Tag Archives: Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAS)

Are you OK with growing use of unmanned drones in U.S.?

It’s happening in the United States more and more. A technology once confined to foreign battlefields is becoming increasingly common in domestic airspace.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, “With little public attention, dozens of universities and law-enforcement agencies have been given approval by federal aviation regulators to use unmanned aircraft known as drones, according to documents obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests by an advocacy group.

The more than 50 institutions that received approvals to operate remotely piloted aircraft are more varied than many outsiders and privacy experts previously knew. They include not only agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security but also smaller ones such as the police departments in North Little Rock, Ark., and Ogden, Utah, as well the University of North Dakota and Nicholls State University in Louisiana.

What do you think about this trend?

– Does it worry you … or reassure you?

– Should drones be limited or welcomed like other new technology?

– Does your right to privacy extend to the airspace above your home or business?

– Would you accept any drone as long as it is unarmed?

If you have a comment on this  topic, post it below now!

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Will drones mimic insect flight?

More than likely, “yes” and in a very near future.    The engineers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base are hard at work shrinking the new generation of drones to a size of a small insect as well as developing “flapping wing” technology.

The creative minds at AeroVironment are currently test-flying a hummingbird. And that’s not some code name for a little remote-control airplane that can hover and fly backwards. The Nano Hummingbird is a winged vehicle with no tail and flapping wings that it uses as its only method of propulsion. And they have even dressed it up to look like the real bird.

The Nano Air Vehicle is being developed under a Darpa contract to develop a small aircraft that can fly indoors and out. Early test flights of the hummingbird lasted only a handful of seconds, but the most recent flights have extended the range to almost 10 minutes, and it can maintain a stable hover in small gusts of wind.

The tiny aircraft weighs only 19 grams [about two-thirds of an ounce] and has a wingspan of 16 centimeters [6½ inches]. The vehicle is self-contained with its own motor, battery, communication system and a video camera. It’s being developed to be a palm-sized observation-and-surveillance platform. But instead of taking pictures of a building, it can provide a video feed from inside the building.


The AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven is a small hand-launched remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle (or SUAV) developed for the U.S. military, but now adopted by the military forces of many other countries.

The RQ-11 Raven was originally introduced as the FQM-151 in 1999, but in 2002 developed into its current form.[2] The craft is launched by hand and powered by an electric motor. The plane can fly up to 6.2 miles (10.0 km) at up to altitudes of 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above ground level (AGL), and 15,000 feet (4,600 m) mean sea level (MSL), at flying speeds of 28-60 mph (45–97 km/h).[3]


The Pentagon now has some 7,000 aerial drones, compared with fewer than 50 a decade ago. Within the next decade the Air Force anticipates a decrease in manned aircraft but expects its number of “multirole” aerial drones like the Reaper — the ones that spy as well as strike — to nearly quadruple, to 536. Already the Air Force is training more remote pilots, 350 this year alone, than fighter and bomber pilots combined.

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AeroVironment Receives $46.2 Million Order for Raven UAS and Digital Retrofit Kits

MONROVIA, Calif., December 28, 2010 — AeroVironment, Inc. (AV) (NASDAQ:AVAV) announced today that it received an order valued at $46,226,984 under an existing contract with the U.S. Army. The order comprises 123 new digital Raven® small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and initial spares packages as well as 186 digital retrofit kits for the U.S. Marine Corps. The order also includes 339 digital retrofit kits for the U.S. Army. The Raven system and retrofit order represents the remainder of the funds appropriated for RQ-11B Raven system procurement in the 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, which was signed into law in December 2009.

The orders were released under the existing U.S. Army joint small UAS program of record for AV’s Raven. This program has included contract additions from the Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Command. The items and services provided under these awards on this multi-year contract are fully funded. Work is scheduled to be performed within a period of 12 months.

“Raven systems have proven their value and reliability to military services across the U.S. Department of Defense,” said Tom Herring, AV senior vice president and general manager, Unmanned Aircraft Systems. “These backpackable, hand-launched unmanned systems provide situational awareness directly to our warfighters, increasing mission effectiveness and safety. We remain focused on supporting our customers with reliable solutions and developing ever more capable solutions.”

The Raven unmanned aircraft is a 4.2-pound, backpackable, hand-launched sensor platform that provides day and night, real-time video imagery for “over the hill” and “around the corner” reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in support of tactical units. U.S. armed forces use Raven systems extensively for missions such as base security, route reconnaissance, mission planning and force protection. Each Raven system typically consists of three aircraft, two ground control stations and spares.

In addition to the Raven system, AV’s small UAS include Puma™ and Wasp™, which are also hand-launched and controlled by AV’s hand-held ground control station. Each aircraft in AV’s family of small UAS is interoperable and tailored to address a variety of operational user needs. AV’s UAS logistics operation supports systems deployed worldwide to ensure a consistently high level of operational readiness. AV has delivered thousands of small unmanned aircraft to date. International purchasers of Raven systems include Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and Norway.

The Raven unmanned aircraft is a 4.2-pound, backpackable, hand-launched sensor platform that provides day and night, real-time video imagery for “over the hill” and “around the corner” reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition in support of tactical units.


Where Would You Go for a UAS Course in the Washington, DC Area? Washington, DC Monday, March 29, 2010

Where Would You Go for a UAS Course in the Washington, DC Area?

New Technology Training so YOU Can Gain Knowledge about this Growing Field.

Can you picture yourself as an office stand-out in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)?

Wouldn’t you like to gain first-hand knowledge of their capabilities?

Or be an expert in this exciting field of technology?

UAS applications are growing and now include agriculture, communications relays, aerial photography, mapping, emergency management, scientific research, environmental management, and law enforcement. In fact, the Teal Group’s 2009 market study estimates that UAV spending will almost double over the next decade, from current worldwide UAV expenditures of $4.4 billion annually, to $8.7 billion within a decade.

They are coming to an airspace near you.

Our one day short course is designed for busy engineers, aviation experts and project managers who wish to enhance their understanding of UAS without missing much time from work. You will receive technical training and practical knowledge to recognize the different classes and types of unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV). You will not only learn to interact meaningfully with your colleagues but also master the terminology of today’s complex systems.

Course Outline, Samplers and Notes

The complete course includes the following information and more:

• History and development of UAS

• Characteristics of the Raven, Shadow, Scan Eagle, Predator and Global Hawk

• Descriptions of various UAV sensor payloads (EO/IR, Radar and SAR)

• UAS Gaining Access to the National Airspace System (NAS)

• UAV videos, see them in the air and in action

But don’t take our word for it; see for yourself the value of our courses before attending. Check out our samples (See Slide Samples) of the course materials.

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 free and valuable information.

About ATI

The Applied Technology Institute (ATI) specializes in short course technical training in space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, and signal processing. Since 1984, ATI has provided leading-edge public courses and on-site technical training to defense and NASA facilities, as well as DOD and aerospace contractors.

About the Instructor

Mr. Mark N. Lewellen has over twenty-five years of engineering experience and is co-founder of RMT Spectrum Associates, Inc. He has successfully advocated technical and regulatory solutions as a member of formal US delegations at over forty international meetings. More recently, he has added UAS to his field of expertise.

Date, Time and Location

ATI proudly announces the next presentation of his new UAS class at 8:30am on June 15th, 2009 in Beltsville, MD.


The ATI Courses Team

P.S. For registration: Call today at 410-956-8805 or 888-501-2100 or go online now at www.aticourses.com

Have you considered the low cost and high flexibility of unmanned aerial vehicles?




Anchor Reliance Group (ARG) LLC is a new consulting and program management firm specializing in projects that utilize unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for technology development and practical flight applications.


ARG focuses on three primary areas:

(a) identifying organizations which would benefit from the flexibility and low cost of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs),

(b) helping organizations develop and execute flight projects which accomplish their business goals, and

(c) demonstrating cutting edge technologies via proof-of-concept flights.


Unmanned aircraft systems describe the newest and fastest growing segment of the aerospace industry worldwide today.  While it’s true that most existing applications are for military purposes, the potential for civilian and commercial applications is virtually unlimited.  The majority of tasks employing piloted aircraft can be accomplished by UAVs, and often with greater flexibility, less cost, less risk, and a smaller carbon-emission footprint.


ARG’s business model is built on the premise that every technology-based organization, whether military, civil, or commercial, can find a niche within the unmanned systems sector.  By reaching beyond convention, ARG enables organizations to realize their objectives through the application of UAS.  Some examples include:


  1. Technology firms which develop new airborne or space-based instruments typically hire manned aircraft to flight-test their products.  With proper planning, ARG can fly these instruments on an unmanned aircraft, achieving the same testing at lower hourly cost and environmental impact.


  1. Other organizations may want to collect only video or data from an airborne platform for environmental studies, crop management, pipeline inspections, and other purposes.  UAVs are well-suited for these applications, and ARG will work with these organizations to design and fly the project that will deliver the required data.


  1. New unmanned aircraft platforms and flight systems require extensive testing before market.  ARG will coordinate the range and restricted air space to test and prove these products.


  1. With ARG’s help, emergency response agencies such as police and fire departments can benefit from unmanned aircraft to aid with emergency communications, search and rescue, hazards detection, and cargo lift and delivery.


Based in Somerset County near the Maryland-Virginia border, between the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean with access to both air and maritime environments, ARG is convenient to Washington DC, and the Hampton Roads and Greenbelt technology regions.  Nearby flight and test ranges such as Wallops Flight Facility, Fort Eustis, and Fort Pickett, and local military facilities all offer a diverse choice of terrains and resources for a variety of flight projects. 


Through its broad network of industry resources and talents, ARG will provide everything from basic consulting services to complete end-to-end program management, including finding the right flight vehicles, payloads, and sensors to fly your mission.  ARG provides engineering and technical support, software development, safety analysis and risk management, as well as range and air space coordination.  A typical project at ARG follows a basic five-step process:


Phase 1:  Conduct initial consultation to establish mission objectives and to determine how UAS fit the customer’s goals.


Phase 2:  Choose the best aircraft and sensors, and design the flight that will achieve mission success.


Phase 3:  Coordinate use of flight range and restricted airspace, or work with the FAA to apply for a Certificate of Authorization (COA) to fly in the National Air Space, if required.


Phase 4:  Execute the mission; gather and process the data.


Phase 5:  Deliver the final report.


To find out more about the services and capabilities at Anchor Reliance Group, visit ARGs web site at www.anchorreliancegroup.com or call (443) 783-6763.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Yesterday, instructor Mark Lewellen was explaining some of the background to UAVs:  from aerial attacks on Venice through Marilyn Monroe to sizes of UAVs and likely future uses. If prospective attendees knew they would enjoy the thought-provoking subject half as much as I did,  ATI would be running this course once a month.