Inside Unmanned Systems

OCT-NOV 2016

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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56 unmanned systems inside   October/November 2016 AIR MARKETS Photos courtesy of Milrem, Textron and Endeavor Robotics OTHER NEW UNMANNED MILITARY PRODUCTS, ANNOUNCEMENTS A number of firms unveiled new unmanned aerial and ground capabilities and partnerships at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference in Washington, DC, in October. ROBOTIC PARTNERSHIP FORMED Endeavor Robotics, the defense-related spinoff from the makers of the Roomba, has partnered with Leidos to build a ground vehicle to pursue the U.S. Navy Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Robotic System (AEODRS) Increment 2 and 3 Program. The AEODRS program consists of a planned family of three robots: Increment 1, a small backpackable reconnaissance system weighing less than 35 pounds, Increment 2, a two-man- portable robot weighing about 165 pounds with an arm, or arms that can help dismantle bombs; and Increment 3, a robust 750-pound robot that can pick up heavy unexploded ordnance. "There's no question about the value of robots as a lifesaving capability when it comes to bomb disposal and counter-IED (improvised explosive device) work," Endeavor CEO Sean Bielat said. "The robots today are older technology, they were engineered 10 years ago. Since then there's been a lot of advances." The Navy has chosen Northrup Grumman to produce its Increment 1 bots, with production to begin in 2017. Increment 2 is scheduled to go into production in late 2019, and Increment 3 will go into production in 2022. NEW C2 FROM TEXTRON Textron Systems unveiled its new "Synturian" family of command and control (C2) technologies. Synturian Control is a multi-platform, multi-vehicle, multi-domain control system; Synturian Remote is designed to provide better situational awareness from the field. The firm also displayed, for the first time, the quadrotor version of its Aerosonde unmanned aircraft system. Announced in April, this vertical-takeoff-vertical-landing version of the Aerosonde allows the 80-pound vehicle more operational flexibility; the previous build was catapult-launched. The quadrotor Aerosonde has about a 50 percent reduction in endurance; the traditional configuration is capable of 15 hours of flight, while the VTOL version is only capable of eight. However, Textron believes it can increase the flight endurance to 10 hours with further work. ENTER THE TITAN Milrem and Qinetic have announced TITAN, a tracked unmanned ground vehicle meant to provide "lighten the load" support for ground troop missions. Based on Milrem's Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) platform, TITAN uses Qinetic's control technology. Because TITAN is modular, it can be configured to carry any number of structures depending on the mission. Like other unmanned ground vehicles it is designed to carry crucial equipment autonomously, helping troops focus on getting where they're going. TITAN is designed for the Army's Squad Maneuver Equipment Transport (SMET) program, which the Army outlined earlier this year. A SMET-capable vehicle needs to be able to handle a 72-hour patrol, carry more power than it uses to charge other soldier devices, and be large enough to carry heavy loads but small enough to maneuver over tough terrain. The Army envisions using these vehicles for perimeter security or to shuttle supplies back and forth.

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