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.


 
 

 

Headlines July 30, 2014

News: Software to power F-35 running as much as 14 months late¬†- Software needed to operate Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet, the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system, may be as much as 14 months late for required flight testing, according to a Pentagon review.   Business: Lockheed will turn on JLTV production line In August; 6-D truck...
 
 

News Briefs July 30, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,197 As of July 29, 2014, at least 2,197 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,819 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds

F-35B successfully completes wet runway, crosswind testing

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds F-35B aircraft BF-4, piloted by Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Dan Levin, starts down the runway as part of wet runway and crosswind testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. In an important program ...
 

 
boeing-chinook

Boeing delivers first U.S. Army multiyear II configured Chinook

Boeing July 29 delivered the first multiyear II configured CH-47F Chinook helicopter to the U.S. Army one month ahead of schedule. The delivery was celebrated in a ceremony at the production facility in Ridley Township, Penn. ‚...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Angela Stafford

Engineers developing safer, more accurate tracer round

Army photograph Tracer rounds enable the shooter to follow the projectile trajectory to make aiming corrections. However, the light emitted by these rounds also gives away the position of the shooter. Engineers at Picatinny Ars...
 
 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

Katherine Lott awarded NASA Armstrong employee scholarship

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas Katherine Lott, the recipient of the 2014 NASA Armstrong Employee Exchange Council Joseph R. Vensel Memorial Scholarship, is congratulated by NASA Armstrong center director David McBride. Flankin...
 




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>