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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

04 May 2016

Xponential 2016: Buzz from the Floor

Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions announced a new small form factor SWaP-optimised solution for storing large amounts of data on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV), and Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft. The new Data Transport System 1-Slot (DTS1) addresses today’s rapidly increasing demand for high-capacity secure storage on deployed unmanned vehicles and ISR platforms. The single-slot Network Attached Storage (NAS) device weighs only 4.0lbs and measures only 1.5x5.0x6.5”, this small form factor data transport system delivers up to 2TB of storage and supports advanced encryption to protect critical data-at-rest. Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions also announced the newest member of its Parvus DuraCOR family of extremely small form factor rugged commercial off the shelf (COTS) mission computer subsystems, featuring an ultra-reliable modular chassis designed with the high mechanical robustness and I/O flexibility needed to meet the demanding requirements of civil and military UAS, Helicopter, and Ground Vehicle platforms.

Textron Systems has trialled an applique vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) system on an Aerosonde 4.7 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Development of the VTOL capability was undertaken through internal funding and commenced in early 2015.

A Request for Proposals (RfP) for the US Army's Common Robotic System-Individual (CRS-I) multi-mission backpack unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) is likely to be released this August following the closure of the Request for Information (RfI) phase in April and a planned industry day this coming June. The programme is much anticipated by industry because of its potential size and because it is providing a second chance for those who missed out on the US Navy-led Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robotic System (AEODRS) Increment 1. The RfI for CRS-I outlined requirements which had long been predicted by industry, such as a combined controller and platform weight of 12 kg, an arm lift capacity of 2kg, and a payload capacity of 5kg.

Amid industry criticism of constant 'demonstrations' that do not lead to procurement contracts, the US Army said it is beginning to establish funded programmes to field large UGVs. The army's robotics efforts are emerging from a low point funding-wise, with $292 million for ground robotics programmes in the fiscal year 2014-18 (FY 2014-18) five-year funding plan. In the FY 2017-21 funding plan now being considered for approval by Congress.

Prox Dynamics will unveil a new concept of operations (CONOPS) for its PD-100 UAV personal reconnaissance system (PRS) at Eurosatory in June 2016. The current PD-100 PRS consists of two 0.18kg rotary-wing Black Hornet nano UAVs and ground control elements; the total system weighs in at 1.3kg. The new concept will see the system operated from within a vehicle, which could then act as a relay to provide imagery to multiple personnel and extend its distribution range. Having sold more than 4,000 units across 16 countries including Australia, Norway, the UK, and the US, the company is closely following the US Army's process of developing a program of record for a Soldier Borne Sensor as this is a key market.