Showing: 1 - 4 of 4 RESULTS

AeroVironment Secures $8.4 Million Puma 3 AE Unmanned Aircraft Systems Foreign Military Sales Contract Award for U.S. Ally

  • Puma 3 All Environment (AE) unmanned aircraft system delivers immediate tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) in maritime and land operations

  • Customer is among the 50 allied government forces relying on AeroVironment’s innovative family of tactical unmanned aircraft systems (UAS); Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program promotes interoperability among U.S. and allied forces for joint operations

  • Long-Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA) enables 60 kilometer range, and is now available in both M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 Digital Data Link (DDL) military operating bands

AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), today announced it secured a $8,371,332 firm-fixed-price U.S. Department of Defense FMS contract award on September 25, 2020 for Puma™ 3 AE tactical UAS, training and support to an allied nation. Delivery is anticipated by March 2021.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201013005680/en/

Puma 3 AE (All Environment) is ideal for use in day, night, or low-light environments, and for land or maritime operations. (Photo: Business Wire)

“The United States Department of Defense and the defense forces of 50 allied nations around the world rely on AeroVironment’s family of tactical unmanned aircraft systems to protect and empower frontline troops in the harshest operating environments,” said Rick Pedigo, vice president of sales and business development at AeroVironment. “With an unmatched track record for reliability and effectiveness in combat, training and humanitarian operations, and a roadmap of continuous enhancement and innovation into the future, customers can rely on AeroVironment to proceed with certainty into any operational scenario.”

The AeroVironment Puma 3 AE is a fully man-portable unmanned aircraft system designed for land and maritime operations. The hand-launched Puma 3 AE has a wingspan of 9.2 feet (2.8 meters), weighs 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms) and operates for up to 2.5 hours at line-of-sight range of 20 kilometers with a standard antenna, and up to 60 kilometers with AeroVironment’s Long-Range Tracking Antenna. Capable of landing in water or on land, the all-environment Puma, with its Mantis i45 sensor suite, empowers the operator with extended flight time and a level of imaging capability never before available in the tactical UAS class.

To expand operational range, AeroVironment’s Long-Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA) can be used with Puma 3 AE, and all other Digital Data Link (DDL) equipped UAS, increasing line-of-sight command and control up to 60 kilometers. The LRTA features a directional antenna mounted on a tracking positioner that allows for automatic or manual tracking of an aircraft at an extended stand-off range. In addition, an omnidirectional antenna provides redundancy and 360-degree coverage with reduced range capabilities. The LRTA is now offered in two versions – M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 – to support all DDL frequency bands and fit diverse mission needs.

About AeroVironment Tactical UAS

The RQ-20A/B Puma™, Puma™ LE, RQ-11B Raven®, RQ-12A Wasp®, together with the VAPOR® Helicopter, comprise AeroVironment’s family of tactical unmanned aircraft systems. This family of systems provides increased capability to the warfighter that gives ground commanders the option of selecting the appropriate aircraft based

U.S. Army Considers AR Goggles for Its Military Mutts

Dogs deployed by the U.S. Army could soon be fitted with augmented reality (AR) goggles.

The equipment would allow dog handlers to communicate commands from a distance while performing tasks such as searching for explosive devices and hazardous materials, or carrying out search and rescue operations.

The specially designed headset, which like regular AR goggles overlay specific information on a real-world image, are being developed by Seattle-based Command Sight in a project managed by the Army Research Laboratory (ARL)

Currently, army dogs receive commands from their handlers via physical gestures or laser pointers, but this means the animal has to be visible to the handler throughout. Commands can also be delivered remotely via an audio system, but the setup isn’t always reliable.

Fitting a canine with a pair of AR goggles would offer more freedom during activities in the field as the dog could then venture far beyond the current, limited zone of operation. The animal would be trained to respond to signals that appear on the display, while a fitted camera would provide a livestream to the remote handler.

Dr. Stephen Lee, a senior scientist at the Army Research Office, which is part of the ARL, said in an article on the technology that the system would obviously function differently for dogs.

“Augmented reality works differently for dogs than for humans,” Lee said. “AR will be used to provide dogs with commands and cues; it’s not for the dog to interact with it like a human does. This new technology offers us a critical tool to better communicate with military working dogs.”

A dog wearing an early version of the specially designed AR goggles. U.S. Army

Dr. A. J. Peper, who set up Command Sight in 2017 with the aim of enhancing communication between humans and animals, suggested the technology “could fundamentally change how military canines are deployed in the future.”

Peper said the research team is still in the early stages of applying the technology for use by dogs, but described the results from the initial efforts as “extremely promising,” saying that much of the work has so far been conducted with his pet rottweiler.

“His ability to generalize from other training to working through the AR goggles has been incredible,” he added.

The technology is currently being tested using a wired system, but the final design, which could be ready within a couple of years, would be wireless. Training a dog not to pull the goggles off may be another challenge altogether.

Editors’ Recommendations




Source Article

San Antonio company working with military, SpaceX to move cargo anywhere in world in an hour or less

A San Antonio company is partnering with the military and SpaceX to move cargo anywhere in the world in an hour using commercial spacecraft — including vertical-landing rockets built in Texas.

U.S. Transportation Command, which is responsible for moving military personnel and equipment around the world, said it’s working with Exploration Architecture, or XArc, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX to develop “rapid transportation through space” capabilities.

XArc, with six employees, is responsible for determining what’s needed on the ground to launch and land commercial spacecraft around the world.

The collaboration is the latest development in Texas’ still-expanding role in space travel and could help the U.S. military more quickly respond to threats and humanitarian crises around the world.

The aim is to use commercial space vehicles, including SpaceX’s Starship, to deliver payloads anywhere in the world. Starship can carry loads of 220,000 pounds.

“Our role is to understand the ground support infrastructure required to make it happen,” XArc CEO Sam Ximenes said. “What are the ground facilities and cargo standardizations so that it is seamlessly integrated into the (military’s) current logistics system.”

Sam Ximenes is chief executive of XArc. His company is teaming with Houston engineering firm KBR to evaluate three types of rockets.

His company is teaming with Houston engineering firm KBR to evaluate three types of rocket landing areas: rugged sites with no infrastructure, remote sites with limited support and mature sites that have established capabilities.

Related: NASA contractors stake out San Antonio’s place in space

The nine-person team is considering the logistics, including fuel and cargo requirements, needed to support spacecraft around the world, Ximenes said.

“Think about moving the equivalent of a C-17 payload (170,900 pounds) anywhere on the globe in less than an hour,” Army Gen. Stephen R. Lyons, head of U.S. Transportation Command, said in a statement. “Think about that speed associated with the movement of transportation of cargo and people.”

The companies could begin testing ground-support concepts as early as 2021.

In addition to SpaceX’s Starship, XArc’s study is looking at commercial space vehicles under development, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Horizon and Virgin Galactic’s Stratolaunch.

Founded in 2007, XArc specializes in space architecture and engineering, and it consults on designs for “spaceports, space stations, planetary surface systems and terrestrial space-related facilities,” the company website states.

On ExpressNews.com: A Grunt Style Reckoning: A look inside San Antonio apparel maker’s rowdy past, near-death experience and current leadership battle

“For the past 75 years or so, we have been constrained to around 40,000 feet altitude and 600 miles per hour in our very fastest method of logistics delivery — airlift,” said Navy Vice Adm. Dee Mewbourne, deputy commander of U.S. Transportation Command.

A screenshot from the LabPadre YouTube channel shows the SpaceX Starship prototype as it raises itself 150 meters into the air before lowering back to the ground.

Rockets traveling through space could speed cargo delivery by 10 times.

“It’s time to learn how our current strategies to project and sustain forces can evolve with a new mode of transportation,” he said.

In addition to speed, commercial space lift “eliminates en-route stops or air refueling,” officials said in a statement. “This capability has the potential to be one of the greatest revolutions in transportation since the airplane.”

The no-cost agreement allows

Military dogs testing AR goggles to receive handlers’ commands

(CNN) — Dogs working in the United States military could in the future wear augmented reality goggles that enable soldiers to give them remote commands.

The goggles are being developed by Command Sight, a Seattle-based company, with US Army research funding, and would allow military dogs to assist in rescue operations and scout potentially dangerous areas for hazards and explosives while their handlers remain at a safe distance.

The technology, which the US Army says is the first of its kind, works by letting a handler see everything the dog can see and then provide specific commands using visual cues that show up in the dog’s line of vision.

Currently, military dogs are most commonly directed with hand signals or laser pointers, which require the handler to be in close proximity. Handlers can also use audio communication, with a camera and radio attached to the dog, but the commands can be confusing for the dog.

The Army said the AR goggles could offer Special Forces dogs and their handlers a new alternative, especially as the animals are already used to wearing protective goggles during operations.

Stephen Lee, a senior scientist from the Army Research Office, said in a statement that the new technology offered the military a “critical tool to better communicate with military working dogs.”

“Augmented reality works differently for dogs than for humans,” Lee said. “AR will be used to provide dogs with commands and cues; it’s not for the dog to interact with it like a human does,” he added.

The prototype design requires a dog to stay on a leash as the goggles have wires. But the researchers are working on making the technology wireless in the next phase of development.

A.J. Peper, the founder of Command Sight, said in the statement that the concept could “fundamentally change how military canines are deployed in the future,” though he said there was still a “long way to go” before the technology could be rolled out to units.

“We are still in the beginning research stages of applying this technology to dogs, but the results from our initial research are extremely promising,” Peper said.

“Much of the research to date has been conducted with my rottweiler, Mater,” he said. “His ability to generalize from other training to working through the AR goggles has been incredible.”

At the next stage in the goggles’ development, researchers will work with US Navy Special Forces to build prototypes to be tested on their military working dogs.

The goggles will all be custom-made, the US Army said, with each dog in the trial scanned in 3D so developers can understand where to position the optics and electrical components.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Source Article