A number of stories are out there, so this week’s news round up is out.
I’ve written a lot about 3DR. Here is a profile of their editorial director, Roger Sollenberger.
Cargill, one of the large agricultural companies in the US, will be launching UAS in Malaysia to combat illegal palm oil production. Palm oil is in demand, but its production can be destructive to rainforests and can also displace local populations. Cargill is training pilots, and separately has a goal to have 100% sustainable operations by 2020.
The Office of Naval Research announced tests of its Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program. “The ONR demonstrations, which took place over the last month in multiple locations, included the launch of Coyote UAVs capable of carrying varying payloads for different missions. Another technology demonstration of nine UAVs accomplished completely autonomous UAV synchronization and formation flight.” As part of this program, ONR tested a BAE Systems/Sensintel Coyote, which can be launched from the air or ship and was developed under a ONR Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant. The video below is quite interesting.
Danielson Aircraft Systems (DAS) has created turbo-diesel engine designed specifically for UAS use. The inline three-cylinder (I3) 100 TD2 is pictured below.
There are two education stories in the news. Auburn University received a 333 exemption from the FAA, which will allow them to start a Flight School as part of the Auburn University Aviation Center. Training can be conducted throughout the state and continues a 75 year tradition of flight training at the university. The University of Denver will be offering a “UAV for GIS” online course, that will run for 10 weeks this summer. It will be followed by a Digital Image Processing course in the fall.
The interestingly-named “Gooney Bird” is going to attempt to break the <55 lb UAS endurance record this summer by flying over 5,000 nm. The Gooney Bird is another name for an Albatross, known for its efficiency in the air and ability to dynamically soar. It is designed by Rob Coatney, an aero/mechanical engineer at Zepher Inc.
In military news, the Israeli Hermes 900 a MALE UAS, is poised to help Israel with both combat and intelligence activities. The specs are available from its manufacturer, Elbit Systems. Unfortunately, or allies aren’t the only ones in the game. We might be restricted sale overseas, but Russia is rumored to be selling to China.
I wrote recently about UAV Turbines. They announced that they will produce 15 of their new engines for lease to manufacturers. This $20M investment will allow companies to test the engines on their airframes quicker than if the companies entered Joint Development Agreements.