Defense

April 22, 2013

Army, universities partner for aviation research

Tags:
Heather R. Smith
Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

Auburn University mascot Aubie learns how to hand-launch an RQ-11A Raven with engineer Daniel Hiatt, holding a Puma, during a 2012 visit to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

College students conducting research into remotely piloted unmanned aerial systems are testing their ideas on actual Army hardware.

In 2012, four Raven-A small unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, were transferred to Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, Alabama A&M and Auburn University.

This unique opportunity is the result of partnerships between the Program Manager of Unmanned Aerial Systems; the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, known as AMRDEC, and the four universities.

Under Educational Partnership Agreements, each university was provided with a RQ-11A aircraft, ground control station and Toughbook computer.

According to AMRDEC chief of aerodynamic technology, Lamar Auman, the Center anticipates the partnerships and hardware transfers will lead to future research collaboration and opportunities to speed transition of innovative technologies from academia to the field. Auman sees the potential for students to develop new payloads and new sensors to fit into existing and future systems.

In addition to promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, these efforts could lead to new or expanded lower-cost capabilities for all UAS platforms.

Odeal Richardson, technical chief for External Programs for PM UAS, said the memorandums with the program manager and the EPAs with AMRDEC are important steps to take today to develop engineers and technology for tomorrow.

“We are in the process of identifying gaps that the universities that they can pursue on their own,” Richardson said.

Additional partnerships with other universities are being discussed.

The Raven-A is a great choice for loaning to universities because it’s small, man-portable, and requires two people to operate, Auman said.

“It’s a small portable platform that has a lot of capability for its size,” he explained. “It is also the size and class of remotely piloted aircraft that many schools across the nation have been using as teaching aids in their curricula.”

Many colleges and universities compete in programs like AIAA’s Design, Build, Fly and AUVSI student competitions. Our obsolete RQ-11A systems will serve as ‘ambassadors’ to the colleges and will challenge the students to design to the harsh and rugged demands that are placed on these systems.”

At the end of the five-year EPA, the university will return the hardware to the Army.

“Our goal is to have new low-cost technology ideas coming back to AMRDEC for future systems,” Auman said. “We are taking small steps in that direction and we’ve got a long way to go before we will realize that goal. While it’s not called out in the EPA, it is my personal hope that the schools will use the Raven hardware to develop a form, fit, function, and communication solutions for a host of sensors applications.”

“When someone comes to AMRDEC with a new UAS sensor payload, I believe we should be positioned to partner with them to assist with payload integration and flight tests performance evaluation,” Richardson said. “We could develop special sensors to look for a host of things, so that when the next natural disaster occurs we could send in support teams to search for stranded survivors, hazardous leaks from industrial sites, or a variety of other things. I believe that would be a great product that AMRDEC could provide to PM UAS and the nation.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

President Barack Obama May 22 saluted the service and sacrifices of America’s military members–past and present–and proclaimed Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, “as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer....
 
 

Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance...
 
 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 

 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>