yourself the value of our UAS course before you sign up. Check out ourUAS Course Slide Samples or see a video clip about the course from the instructor at UAS on YouTube.

After attending the course you will receive a full set of detailed notes from the class for future reference, as well as a certificate of completion. Please visit our website for more valuable information.

About ATI and the Instructors

Our mission here at the Applied Technology Institute (ATI) is to provide expert training and the highest quality professional development in space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, and signal processing. We are not a one-size-fits-all educational facility. Our short classes include both introductory and advanced courses.

ATI’s instructors are world-class experts who are the best in the business. They are carefully selected for their ability to clearly explain advanced technology.

Mr. Mark N. Lewellen is the vice chair of an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) group in the United States that is responsible for generating future UAS spectrum requirements. He is also chairman of a global UAS group that may revise the international Radio Regulations. He is an instructor for a course designed for engineers, aviation experts and project managers who wish to enhance their understanding of UAS.

He has twenty-five years of experience and has actively participated in over forty international meetings where he successfully advocated technical and regulatory issues. He is co-founder of RMT Spectrum Associates, Inc.

Mr. Lewellen teaches GPS Workshops in conjunction with several Universities. He is an active member of Toastmasters International and an excellent speaker who knows how to take command of an audience.

Dates, Times and Locations

The UAS short course is currently scheduled for:

• November 8th, 2011 in Columbia, MD

• February 28th, 2012 in Columbia, MD

Now is the time to think about bringing an ATI technical short course to your site. If there are eight or more people who are interested in a course, you save money if we bring the course to you. If you have fifteen or more students, you save over fifty percent compared to a public course.


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Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) course now available

Global Hawk Ready for Nighttime Mission

Video Clip: Click to Watch

Mark Lewellen of RMT Spectrum Associates, named Instructor for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) course

The Applied Technology Institute (ATI) is pleased to announce that Mark N. Lewellen of RMT Associates, Inc. has been selected to teach an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) course. UAS are a dynamically growing area of interest to the military. They range from the small single man launched Raven system to the large armed Predator system.

This one-day course is designed for engineers, aviation experts and project managers who wish to enhance their understanding of UAS. The course provides the “big picture” for those who work outside of the discipline. Each topic addresses real systems (Predator, Shadow, Warrior and others) and real-world problems and issues concerning the use and expansion of their applications.

What You Will Learn:

• Categories of current UAS and their aeronautical capabilities

• Major manufactures of UAS

• The latest developments and major components of a UAS

• The types of sensor data can UAS provide

• Regulatory and spectrum issues associated with UAS

• National Airspace System including the different classes of airspace

• How UAS will gain access to the National Airspace System (NAS)

A more complete course description can be found here

Course Outline, Samplers, and Notes

Our short courses are designed for individuals involved in planning, designing, building, launching, and operating space and defense systems.

Determine for yourself the value of this UAS course before you sign up:

UAS Class Video Clip #1

UAS Class Video Clip #2

Or, see slide samples from this UAS Short course.

After attending the course you will receive a full set of detailed notes from the class for future reference, as well as a certificate of completion. Please visit our website for more valuable information.

About ATI and the Instructors

Our mission here at ATI is to provide expert training and the highest quality professional development in space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, and signal processing. We are not a one-size-fits-all educational facility. Our short classes include both introductory and advanced courses.

ATI’s instructors are world-class experts who are the best in the business. They are carefully selected for their ability to clearly explain advanced technology.

Mr. Mark N. Lewellen has over twenty five years of experience with a wide variety of space, satellite and aviation related projects, including the Predator/Shadow/Warrior/Global Hawk UAVs, Orbcomm, Iridium, Sky Station, and aeronautical mobile telemetry systems. More recently he has been working in the exciting field of UAS. He is currently the Vice Chairman of a UAS Sub-group under Working Party 5B which is leading the US preparations to find new radio spectrum for UAS operations for the next World Radiocommunication Conference in 2012 under Agenda Item 1.3. He is also a technical advisor to the US State Department and a member of the National Committee which reviews and comments on all US submissions to international telecommunication groups, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Times, Dates, and Locations

ATI’s UAS and Applications short course is currently scheduled for:

Nov 8, 2011 Columbia, MD

Feb 28, 2012 Columbia, MD


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Drone Fleets: The Countries That Possess Them And Potential For Robotic Wars

Despite some pretty disturbing news on UAV developments that are coming from China and a group of other countries U.S. remains the global leader in development, production and most importantly successful implementation of unmanned aircraft vehicles or drones.  However, there is a lot of speculation regarding the world’s expanding drone fleets and their potential for reducing the threshold for going to war.  Here is a list of known facts regarding this sensitive issue.

  1. USA is the main developer and manufacturer (however not exporter) of UAVs.  Near the top of the line, the Predator B, or MQ9-Reaper, manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, costs about $10.5 million. By comparison, a single F-22 fighter jet costs about $150 million.

The new smaller models are currently developed.

  • Raytheon Missile Systems is in process of designing a 13lb Small Tactical Munition to be carried by smaller unmanned aircraft like Shadow, TigerShark, Hunter and Viking. The device is around 24 inches long and 4 inches around.
  • Northrop Grumman has come out with the Viper Strike, a gliding,GPS-aided laser-guided variant of the Northrop Grumman Brilliant Anti-Tank (BAT) munition which originally had a combinationacoustic and IR seeker. The Viper Strike is 36 inches long and only 5.5 inches in diameter.
  • Lockheed Martin has releasedthe Scorpion (21.5 inches in length, and 4.25 inches in diameter),which is adaptable to multiple launch platforms, including manned or unmanned systems.
  1. China is constantly increasing it’s development and production as well as export of drones.  At the most recent Zhuhai air show they revealed WJ-600 drone and than two dozen other Chinese models. Little is known about their actual abilities but the speed at which they have been developed highlights how U.S. military successes with drones have changed strategic thinking worldwide and spurred a global rush for unmanned aircraft.
  2. Israel, the second-largest drone manufacturer after the United States, has flown armed models, but few details are available.
  3. India announced this year that it is developing ones that will fire missiles and fly at 30,000 feet.
  4. Russia has shown models of drones with weapons, but there is little evidence that they are operational.
  5. Pakistan has said it plans to obtain armed drones from China, which has already sold the nation ones for surveillance.
  6. Iran last summer unveiled a drone that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the “ambassador of death” but whose effectiveness is still unproven, according to military analysts.

China’s drone technology hasn’t reached the world’s first-class level, but the Chinese are catching up quickly. This is something we know for sure.

 


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