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.


 
 

 
VG01

Space tourism rocket explodes in desert

MOJAVE, Calif. – A Virgin Galactic space tourism rocket exploded Oct. 31 during a test flight, killing a pilot aboard and seriously injuring another while scattering wreckage in Southern California’s Mojave Desert, ...
 
 

Headlines October 29, 2014

News: Unmanned rocket explodes just six seconds after taking off - A NASA rocket due to be visible across the East Coast on its way to the International Space Station has blown up on the Launchpad. IG: Former chief of wounded warrior office broke law, DOD regs - The Defense Department inspector general has recommended “corrective action”...
 
 

News Briefs October 29, 2014

F-35C makes first landing at Virginia Beach Navy base The Navy says an operational F-35C joint strike fighter has landed at Naval Air Station Oceana for the first time. Naval Air Station Oceana is the Navy’s master jet base on the East Coast. The Navy says the plane came to the Virginia Beach base Oct....
 

 

Time to turn to American technology for space launch

For the first time since the Cold War, the United States has deployed armored reinforcements to Europe. To counter Russia’s aggression, several hundred troops and 20 tanks are now in the Baltic. Yet the U.S. military is still injecting millions into the Russian military industrial complex. In late August, the United Launch Alliance – the...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Joe Davila

Boeing, Air Force demonstrate Minuteman III readiness in flight test

Air Force photograph by Joe Davila Boeing supported the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Sept. 23, 2014. Boeing supported the U.S. Air Force’s succ...
 
 

Pentagon going to court for refusing to release Sikorsky data

PETALUMA, Calif. – The Pentagon is refusing to release any data on any prime contractors participating in the 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program. The American Small Business League launched a program in 2010 to expose the fraud and abuse against small businesses the CSPTP had allowed. As a test the ASBL requested the most...
 




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>