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 October 22, 2014

News: Northrop challenges 3DELRR contract award - Northrop Grumman has formally issued a protest against the US Air Force’s decision to award its next-generation ground based radar to competitor Raytheon.   Business: Defense firms prefer GOP, but spread campaign cash between political parties - For every campaign contribution from a major arms manufacturer to a Republican candidate...
 
 

News Briefs October 22, 2014

Military converges on scene of Kansas jet crash Military personnel are investigating at the site in southeast Kansas where an Oklahoma Air National Guard fighter jet crashed after a midair collision with another one during a training exercise. The F-16 crashed Oct. 20 in a pasture about three miles northeast of Moline, an Elk County...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Upgrades ‘new normal’ for armor in uncertain budget environment

Courtesy photograph The current Paladin is severely under-powered and overweight so its speed of cross-country mobility is pretty restricted. The Paladin Integrated Management program is designed to address a number of these we...
 

 

ISR: A critical capability for 21st century warfare

The progressive adaptations and breakthroughs made in the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance arena have changed the way wars are fought, and the way commanders think about the battlespace. “Whether we have airmen exploiting full motion video data or serving downrange in the (Central Command) area of responsibility, these individuals make up an enterprise of 30,000...
 
 

Lockheed Martin teams with Roketsan of Turkey on new standoff missile for F-35

Roketsan and Lockheed Martin signed a teaming agreement Oct. 22 for collaboration on the SOM-J, a new generation air-to-surface Standoff Cruise Missile for the F-35 Lightning II. The SOM system is an autonomous, long-range, low-observable, all-weather, precision air-to-surface cruise missile. The SOM-J variant is tailored for internal carriage on the F-35 aircraft. The companies will...
 
 

Army Operating Concept expands definition of combined arms

The Army Operating Concept, published Oct. 7, expands the idea of joint combined-arms operations to include intergovernmental and special operations capabilities, said Gen. Herbert R. McMaster Jr. The new concept includes prevention and shaping operations at the strategic level across domains that include maritime, air, space and cyberspace, he said. It’s a “shift in emphasis,”...
 




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>