Tag Archives: Sikorsky

UAV038 Lockheed Martin Builds sUAS

Lockheed Martin Indago

Lockheed Martin gets into sUAS, Texas EquuSearch files suit, drones for weather forecasting and wildlife protection, a fixed wing VTOL drone, an Optionally Manned UH-60, a North Carolina UAS law, drone journalism goes indoors, and an unmanned R&D forecast.

The News:

Lockheed Martin Marks Significant Milestone in Research & Development for Unmanned Technologies

Lockheed Martin is advancing their push into the sUAS segment with their Indago VTOL Quad Rotor for mobile surveillance. The quad and accompanying handheld ground control station (GCS) and new Commercial Avionics Suite are intended for both Commercial and Military applications.

The 32 inch diameter Indago is man-packable, unfolds, and can be deployed in minutes, with up to a 45 minute flight time. LOS range is 5km, payload 180g. It folds into a 12x9x6 package.

Texas Nonprofit sues FAA

Texas EquuSearch has gone ahead and filed a lawsuit in a Washington, D.C. federal appeals court. The suit claims there is no basis in law to prohibit the operation of model aircraft for humanitarian search and rescue activities.

Drones could revolutionize weather forecasts, but must overcome safety concerns

The promise is that drones could be deployed to collect meteorological data for weather prediction models.

German mini drones rescue Bambis from hay shredders

Every year in Germany, about 100,000 animals are killed by combine harvesters cutting hay. Small aerial drones are being deployed in a wildlife rescue project to keep fawn hiding in tall grass from being shredded.

Five drones are being used in a pilot program where digital and infrared sensors find the young deer, radio beacons are attached to the animals, and farmers can subsequently detect the deer.

Arcturus UAV

Arcturus gets the Jump on vertical takeoff and landing for fixed wing UAVs

For some missions a rotary wing UAV is best, and for others a fixed wing UAV provides superior results. But what do you do when you need the best features of each? Arcturus UAV has a solution: Add-on electric rotors that bring VTOL capability to a fixed wing UAV.

Sikorsky demonstrates optionally piloted Black Hawk

The first flight of an Optionally-Piloted Black Hawk (OPBH) was conducted at Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Florida facility.

The OPBH demonstrated autonomous hover and flight operations under the control of a man-portable ground control station (GCS).

North Carolina Legislative committee approves proposed law to regulate “drones”

The proposed legislation [PDF] contains privacy regulations, a drone operator knowledge and skills test developed by the state Aviation Division, and licenses for commercial operation of drones.

University of Missouri brings drones class indoors after feds complain

Last summer the FAA told the University of Missouri School of Journalism to stop flying drones outdoors. What did they do? They fly them indoors, of course.

Europe, Asia plan to spend big on drone development

Consulting firm Forecast International has a report out that predicts that by 2022, less than half the worldwide total spend on drone research will be by the U.S.

Videos of the Week:

Flying Robot Rockstars: KMel Robotics presents a team of flying robots that play musical instruments.

Meet Your Creator – Quadrotor Show: A troupe of 16 quadrotors dance to and manipulate sound and light at the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors’ Showcase 2012.

UAV 005 Drones are a Grass Roots Effort


This Episode:

Optionally piloted helicopters, fast response from the FAA to drone requests, a forecast of the global UAV market, success tips for UAV suppliers, and water sampling drones.

The News:

Polish SW-4 Solo to Assist Royal Navy Rotary-Wing UAS (RWUAS) Study

The SW-4 SOLO RUAS (Rotorcraft Unmanned Aerial System) is being introduced by PZL-Świdnik, and Agusta-Westland based on the PZL SW-4 light single engine helicopter. This Optionally Piloted Helicopter (OPH) is under the RWUAS (Rotary Wing Unmanned Air System) Capability Concept Demonstrator (CCD) programme as a conceptual multi-role UAV for the UK Royal Navy.

Others have activity in the OPH arena: Sikorsky Aircraft has a research program called Matrix Technology to develop systems and software for autonomous, optionally piloted, and piloted vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. They are using an optionally piloted S-76 called the Sikorsky Autonomous Research Aircraft (S.A.R.A.) as a flying lab, and plan to demonstrate operation with an Optionally Piloted Black Hawk.

Eurocopter (now to be  renamed Airbus Helicopter) has conducted demonstration flights with an optionally piloted EC145. Reportedly, they now plan to look to OPV variants of its product line.

FAA Cuts the Red Tape to Let UAS Work Yosemite Wildfire

Desperate to get a better view of the giant wildfire last month, the call for help from the Incident Commander went to the California governor’s office, then to the Department of Defense and the FAA for help. An emergency Certificate of Authorization was issued within hours by the FAA to the California Air National Guard to fly to the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator over the Yosemite fire.

The Global UAV Market 2013-2023

A report titled “The Global UAV Market 2013–2023” has been released by Strategic Defence Intelligence. This $4,800 report states that the Global UAV market is estimated at US$114.7 billion during the next 10 years, with most coming from North America, but Europe spending US$24.3 billion on UAVs. HALE UAVs are forecast to constitute the largest share of the UAV market.

Managing The UAV Madness: 5 Keys To Success

Agricultural applications for unmanned aircraft is probably a huge opportunity. Robert Blair is a wheat grower in Kendrick, Idaho. He spoke at the InfoAg Conference about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and offered some advice.

University of Nebraska Lincoln helping develop water-sampling drones

ASCTEC Firefly

ASCTEC Firefly

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded a $956,210 grant  for the three-year “Co-Aerial Ecologist: Robotic Water Sampling and Sensing in the Wild” project as part of the National Robotics Initiative. UNL is seeking to develop a UAV that can be located near a water source, fly out and take water samples, then return them for analysis.

They already have a modified AscTec Firefly copter that can take several 20ml water samples, but it can only fly a 20 minute mission. They hope to extend that and make the vehicle autonomous. Perhaps perform on-board analysis of the water samples. From the video, you can see they’ve demonstrated the copter in the lab and outside in a pool. This is taking place at the Nebraska Intelligent MoBile Unmanned Systems Lab (NIMBUS).