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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

15 May 2014

AUVSI 2014: Seen and Heard on Day Two

RUAG Defence is delivering the Swiss Armed Forces with a complete solution for the operation of unmanned vehicles from fully protected command shelters. Utilising its integration capabilities and breadth of expertise, RUAG Defence has developed shelters, which house all the equipment necessary to securely execute extensive missions anywhere and commence operations within hours.

The shelters that RUAG Defence is delivering constitute everything needed for mobile operations. With these shelters the Swiss Armed Forces can rapidly deploy to any location and have everything they need to perform a sustained operation. A primary function the shelters perform, due to their sophistication, is serving as the command and control (C2) centre for the Swiss RANGER UAVs.

Crucial in the delivery of this project are RUAG’s abilities in system engineering and integration, testing, and communication systems. Over the last decade, the Swiss company has been quietly developing its position as a leader within the field of technologically sophisticated shelters. As a strategic partner for Land Systems the firm produces shelters in three different sizes all based on a standard 20ft container, but expandable to give up to 35m2 usable floor space. In addition, each container can, as required, be protected to withstand EMC, NEMP and TEMPEST threats up to 80dB. Securing the communications housed inside them and ensuring the user maintains situational awareness and control of their vehicle at all times.

It is these two characteristics of size and protection that laid the foundation for RUAG Defence to deliver mobile command and control for the Swiss UAVs. In addition is the company’s extensive expertise in the field of secure communications and the integration of such systems into vehicles and shelters. RUAG’s success in delivering solutions for UAVs paves the way for future projects involving protected shelters being used as command systems for UGVs.

To date RUAG Defence has delivered over 150 shelters, of different configurations, to both military and civilian customers.

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Xsens demonstrates the MTi 10-series, MTi 100-series and the MTi-G-700 at booth #1037. Industry standard orientation trackers for control, stabilisation and navigation of unmanned vehicles. Xsens has been acquired by Fairchild Semiconductor, an American industry icon delivering power solutions for the mobile, industrial, automotive and other industries. For Xsens this implies a broader access to technologies and resources strengthening its position as the leading developer and supplier of 3D motion tracking products. Xsens will continue to serve existing customers and markets under the Xsens brand and will continue to expand its product portfolio.

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ADVANCED Motion Controls (AMC), at booth #1670, features the very popular ┬ÁZ Drives (Micro-Z) the smallest off-the-shelf servo drives that AMC makes. These drives provide the power and performance of larger models in a featherweight package that is designed for direct integration into a PCB. Also on display is the M/V Series, the company’s largest off-the-shelf drives (in terms of current output). These compact and rugged IP65 drives can output 250A peak and 125A continuous and are perfect for high torque applications, such as drive wheels and lifting arms in mobile applications.

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Honeywell at booth #1437 during AUVSI 2014 is showcasing an array of products and solutions for Unmanned Aerial Systems, including:

  • TPE331 Turboprop Engine
  • HTS900 Turboshaft Engine
  • Embedded GPS/INS (EGI)
  • HG1930 Inertial Measurement Unit
  • TCAS
  • T-HAWK Micro Air Vehicle
  • Sense and Avoid Capability for UAS 
  • SATCOM
  • Mil GX Aviation – Honeywell Terminal Solution
  • AMT 1800 Intermediate Antenna
  • ASPIRE 200 HDU

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Dow-Key Microwave is exhibiting at booth 817 to more than 8,000 attendees from over 55 countries all with the desire to explore the newest technology on the market from over 600 modernisers.


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Aeryon Labs on booth #2253 features the Datron Aeryon SCOUT and Datron Aeryon SKYRANGER, which set a benchmark in VTOL sUAS flight performance, reliability and ease-of-use. The systems are also flying every day from 1400-1430h.

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Arcturus UAV unveiled JUMP, a new vertical takeoff and landing system for their T-20 and T-16 fixed wing UAVs.

"This is a pivotal moment in the history of small unmanned air vehicles. JUMP is to UAVs what the touch screen was to smart phones," according to D'Milo Hallerberg, President of Arcturus UAV.

Booms fitted with vertical lift motors and rotors are mounted to each wing to provide vertical lift for takeoff and landing. Vertical lift motors are shut off for winged flight and propellers are feathered longitudinally for minimum drag. Seamless transition to winged flight is achieved by the Piccolo autopilot using Latitude Engineering's Hybrid-Quadrotor technology. All flight control is fully autonomous. Arcturus JUMP enjoys all of the versatility of a quad rotor while retaining the superior range and endurance of a fixed wing. JUMP fitted Arcturus air vehicles require no special launch equipment and do not require runways for launch or landing. JUMP can be easily transported and operated by only two technicians. Once on site, JUMP can be set up and ready for flight in less than 15 minutes. The company is accepting orders for JUMP.

Located in Northern California, Arcturus UAV is a leader in the Small Tactical UAV market. The company designs and builds advanced unmanned air systems for border protection, aerial mapping, search and rescue, and defence.

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Multispectral imaging has long been used to collect data-rich images which reveal things not visible to the naked eye, but equipment for this has traditionally been bulky, heavy, and expensive. Taking advantage of the newly miniaturised Tetracam ADC Micro camera, Draganfly Innovations now provides this payload for their DRAGANFLYER helicopter line. The Tetracam ADC Micro is highly sensitive to vegetation, making it ideal for monitoring crop and environmental health. The new Tetracam multi-spectral payload system is mounted via a two-axis stabilized brushless gimbal and includes a wireless digital video down-link. The Tetracam ADC Micro camera comes with PixelWrench2 processing software including image editing programs and tools for managing and processing multi-spectral images. Multi-spectral imaging provides a quick visual means to assess the health of crops and identify damage caused by pests or invasive weed growth. From this data, the proper corrective action can be determined. Combining multi-spectral imaging technology with state-of-the-art DRAGANFLYER helicopter systems provide a convenient means for farmers, agriculture consultants, and insurance companies to quickly inspect, measure, and assess crop health or damage, using aerial spot checks or large acreage coverage.   Draganfly Innovations, a leader in small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), is an original manufacturer with over 15 years' experience developing sUAS systems and is recognized as a technology and industry leader. Draganfly has also recently partnered with data acquisition industry leaders such as Pix4D to provide aerial mapping, geo-referenced 2D mosaics, 3D surface models, and point clouds. This new partnership with Tetracam rounds out their agriculture sUAS solution package. Draganfly systems are used in a wide range of applications for public safety, aerial photography & videography, industrial inspection, geo mapping, agriculture and search & rescue work worldwide.

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Sagetech, an avionics company, has unveiled new technology that uses ADS-B location information and iPads to track unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The ADS-B Tracker Kit includes Sagetech’s new XPG-TR micro transponder, the company’s Clarity ADS-B receiver, and an iPad with zero interface connections that takes minutes to install and be fully operational. The tracker allows air traffic control, aircraft in the area, and third-party personnel to track drones and coincides with the FAA’s announcement of six test sites to help ensure the safe integration of UAS with NextGen technologies into the National Airspace System.

Sagetech President Kelvin Scribner explained his company has been in the UAS business for quite some time. “We helped develop aviation transponders for drones and release our Clarity ADS-B receiver based on drone technology,” he said. “This new kit is just a collection of devices put into one box, making it simple and useful.”

The Tracker Kit is very intuitive and easy to use,” said Eric Folkestad, of Arcturus UAV and President of AUVSI Cascade Chapter. “It lets us use NextGen ADS-B to track our aircraft on the iPad, and we see other airplanes transiting the area as well, which are exactly the ones we need to avoid. This product is key to safety.”

Providing for safe operation of UAS in the National Airspace System is a critical FAA milestone mandated by Congress. UAS typically fly missions that are considered too "dirty, dull, or dangerous" for manned aircraft.

The equipment is undergoing certification and Sagetech is working with FAA on this, said Scribner.  “We are accepting orders now and will have inventory on shelves in a few weeks,” he said. The kit, which costs $8,600.

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Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) control experts at the Raytheon Technical Services segment in Dulles, VA, will switch a major unmanned helicopter control system from Solaris to Linux software, and upgrade the system with universal UAV control qualities under terms of a $15.8 million contract. Officials of the US Naval Air Systems command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, MD, are asking Raytheon to upgrade the company's Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) Tactical Control System (TCS), which was designed to help operators fly the Northrop Grumman MQ-8 FIRE SCOUT unmanned helicopter. Raytheon will switch the VTOL UAV TCS block II from the Solaris to the Linux version B2VL software, and continue evolving the system to the military's new Unmanned Aerial System Control Segment architecture (UCS). Raytheon engineers also will integrate modern intuitive controls, automates testing procedures, and support software upgrades in the field. The Raytheon TCS is designed to operate UAVs in all branches of the US military, as well as NATO STANAG 4586-compliant UAVs. Raytheon developed the TCS to run on the proprietary Sun Microsystems Solaris 8 software operating system, which is approaching the end of its useful life in US military applications. Raytheon will continue converting TCS software that runs the Navy FIRE SCOUT unmanned helicopter to the open-source Linux operating system. The Solaris and Linux operating systems both are based on the Unix operating system. The UCS seeks to develop open-systems standards for a common UAV control system that can operate all US Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps UAVs that weigh 20lbs or more. The goal of the UCS is to develop an architecture for all military services as a common basis for buying, developing, and upgrading a wide variety of U.S. military UAV control systems. The TCS can be configured in racks for ship-based operations, shelterized as a land-based system, or integrated into a shelter on land vehicles such as the HUMVEE.

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Northrop Grumman’s X-47B unmanned combat air system is to undergo ramped-up testing in preparation for new sea trials, the US Navy reported. The X-47B is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which will enter service with the Navy in 2020, is the size of a normal combat jet and is designed for launch and recovery from an aircraft carrier. The US Naval Air Systems Command said the latest series of shore-based tests will be conducted from its Patuxent River facility in Maryland and are aimed at maturing air traffic control and ground support standard operating procedures for “co-use of airspace between unmanned and manned aircraft during day and nighttime operations.”

Continuing to fly the X-47B in the Patuxent River air space will further exercise the research, test, development and evaluation infrastructure with an unmanned air system,” said Capt. Beau Duarte, program manager for Unmanned Carrier Aviation at Patuxent River. “These tests are a build-up for the next carrier event this summer.”

The X-47B, as in the past, will again embark on USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT sometime in August. The sea-based testing will be to perfect flight deck operations for the aircraft and for integrating the platform with manned aircraft.

We are working toward a new set of firsts for the X-47B,” said Matt Funk, X-47B lead test engineer. “We’ll test the new capabilities of the X-47B wing-fold and tailhook retract system, and will demonstrate compatibility with a carrier jet-blast deflector on the flight deck for the first time.”

Added Capt. Duarte: “This at-sea period will mark the first time manned aircraft and the X-47B will operate together on the flight deck.”

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Elmo is a provider of motion control solutions that meet the unique requirements of UAVs and other applications operating in extreme environmental conditions. Elmo has complete electrical solutions for any aerospace application, which brings multiple benefits for systems like missile winglets and UAVs. The company has a full range of innovative servo drives which are highly compact, provide maximum power density, offer the utmost efficiency and excel in extreme environments. Among its products is the EAGLE High Current MIL servo drive, which delivers up to 300 A continuous output current (T mode). Another top performer is the GOLD HAWK, which delivers output current options of 75 A/ 60 V, 50 A/100 V and 20 A/200 V and ideal for winglets, UAVs, Gimbals, Turrets and other unmanned vehicles. Elmo customers can also select a comprehensive MIL Servo Control Solution for applications with numerous integrated axes. These are ready-to-use; ultra-compact; high in power, servo performance and efficiency; include 4x4,400W servo drives of 40 A/110 VDC each; and deliver 16,000W of qualitative output power and 25,000W of peak power regeneration. The company’s solution also comprises a MIL Multi-Axis Motion Controller that is ready for the extreme, controls up to 100 servo axes in any motion scenario, and is EtherCAT or CANopen compatible. All Elmo's products are field-proven, durable and ruggedised. They are also designed, qualified, verified, manufactured and tested to meet the most stringent military, safety and other recognised standards.

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Public perception of UAS use depicted in ongoing news accounts might lead to the belief that there is an overwhelming lack of support for UAS. But recent surveys demonstrate the opposite and research indicates the UAS industry will only continue to thrive to serve various markets. Within this backdrop, Exelis has been building UAS-based ISR and analytics offerings out of its 50-year space legacy. An adjacent market for Exelis, the company is applying its space experience to the air. With sensor technology operationally proven in warzones, Exelis is building new capabilities to support domestic law enforcement, civil agencies, environmental monitoring and non-permissive, denied access areas. The latest offering is a low-cost, customisable wide area airborne sensor system that enables real-time, persistent surveillance. The system supports critical information-gathering for law-enforcement, high-profile events, man-made crises and natural disasters. With the ability to process multisensing data and apply on-board analytics, customers can get the information they need while the aircraft is flying, support multiple users with managed bandwidth and record when and where images are taken. Exelis has also developed a fully automated, end-to-end hyperspectral imaging system that is military, commercial and soon international customers. It is capable of identifying materials within minutes of collection and can collect and process hyperspectral data in seconds. As a result, it can be used for manmade and environmental disaster support, natural resources evaluation, emergency search and rescue, agriculture and other applications. Exelis is coupling real-time hyperspectral analytic processing with long-wave IR technology to improve the ability of users to positively identify materials and targets. Building on technology provided Space Computer Corporation and having worked with the US government for the past several years, Exelis is in the final stages of demonstrating this Long Wave Hyperspectral system in autumn. Making the right decisions and addressing society’s biggest challenges requires having data-driven information. Just as one uses satellite instruments to gather data to help meteorologists forecast the weather and scientists study climate change, unmanned vehicle-based sensing and on-board analytical systems can help make life-and-death decisions for search-and-rescue (SAR) operations, support commercial applications such as precision- agriculture and support law enforcement – among some of the uses. Privacy concerns, integration into the national airspace and spectrum allocation are the recognised challenges with using UAV technologies. But innovative ways of managing them, like any new technology that develops faster than the speed of policy, will catch up and the benefits of UAV usage should not be curtailed. Today, the need for data collected from UAVs is prevalent across industries, supporting decision making from the forward deployed military command centre to disaster responders and scientists making advances in environmental monitoring. Combined with real time data and image processing capabilities from Exelis, the company’s ground-station based analytical capabilities in ENVI software provide information about a geographic area of interest, whether the application has time critical importance, or long-term scientific implications. ENVI’s advanced ISR analytics allow users to further exploit imagery processed onboard for advanced forensics. ENVI users can deliver increased situational awareness, or use results of detailed analyses to report to decision makers or the public with advanced capabilities allowing them to extract features of interest from large image scenes, identify types of land cover in an area, or detect change that has taken place in specific location over time. ENVI is integrated with ArcGIS software, providing the ability to add forensic results to any mapping application.

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Clear-Com at booth #926 exhibits:

  • ECLIPSE HX Digital Matrix Systems — a family of high-performance matrix intercoms with multiple interface options for command and control.
  • HELIXNET PARTYLINE — Digital wired intercom enabling connection between remote sites over fibre or through a LAN.
  • TEMPEST®Wireless Intercom — 2.4 GHz and 900 MHz digital wireless intercom systems with the most capabilities for mobile workers.
  • HME DX Series Wireless Intercom — Easy-to-deploy, portable and fixed 2.4 GHz wireless intercom systems for small- to mid-sized applications.
  • Concert — Intercom-over-IP solution that extends communication to hundreds of remote personnel over multiple, simultaneous conferences.

The Eclipse HX platform was designed and engineered to be highly flexible and extensible for addressing the intercom needs of large-scale operations. At the show, Clear-Com discusss the new ECLIPSE HX capabilities that allow greater deployments of up to 64 matrix systems to intelligently trunk over Ethernet and IP connections, as well as support dual label and multi-language communication needs on a single V-Series user control keypanel. The ECLIPSE HX range gives users a broad choice of digital intercom system for all kinds of direct (point to point) and one-to-many (group and partyline or conference) connections. All models in the ECLIPSE HX range provide highly flexible IP connectivity, whether using an existing infrastructure to connect to the matrix or connecting remotely and securely over open networks like the Internet. ECLIPSE HX’s proven IP technology has been deployed globally where users require reliable, high quality communications in critical production settings. HELIXNET is one of the industry’s first digital network partyline intercom systems. It was designed as a digital version of Clear-Com’s industry-standard analogue partyline system, bringing simplicity, efficiency and a powerful set of intelligent features for group operations in command and control, training and simulation, and test and evaluation environments. Up to now, the HELIXNET line has consisted of the HMS-4X Main Station, the HBP-2X HELIXNET Beltpack and several interface modules. The newly launched units are:
  • HRM-4X Remote Station - provides the intercom functionality of the Main Station but without powering the system or housing interfaces, and is therefore a more compact unit. The Remote Station provides access to four simultaneous channels of intercom communication, plus program audio. It receives audio data, control data, and DC power via the same cable, and additionally has the capability to be locally powered via an external power supply or use Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) connection.
  • HKB-2X Speaker Station - receives four channels of intercom communications simultaneously over a single cable, and is able to monitor all four and communicate on any two of those channels at any given time. The user can also receive and monitor a separate level-controllable program feed. It can be mounted in a 4-gang wall box or be used with the optional S-Mount enclosure.
  • S-Mount - an attractive yet durable mount that enables the Speaker Station to be used in portable applications. It can be surface mounted or set as a desktop, enclosed and secure. The mount and display can be easily adjusted to different angles to better suit the user’s requirement. It includes a DC Power connector and XLR-3M and XLR-3F Powerline Intercom Ports for easy connection; additionally it has the capability to be locally powered via an external power supply or use of a PoE connection.

Simon Browne, Head of Product Management, Clear-Com, said, “Our analogue partyline system, ENCORE, has been providing critical communication capabilities for over 45 years. While the functionality of HelixNet is quite similar to Encore, it is however much more dynamic and flexible, plugs and plays elegantly with most existing cable infrastructure, and allows more intercom channels and users to be on a single system or to be networked than ever before. HELIXNET has proved immensely popular with those that require a simple yet effective digital communication system. These new additions to the HELIXNET line round out our digital partyline offering and will continue to provide numerous user benefits that have not been delivered by any digital partyline system before.”

PROGRID is based on the open AES3 and AES10 (MADI) standards, providing fibre-based transport, routing and format conversion as well as distribution of audio, intercom, video and control data with full management and diagnostic capabilities over the OPTOCORE and SANE platform. A versatile, modular approach enables users to match the demands of a specific system need and budget, and to manage future expansion. The system is also quick to set up and break down. Clear-Com also offers the BroaMan MUX-22 video distribution device, which further broadens the company’s capabilities to provide scalable, protocol independent transport of up to eight 3G/HD/SD-SDI video signals in each device. The MUX-22 can operate with the PROGRID systems or as a standalone solution.

Clear-Com delivers professional communication solutions for command and control, training and simulation, test and evaluation, and more. For over 43 years, Clear-Com’s partyline, digital matrix, wireless systems, and intercom-over-IP conferencing solutions have led the industry with high quality audio performance that meets critical needs in a variety of settings. Clear-Com continues to be the preferred choice for clear, reliable, and scalable communication solutions. 

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Sagetech (booth #928) announced a new contract with the US Navy Identification Systems Branch to estimate the development of a Mode 5 military aviation transponder. Sagetech, an innovator in miniature avionics, will estimate the cost and schedule to adapt its existing 3.5-ounce civil XP transponder to add Mode 5 encrypted IFF (identify-friend-foe) technology and make it small enough to be carried by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) like the AAI AEROSONDE aircraft, Boeing/Insitu SCANEAGLE, and AeroVironment PUMA, which all weigh less than 50lbs.

Our Micro-Mode 5 transponder is an order of magnitude smaller than alternatives - it's a game changer,” explained Sagetech President Kelvin Scribner. “We are very excited about working with the Navy on this project and we're committed to developing a Micro-Mode 5 prototype this year.”

Aviation transponders work in conjunction with air traffic control (ATC) radar systems to locate and identify aircraft, facilitating airspace management. Transponders are especially important for small UAS, which are too small to be seen by ATC radar unless they have a transponder. Mode 5 transponders are a militarised version of civil transponders. Mode 5 interrogations are used by fighter aircraft to electronically determine if an unidentified aircraft or “bogey” is friendly or enemy. The Mode 5 protocol includes encryption and secret codes that change daily. NATO forces are presently upgrading all military aircraft from Vietnam era Mode 4 to Mode 5, which employs greater sophistication. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars saw the proliferation of small UAS, proving invaluable to battlefield commanders. Because existing military IFF transponders weigh several pounds, they could not be carried by small UAS. Sagetech's lightweight XP series of civil transponders solved the basic problem of airspace management by making small UAS visible to ATC radar, though not providing military IFF functionality.  Now that small UAS are becoming mature military systems, new requirements mandate the replacement of civil transponders with military IFF versions.

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On booth #952, General Dynamics (GD) Mediaware is featuring its next generation video exploitation system to highlight how unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operators can more effectively capture and process their sensor data in the field, and efficiently manage the lifecycle of the data and extract greater value from their video archives through better search and retrieval tools. Demonstrations include:

  • Efficient real-time and forensic analysis used to capture, analyse and search mission-critical full motion video (FMV) to derive real-time actionable intelligence and improve situational awareness.
  • Two new D-VEX and TAC-MAAS product variants: A new low cost desktop configuration allows users to index, organize and analyse their library of FMV, allowing users to capture and process live FMV data, making it the ideal solution for deployment on surveillance aircraft, in ground stations and vehicles and in other deployed locations; and a team server package enables customers to easily expand their intelligence operations by storing a full set of mission data on a centralized system for longer-term archive, dissemination and detailed forensic analysis by multiple analysts.
  • Effective data lifecycle management from capture and first phase processing in the field through longer-term archive, access and analysis at headquarters.

D-VEX and TAC-MAAS also provide operators with easy-to-use tools for enhancing and analysing live and recorded video with integrated situational awareness map displays. Together with its data management and archiving capabilities, it provides operators with a complete operational workflow solution. In the U.S. market, D-VEX is known as TAC-MAAS, a key product in the GD Advanced Information Systems’ portfolio of ISR exploitation solutions. D-VEX systems have been deployed worldwide by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) on the SHADOW 200 UAS, by the US Special Forces and by forces in South America and Malaysia. The US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) recently received nine TAC-MAAS systems to provide forward-deployed teams the ability to more effectively process and exploit FMV from manned and unmanned ISR platforms.

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The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) will continue the CARGO UGV project and has awarded a contract to Oshkosh Defense, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, using Oshkosh TERRAMAX unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) technology. The ONR is advancing the project originated by the US Marine Corps (USMC) Warfighting Lab. The CARGO UGV project was initiated in 2010 to identify how UGV technology could be integrated into the USMC tactical wheeled vehicle (TWV) fleet to reduce Marines’ exposure to threats and to streamline logistics convoy operations. Under the MCWL CARGO UGV effort, two Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacements (MTVRs) were upgraded with TERRAMAX systems that enabled fully unmanned operation. Government evaluations revealed that the state-of-the-art autonomous capability offered practical utility in a variety of operational situations. Live force experiments in which combat-veteran Marines were trained to operate the UGVs in concert with manned vehicles furthered the development of concepts of operation for robotic systems in combat environments.

The CARGO UGV project has pushed unmanned technology into the TWV realm like no other effort, and the results have proven how mature and ready TERRAMAX UGV technology is for use in the field,” said Chris Yakes, Vice President of Advanced Products Engineering at Oshkosh. “We are eager to continue work with the ONR to further demonstrate the readiness level of UGVs and the interoperability of TERRAMAX technology with other mission systems.”

Under a contract through the Robotics Technology Consortium (RTC), Oshkosh and the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) will work with the ONR and the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) to integrate ONR-specified counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) technologies onto the Cargo UGV MTVRs to demonstrate force protection advantages of semi-autonomous tactical wheeled vehicles for C-IED missions.

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Bluefin Robotics have the HAUV-3 AUV on display in booth #648. HAUV is a two-man-portable hovering AUV designed for ship hull inspection. Equipped with a high-resolution imaging sonar, it surveys ship hulls and other structures with minimal prior knowledge. While surveys are executed autonomously, the operator can manually control the vehicle to further observe features of interest identified in the real-time data.

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The Harris RF-7850A-UA Unmanned Aircraft Airborne Radio is an extension of the technologically superior, combat proven Harris FALCON family of ground tactical radios and the logical choice for airborne VHF/UHF communications. The RF-7850A platform is one of the most capable airborne-qualified solutions based on the Harris RF-7850M-HH radio, leveraging full interoperability with legacy narrowband waveforms and extending the Harris leading wideband networking radio capabilities into the air. The RF-7850A delivers mission-critical voice, high-speed IP-networked data, and Full Motion Video (FMV) to soldiers at the tactical edge, taking advantage of tactical VHF/UHF networks to provide critical air-to-air and air-to-ground communications.

  • Provides Narrowband and Wideband interoperability from disadvantaged platforms
  • Integrates easily into a wide variety of platforms to support multiple missions, users, and waveforms
  • Enables interoperable communications between multiple waveforms including the entire FALCON family of radios
  • Extends battlefield networks beyond line-of-sight without requiring satellite access

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On display at the UTC Aerospace Systems booth, #1727, is a PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell energy system that provides air-independent power for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The fuel cell, operating on hydrogen and oxygen stored on board, provides a significant increase in vehicle endurance and capability compared to advanced batteries. The UTC Aerospace Systems' electric power generation and controller is also displayed. The power system is a high speed generator that can provide one to two kilowatts of electrical power. The controller provides regulation of the electric power generated for distribution to the platform and payloads. The technology is scalable for future systems needing small space claim electric generation and controls. Multiple variants of the Cloud Cap Technology low-SWAP (Size, Weight and Power) stabilised TASE payloads are demonstrated, with a live HD feed available to illustrate the ViewPoint tactical processing, exploitation and dissemination (PED) user interface.

Attending for the first time is Silicon Sensors, a joint venture between UTC Aerospace Systems and Sumitomo Precision Products. Both specialise in high performance MEMS (micro electro mechanical systems), inertial sensors and systems for a range of autonomous vehicles. While UTC Aerospace Systems offers ice detection and protection plus smart air data systems, the Silicon Sensing team also provides reliable AHRS (attitude heading reference system) and flight control sensors. All the products meet the demanding requirements for performance, size and cost for unmanned platforms.

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