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Grand Challenge Contenders Selected
By AUVSI Staff
  Grand Challenge 2005 Site Visits Announced  

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says 118 Grand Challenge 2005 teams have been selected to receive visits by DARPA personnel for in-depth, on-site evaluations of their autonomous vehicles.   

From May 2 to May 15, 2005, DARPA personnel will visit the 118 teams at locations across the U.S. to assess each teams autonomous vehicles capabilities on a 200-meter test course.  The vehicles will be evaluated on their ability to navigate among waypoints, stay within course boundaries, and avoid randomly placed obstacles.   

The site visits are an essential element of the qualification process for the Grand Challenge and will enable a realistic assessment of a vehicles potential to complete the Grand Challenge course.   

According to the Grand Challenge 2005 Program Manager, Ron Kurjanowicz, "site visits give DARPA a chance to meet the personnel, evaluate the autonomous operation of the vehicles, and assess other vehicle qualities required for a teams vehicle to finish the Grand Challenge route across the desert."   

DARPA will use the site visit results to invite the top 40 teams to the Grand Challenge National Qualification Event, September 27 to October 5, 2005, at the California Speedway in Fontana, CA.     

Kurjanowicz said "a robust community of inventors, engineers, mechanics, students, and scientists has risen to meet the challenge to develop innovative autonomous vehicle capabilities that will save lives on the battlefield." 

DARPA Grand Challenge 2005 is a field test of autonomous ground vehicles for the purpose of advancing autonomous vehicle technology.  The vehicles must travel approximately 150 miles over rugged desert roads using only onboard sensors and navigation equipment to find and follow the route and avoid obstacles.   

DARPA will award $2 million to the team whose autonomous vehicle successfully completes the 2005 route the fastest within a 10-hour time period.  Teams are developing their vehicles without government funding.  

Oshkosh Trucks TerraMax robotic vehicle was one of the 118 teams picked for evaluation for the DARPA Grand Challenge 2005. 

"Being chosen by DARPA for a site visit is a huge first step and represents tremendous work by our team, both here at Oshkosh Truck and with our partners at Rockwell Collins and the University of Parma, Italy," said Don Verhoff, Oshkosh's executive vice president of technology. "Based on the success of our TerraMax vehicle at last year's Grand Challenge, we're optimistic about our chances this year."  

In 2004, TerraMax was one of only seven entries to complete the 1.3-mile qualifying course for the Grand Challenge. The platform for TerraMax is Oshkosh's combat-proven Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR). For the 2005 Grand Challenge, TerraMax has been given rear-wheel steering for improved maneuverability.  

Submariners Test UAVs
By AUVSI Staff
  Submarine Force Tests UAV 

The Navys submarine force recently conducted a demonstration in Kings Bay, GA, using a new type of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to test its utility for force protection.  

During the demonstration, a prototype UAV was launched and controlled by force protection personnel ashore to search out the waters ahead of the submarine as it entered port.  

The small plane weighing in at approximately five pounds is able to break down into five pieces and can be stored in a small suitcase, making it portable and easy to take anywhere its needed.  

"The beauty of UAVs as other military users have found is they are economical, portable and reliable," said Lt. Cmdr. Tom Armstrong, Commander, U.S. Naval Submarine Force anti-terrorism force protection officer.  

The UAV can be used in a number of different ways, but its primary purpose for the submarine force would be for reconnaissance and photographic surveillance to support force protection. The new UAV design is ideal for stealth, due to its ultra-quiet electric motor and small size.  

Another plus comes in the versatility of the vehicle. According to Armstrong, it can be flown in all kinds of weather and can be launched in a very unique way. 

"It can be flown via Global Positioning System (GPS). We just program what route we want it to fly and it doesnt matter if its night or day, in bad weather or good," he said. "We could launch the UAV from the submarine at sea or launch it from shore depending upon the available range."  

Acquisition of this UAV for submarine force protection is still under consideration, but Armstrong is optimistic this technology will be a part of the fleet in the future.  

"This affordable surveillance tool offers great potential benefits and savings to the submarine force, and I hope well be able to take advantage of this great technology soon."

Mars Rover Mission Extended
By AUVSI Staff
  Mars Rover Mission Extended  

NASA has approved up to 18 more months of operations for Spirit and Opportunity, the twin Mars rovers that have already completed active exploration of the Red Planet for more than 14 months.  

"The rovers have proven their value with major discoveries about ancient watery environments on Mars that might have harbored life," said Dr. Ghassem Asrar, deputy associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. "We are extending their mission through September 2006 to take advantage of having such capable resources still healthy and in an excellent position to continue their adventures."  

Jim Erickson, rover project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, is making long-term plans for the twin robotic vehicles that may be around for quite a while. 

Erickson cautioned though, "Either mission could end tomorrow with a random part failure. With the rovers already performing well beyond their original design lifetimes, having a part wear out and disable a rover is a distinct possibility at any time. But right now, both rovers are in amazingly good shape. We're going to work them hard to get as much benefit from them as we can, for as long as they are capable of producing worthwhile science results."  

Opportunity is within a few football fields' length of a region called "Etched Terrain," where scientists hope to find rocks exposed by gentle wind erosion rather than by disruptive cratering impacts, and rocks from a different time in Mars' history than any examined so far. "This is a journey into the unknown, to something completely new," said Dr. Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, principal investigator for the rovers' science instruments.  

Opportunity has overtaken Spirit in total distance driven. It has rolled more than 4.9 kilometers (3 miles) -- eight times the original goal. On March 20, Opportunity also set a new Martian record of 220 meters (722 feet) in a single day's drive. Also, Opportunity's solar panels, though now dustier than Spirit's, still generate enough power to allow driving for more than three hours on some days.  

Spirit is in much rougher terrain than Opportunity, climbing a rocky slope toward the top of "Husband Hill." With a boost in power from wind cleaning its solar panels, and with its formerly balky right-front wheel now working normally, Spirit is making longer one-day drives than it has for months.  

Both rovers do have some signs of wear and exposure. Spirit's rock abrasion tool shows indications that its grinding teeth might be worn away after exposing the interiors of five times more rock targets than its design goal of three rocks. Researchers probably won't know the extent of wear until Spirit's next rock-grinding attempt, which may be weeks away.  

Also, troubleshooting continues for determining whether Opportunity's miniature thermal emission spectrometer is still usable despite tests indicating a problem last month. All other instruments on both rovers are still working normally.  

More R&D Contracts for LCS
By AUVSI Staff
  Bath Iron Works Awarded $16 Million Contract for LCS Program 

The U.S. Navy has awarded Bath Iron Works, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, a $16 million Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Final System Design (FSD) contract to procure required long lead material in support of the warship project.  

Long lead material is being procured under the FSF contract in order to meet the requirements of the anticipated Flight 0 production contract. 

The LCS is the Navy's newest surface combatant, the requirement for which has been identified as part of a broader surface combatant force transformation strategy. 

The Bath Iron Works LCS concept features an innovative trimaran hull and open architecture design to provide superior joint warfighting capability and flexibility to accommodate planned and emerging mission growth and system upgrades. Designed for operations in littoral (near-shore) waters, various unmanned systems will operate from the advanced combatant.

'Energizer' battery under development
By AUVSI Staff
  Electro Energy Receives Contract for Development of Lower-Temperature Thermal Batteries 

Electro Energy Inc, a manufacturer of advanced batteries, has received a 24-month Phase II USAF contract worth $658,435 to develop technology to lower the operating temperature of thermal batteries used in military applications.  

Thermal batteries are used to provide electrical power for fusing and weapons such as shoulder-fired missiles and smart bombs. In typical operation, when power is required, the battery is heated by an internal heat source melting the salt electrolyte, allowing electric energy to be produced. Such batteries generally have excellent shelf life prior to activation, which is one of their many attributes. 

The main objective of this program is to reduce the battery operating temperature to less than 250 degrees C, compared to existing systems that operate between 350 degrees to 550 degrees C.  

The company began research on this innovative program effort under a Phase I contract of $99,876 from the Air Force last year. Based on the success of Electro Energy's Phase I effort, the Air Force awarded the Phase II follow-on, which supports further R&D of the technology and also allows Electro Energy to consider commercial potential of the technology.     

"Wing Warping" on the Horizon
By AUVSI Staff
  Wing Warping 

A NASA flight research project, designed to test the concept of wing-warping to control aircraft turns, indicates the concept works, even at supersonic speeds. 

This high-tech version of century-old technology may have an impact on aircraft design, making airplanes more maneuverable at high speeds, enable them to carry heavier payloads or use fuel more efficiently. 

The Active Aeroelastic Wing (AAW) project is located at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, CA. The project is evaluating active control of lighter-weight flexible wings for improved maneuverability of high-performance aircraft.  

The project is jointly sponsored and managed by NASA, the USAF Research Laboratory, Wright- Patterson AFB, Ohio; and Boeing's Phantom Works. 

Project manager Larry Myers said "we have demonstrated a number of subsonic and supersonic flight conditions, where we have actually taken advantage of the aeroelasticity of the wing.  

"We've gotten excellent results, good agreement with predicted results, and roll rates are comparable to what we predicted in simulation. It looks like we've proven the AAW concept," he added. 

Active computerized control of wing flexibility is a step toward the "morphing" concept, where aircraft can change their shape to adapt to differing aerodynamic conditions. The AAW is primarily intended to benefit aircraft that operate in the transonic speed range. The range is approximately 80 to 120 percent of the speed of sound, where traditional
control surfaces become minimally effective or ineffective. 

Wing flexibility is generally a negative at those speeds. Wing flexibility tends to offset or counteract the effects of normal aileron movements at high aerodynamic pressures. 

The AAW concept reverses the traditional approach to this problem. The traditional approach has been stiffening the wings of high- performance aircraft with more structure and more weight. AAW reduces the structure and weight. It then actively controls the wing flexibility via computerized flight controls. 

Data obtained from flight tests at Dryden will help guide the design of future aircraft including high-performance fighters, high altitude, long endurance (HALE) uninhabited aerial vehicles, large transport aircraft and high- speed, long-range aircraft. 

The test aircraft is a Boeing F/A-18A Hornet obtained from the USN. It carries extensive instrumentation to measure the twisting and bending of the wing during flight.  

"Transitioning AAW will likely be a relatively long process, since it represents a design philosophy," said Pete Flick, Air Force AAW program manager. "The application to future aircraft will depend on specific design requirements of those future systems. The benefits are greatest when a vehicle design is initiated with AAW in mind, and limited when applied to an existing vehicle," he added.

SSST Contract Awarded
By AUVSI Staff
  SSST Fabrication 

Orbital Sciences Corp., Chandler, AZ, was recently awarded a $12.5 million contract to produce ten GQM-163A Supersonic Sea Skimming Targets (SSST).  Work will be performed in Chandler, and is expected to be completed in April 2007.  Contract. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD, is the contracting activity. 

NASA has New Leader
By AUVSI Staff
  Michael Griffin Takes the Helm as NASA Administrator 

Michael D. Griffin has reported to work as NASA's 11th Administrator.  

During his confirmation hearing, Griffin said his priorities are to: 

     * Fly the Space Shuttle as safely as possible until its retirement, not
       later than 2010 

     * Bring a new Crew Exploration Vehicle into service as soon as possible
       after the Space Shuttle is retired 

     * Develop a balanced overall program of science, exploration and
       aeronautics at NASA, consistent with the redirection of the human
       spaceflight program to focus on exploration 

     * Complete the International Space Station in a manner consistent with
       our international partner commitments and the needs of human

     * Encourage the pursuit of appropriate partnerships with the emerging
       commercial space sector 

     * Establish a lunar return program having the maximum possible utility
       for later missions to Mars and other destinations 

President George W. Bush nominated Griffin as NASA administrator in March, while he was serving as head of the Space Department at Johns Hopkins University's Applied
Physics Laboratory. 

Griffin said he would reassess the space agencys decision to cancel a mission to service the aging Hubble Space Telescope using either the space shuttle or a robotic mission. 

Boeing Names Global Strike Solutions Boss
By AUVSI Staff
  Boeing Names First Vice President of Global Strike Solutions  

Boeing has named Darryl W. Davis the first vice president of Air Force Systems Global Strike Solutions.  

The new organization, based in St. Louis, answers an emerging requirement in the Department of Defense for systems capable of projecting global power and includes Boeing's fighters, bombers, weapons and unmanned systems programs.  

"This new group has the critical task of providing the military services with a coordinated set of Global Strike solutions," said George Muellner, Boeing Air Force Systems vice president and general manager.  

Davis successfully led the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) X-45 program and prominently positioned Boeing in the unmanned systems arena. Prior to his unmanned systems position, he worked in various engineering, business development and program management.  

A former Brookings Institution Congressional Fellow with the U.S. Senate, he holds a bachelor's degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Purdue University and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla.

UAV Seaplane Envisioned
By AUVSI Staff
  Vought and Geneva Aerospace Team on Sea-Going UAV 

A newly announced contract could take unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to the high seas.  

Geneva Aerospace is providing the airframe and technologies for the Kingfisher Jr. hybrid UAV development headed by Vought Aircraft.  

Vought recently was awarded a $497,000 contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to begin investigating the feasibility of a sea-going UAV designed to take off and land on water.  

Vought will modify Geneva's Dakota UAV for water operations, removing landing gear and adding floats, said Dave Duggan, vice president of business development for Geneva.  

Under the DARPA contract, Vought will modify the Dakota UAV for water operations, develop sea state sensors, develop ATOL (Autonomous Take Off and Landing) software, and demonstrate vehicle capability to modify flight characteristics based on transmitted sea state data.  

The Dakota features a 16-foot wingspan and a 200-pound airframe, which was originally designed by Daedalus Research Inc., for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory as a rugged UAV test-bed. It has been used as a sensor test platform and surrogate vehicle for several research and development efforts, including autonomous operations exercised by the U.S. Navy.  

Vought says the research could lead to the scaled-up Kingfisher II Seaplane UAV that could conduct anti-submarine warfare and mine warfare while also serving as a weapons platform. As envisioned, the 9,500 lb. Kingfisher II (with 2,500 lbs. of mission payload) would have a 41-foot wingspan and an overall length of 38 feet. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney PW525B turbofan (producing 4,100 lbs. of thrust), the Kingfisher II would cruise 250 knots at 25,000 feet in altitude. The Kingfisher II would fold to fit in an 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB). 

Erich Smith, senior vice president, program management and business development, said "Vought has a long history of innovation and ingenuity, and now through our Kingfisher II concept, we have an exciting new research project that positions us well for future work in unmanned systems." 

In addition to the Dakota, Geneva is providing Vought with flightTEK, its industry-leading flight computer developed specifically for UAVs. Geneva also will provide engineering services needed to adapt the flightTEK control system for use on the high seas.  

"We're adapting our core guidance systems to enable a UAV to land on the open ocean," Duggan said. "The technology challenge is landing on the waves without harming the airplane. That requires integration of a sea motion sensing device to predict the movements of the water and choose a landing point on the back side of a wave -- without
pilot intervention."  

Vought expects testing to be completed by the end of the year.  

"With Geneva's flight control technologies, we're well on our way to accomplishing our goals," said Fred Schwartz, vice president of military programs for Vought. "Geneva has already developed flightTEK to the point that the baseline take-off and landing controls are nearly in place. We simply have to take them to the next level for this specialized ocean-use application."  

Based outside Dallas, Geneva Aerospace ( designs technologies for UAVs, offering advanced flight controls, software, systems integration services and complete UAV systems.

Germany's EMT Delivers
By AUVSI Staff
  EMT delivers 115 ALADIN UAV Systems               

The German Armed Forces have ordered a total of 115 ALADIN close-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems from EMT to equip its army task forces with reconnaissance drones. Deliveries start in August 2005.  

ALADIN is a mobile and compact mini-UAV system comprising one portable control station and two aircraft with very low signatures. Operated by two soldiers, it can be put into action in less than 5 minutes. ALADIN has a range of five kilometers. The optional IR version for night operations will be available the end of this year. 

ALADIN incorporates the experience of more than 400 German Army reconnaissance missions that were conducted with pre-production systems in Afghanistan and in Germany under severe weather conditions and in difficult terrain.

Northop Grumman's Aussie Deal
By AUVSI Staff
  Northrop Grumman Teams with Australian Companies 

Northrop Grumman has teamed with leading Australian companies to develop an Australian ground system that would work with the U.S. firms Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). 

Carl Johnson, vice president of Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector, said the goal is to offer Australia a fully capable, cost-effective solution. "We want to include command- and-control functionality, exploitation of Global Hawk data and complete interoperability among Australian forces and with U.S. assets in the one package," he said. "We also want to include these key companies in evolving a total support program for the Australian Global Hawk system, including through-life support."  

The Global Hawk team includes Tenix Defence, Saab Systems and L-3 Communications Integrated Systems. 

Under Project AIR 7000, the Australian government intends to acquire a UAV system capable of performing multiple roles and supporting a wide range of military and civil missions. Global Hawk is a strong candidate to meet the Australian needs, offering unparalleled capability to detect land and maritime targets to support a wide range of civil and military operations. 

As the ground environment study progresses, the team will seek additional capabilities from Australian industry, particularly small- and medium-enterprise firms in defense and information technology.  

Northrop Grumman will also leverage its United States supplier team for Global Hawk to aid in the ground systems development, to include: Raytheon, which provides sensor and ground systems, and Rolls Royce for the engine on the USAFs Global Hawk.

United Defense Develops Robotics
By AUVSI Staff
  United Defense Develops Robotic Technologies 

United Defense Industries continues to expand its role in unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) research with receipt of a $30.9 million U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) contract.  

As part of an ARV Robotics Technology (ART) effort, United Defense will integrate
state-of-the-art unmanned platform technologies leveraged from Army and commercial developments into a representative Future Combat Systems (FCS) Armed Robotic Vehicle (ARV) platform, and support experimentation and testing of these systems during demonstrations.  

The platform demonstrators will be used by the ART program as a step toward transitioning ART technologies into the FCS ARV System Development and Demonstration (SDD) effort.  

"We are pleased that TARDEC selected the United Defense approach as the best solution to further UGV system technologies for ARV," said Buck Tanner, UGV Program Manager for United Defense Ground Systems Division. "Unmanned ground vehicles will bring a new dimension to the warfighting effectiveness of units of action by providing them with a capability they do not have today. We are committed to furthering technologies that will bring these capabilities to soldiers as soon as possible."  

In September 2003, United Defense was selected by the FCS Lead System Integrator to design and develop two Armed Robotic Vehicle (ARV) variants. The ARV-RSTA variant will provide Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition for the FCS Units of Action, while the ARV-Assault variant will provide direct and indirect fires under remote control in support of mounted and dismounted operations.  

United Defense will focus on tactical mission behaviors to reduce soldier operational burden and interaction, semi-autonomous perception to enhance operations in unfavorable conditions, mobility systems that match manned ground vehicle operating tempos, survivability technologies that secure vehicles against certain threats, and embedded diagnostic systems specific to unmanned systems.  

The program will include the delivery of an ART vehicle demonstration platform that is autonomously controlled through an advanced mobility suite, and features a suite of reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA) sensors. Weapon systems, security systems, advanced tactical behaviors software, and a diagnostic/prognostic suite will be integrated in the demonstrator.  

Experiments are planned for September 2006 and March 2008 to demonstrate the robust nature of the technologies. United Defense will also deliver an ART simulation and integration laboratory (SIL) at the conclusion of the second experiment.  

Industry subcontractors to United Defense include General Dynamics Robotics Systems (GDRS) and Omnitech Robotics International (ORI).

Finding Your Way Without GPS
By AUVSI Staff
  New Technology for Navigating Without GPS 

A new method for navigation at sea, independent of GPS, is being put forward in a dissertation from Swedens Linköping University. 

Today merchant marine, military, and recreational boat traffic all rely on the global satellite system GPS to determine their position at sea. But sometimes information from the system is incorrect. Poor visibility or lax attention can then spell disaster. 

GPS can be jammed, either unintentionally or intentionally. Signals from the satellites can be interfered with by ice build-up on the vessel's antennas, by other communication equipment, or by physical obstacles. Submarines cannot usually use the system. 

Doctoral student Rickard Karlsson at the Center for Control and Communication describes in his thesis how modern, simulation-based methods of treating signals can be used to monitor and, if necessary, to take over the GPS function on a vessel. 

This technology, unique in the world, requires no external infrastructure and is not susceptible to interference. Instead, the vessel's own radar is used to measure the distance to surrounding shores, and this data is then compared with a digital sea chart. In a submarine, information from sonar equipment is compared with a digital depth chart. In combination with data about the movement of the vessel, the correct position can be calculated. 

The method is based on a mathematical algorithm, a so-called particle filter, which is installed as a program in the vessel's computer system. There is no need for any further hardware to be installed beyond what is already on board. Preliminary trials show that the method works just as well as GPS in navigating an archipelago. 

The dissertation entitled Particle Filtering for Positioning and Tracking Applications deals with several other uses of the same principle: positioning industrial robots, tracking vehicles from another vehicle to avoid collisions, and tracking boats and ships from an airplane. 

Gordon England Moves to DoD
By AUVSI Staff
  President Nominates Navy Secretary for Pentagon's No. 2 Position 

President Bush has nominated Navy Secretary Gordon R. England to succeed Paul Wolfowitz as deputy secretary of defense. Wolfowitz was confirmed as the next World Bank president March 31, and his term will begin June 1.  

In a written statement, England said he is "honored and humbled" by his selection as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfelds deputy. England has served twice as Navy secretary, interrupted by a nine-month stint in 2003 as deputy secretary of homeland security.  

Previously, England was executive vice president of General Dynamics. Earlier in his career, he was president of Lockheed Fort Worth and president of General Dynamics Land Systems. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland and his master's from the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University. He is a Baltimore native.  

The White House also announced March 31 that the president intends to nominate Eric S. Edelman to succeed Douglas J. Feith as undersecretary of defense for policy. Edelman, a career foreign service officer, is U.S. ambassador to Turkey and previously served as principal deputy assistant to the vice president for national security affairs.  

Both nominations are subject to Senate confirmation.

Andros Robots Get a New Home
By AUVSI Staff
  New Home for Northrop Grummans Remotec Robotics Unit 

Northrop Grumman recently celebrated the grand opening of its newly consolidated Remotec, Inc. robotics facility at 353 JD Yarnell Parkway in the Eagle Bend Industrial Park, TN. 

Mack Barber, president of Remotec, said``we are very proud of our new headquarters, engineering and manufacturing facility here in Anderson County. It's bigger and better and reflects the direction we're going as a company.'' 

The new 75,000 square foot engineering, manufacturing and administrative office building consolidates what had been four separate, less-modern facilities to enable smoother operations and communication flow between business and production components. 

``The move opens doors for more efficient future operations, new products and growth in our hazardous-duty robotics business,'' Barber added. 

Remotec is a world leader in providing mobile robot systems for use in hazardous duty operations by military organizations, law enforcement agencies, nuclear facilities and research laboratories. The robotic technology developed and deployed by Remotec is fast becoming the standard for hazardous-duty robots.

QF-4 Drone Crashes
By AUVSI Staff
  USAF Releases QF-4 Drone Accident Report 

Failure of an unmanned QF-4E drone to react properly to controller inputs led to its intentional destruction during a mission Sept. 8, 2004, over White Sands Missile Range near Holloman Air Force Base, NM, according to an Air Force report released March 18. 

The remotely piloted jet was assigned to the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron Detachment at Holloman. No one was injured, and damage to the drone is estimated at $1.5 million. 

According to the Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board report, the drone exceeded its flight limits and stalled. Corrective measures from the controller and the drone's autopilot failed, causing the drone to lose control. 

The controller, operating from a ground station located within the range complex, used a ground-based UHF flight termination system to destroy the drone, which crashed in two pieces.

Endurance Hunter UAV Flies
By AUVSI Staff
  First Flight of Endurance Hunter UAV Conducted 

Northrop Grumman recently conducted the first flight of a new configuration of the U.S. Army's RQ-5A unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system called the Endurance Hunter (E-Hunter). 

Conducted March 17 at a company flight test facility near Douglas, AZ, the flight is part of an on-going cooperative effort between Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Army to extend the range, endurance and payload capacity of the Hunter system. Northrop Grumman operated the new UAV under the control of a``One System'' ground control station. 

The E-Hunter combines the fuselage of the battle-proven Hunter UAV with a new tail assembly and a longer center wing to create a UAV that can fly missions up to 30
hours in length, at altitudes in excess of 20,000 feet. 

Doug Valenzuela, Northrop Grumman's E-Hunter program manager, said ``E-Hunter combines the internal payload carrying capability of the RQ-5A Hunter with a longer wing and tail booms that can carry a variety of external sensors, communications and weapons payloads. Using only a field-installable kit, we can convert any of the service's current Hunter UAVs into a higher-performance, longer-endurance UAV.'' 

The wing and tail assembly used on E-Hunter are identical to those used on Hunter II, Northrop Grumman's offering for the Army's next generation Extended
Range/Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) UAV program. 

The goal of the initial flight was to evaluate E-Hunter's controllability and handling characteristics. After several high-speed taxi runs, the air vehicle lifted off at a speed
of 47 knots. At an altitude of 2,000 feet, the company's flight operations team conducted a series of controllability tests at 60 knots and 80 knots.  

After a series of low-approach passes to validate low-speed handling and to visually verify landing gear and arresting hook extension, the air vehicle landed at a speed of approximately 48 knots. 

The prototype Army One System ground control station used for the E-Hunter flight was produced by Northrop Grumman with its own funding.  

The company plans to conduct additional E-Hunter envelope expansion flights in the near future to demonstrate the UAV's ability to fly at higher altitudes for longer periods of time.

Tossable Surveillance Device Unveiled
By AUVSI Staff
  Eye Ball "Tossable" Surveillance Device Revealed 

Remington Technologies has unveiled the Eye Ball R1 (Eye Ball), a "tossable" audio/video surveillance device.  

The wireless, baseball-sized device with real-time audio and video rotates to provide a 360-degree visibility of an environment. Law enforcement officers can roll, toss, or drop the ruggedized Eye Ball into virtually any hazardous situation - providing the immediate visibility required for users to make safe, intelligent decisions in dangerous environments.  

Once deployed, the Eye Ball captures and transmits real-time audio and video to the Eye Ball's Personal Display Unit (PDU). In addition to serving as a wireless receiver,
the PDU enables users to direct the Eye Ball with precision, focusing the video camera throughout the Eye Ball's 360-degree viewing area.  

The PDU also activates the Eye Ball's near-infrared "night vision" for dark operations. The Eye Ball streams audio and video up to 200 yards away from the PDU.  

The Eye Ball's video camera provides a 55-degree horizontal and 41-degree vertical field of view providing clear vision into rooms, hallways, and stairwells. Users control the Eye Ball's 360-degree rotation via the PDU and gain visibility through its 6.4-inch color screen. 

Internal Eye Ball near-infrared LEDs illuminate dark environments. Near-infrared capabilities can be set manually or automatically. The PDU enables users to control up to two Eye Balls and centralize audio and video feeds from both units. 

The Eye Ball R1 attaches quickly to a pole - providing visibility into ceilings or attics, looking around corners, down hallways, or into rooms. The Eye Ball and PDU use lithium ion batteries and maintain battery power for up to two and three hours respectively.  

The Eye Ball R1 kit is $4,800. The Eye Ball Kit includes a rugged case with two Eye Ball R1 units, one Training Ball, one Personal Display Unit, and two chargers. Test and evaluation units are available upon request. Deliveries will begin in Q2 2005.  

For additional Eye Ball background, including upcoming events that will feature Eye Ball demonstrations, please visit 

BAE Conducts OAV II Test Flight
By AUVSI Staff
  BAE Systems Conducts First Untethered Flight of OAV 

BAE Systems has successfully conducted the first untethered flight of its second-generation ducted-fan unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).  

The vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAV built for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA) Organic Air Vehicle Class II (OAV II) program, twice completed a course of ten waypoints at Southern California's Hansen Field.  

The seven-minute flight of the ducted-fan drone, similar to a design the company is developing as part of DARPA's OAV II competition, followed more than 100 tests conducted with a safety tether over the past several months.  

"This flight validates our approach to fulfilling the OAV II mission and punctuates what has been a highly successful flight test program," said Tom Hyde, BAE Systems' director of UAV programs.  

BAE Systems is one of three UAV manufacturers working under multimillion-dollar DARPA contracts in the first phase of the OAV II program. The firms are designing UAVs for reconnaissance and surveillance, maneuver force protection, and targeting.  

BAE Systems developed its aircraft as part of an independent R&D effort to design and demonstrate a family of ducted-fan UAVs. The ducted-fan design shrouds the fan, making it ideally suited for company- and platoon-level operations in which takeoffs and landings occur in close proximity to the warfighter.  

The three-phase program is intended to yield a vehicle of sufficient maturity to transition into an Army System Development and Demonstration (SDD) program to fulfill the Army's requirement for a Class II UAV. During the OAV II programs second phase, scheduled to begin in June, DARPA will proceed with exercising options with one or more contractors.

Twin Predator UAV Losses
By AUVSI Staff
  Twin MQ-1 Predator Losses in Iraq 

A USAF MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed on March 26 in the vicinity of Balad, Iraq followed by a second Predator loss in Rawah, Iraq, on March 30. 

The aircraft made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. were assigned to the 15th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron at Nellis AFB, NV. They were in the U.S. Central Command area of operations supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Accident investigation boards are investigating the recent accidents.

Global Hawk Keeps Racking Up Combat Hours
By AUVSI Staff
  Global Hawk UAV Reaches 4,000th Combat Flight Hour  

Northrop Grummans RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle reached 4,000 combat hours on March 23 during an operational mission. 

The Global Hawk UAV has performed nearly continuous combat service with the USAF since 2001. Overall, the UAV system has achieved more than 6,500 total flight hours. 

George Guerra, director of Northrop Grumman's Air Force Global Hawk program said ``Early on, the Air Force placed a great deal of confidence in Global Hawk by pressing it into service supporting combat operations well ahead of schedule. Since its debut in theater, the system has provided unprecedented support to our fighting forces on the ground, at sea and in the air.'' 

Operating autonomously from take-off to landing, flying at an altitude of 65,000 and with an endurance of more than 30 hours, the Global Hawk provides intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance information to the warfighter in near real time.  

The U.S. Navy also plans to procure Global Hawk to demonstrate maritime surveillance capabilities to the fleet later this year.

GA-ASI Develops Hunter-Killer Predator
By AUVSI Staff
  Recent Unmanned Systems Contracts 

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. of San Diego, CA, has been awarded  $68.2 million to undertake System Development and Demonstration (SDD) of the MQ-9 Hunter-Killer Aircraft.   

The MQ-9 is the next generation of the Predator family of medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  The R&D effort will enhance the drones weapons carrying and targeting capability.  The contract includes options for the retrofit of four aircraft to the SDD configuration, along with communications and ground and flight test facility upgrades.  

GA-ASI was also awarded a $10 million contract to continue Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Predator support and repair services and $20 million to provide additional Predator readiness spares package kits.   

Raytheon was awarded $25.9 million to produce Multi-spectral Targeting Systems (MTS) "A" forward-looking infrared systems, including 22 Turret Units and associated line items, to support the Predator UAV program.  The MTS provides real-time imagery selectable between infrared and day TV, as well as a laser-designation capability 

Raytheon received $6.8 million to demonstrate a Terrain Following/Terrain Avoidance (TF/TA) radar in support of the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).  Northrop Grumman received a $8.8 million competing contract.  

Aurora Flight Sciences, Manassas, VA, was awarded a $20 million contract for Excalibur Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV) research and development.  The work is expected to be completed by April 24, 2010.  This was a sole source contract initiated on Feb. 1, 2005 by the U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate. 

Northrop Grumman received $24 million to fabricate 12 BQM-74E aerial targets and 48 extended range BQM-74E aerial targets for the U.S. Navy.   

The BQM-74E is a subsonic, subscale, jet-powered aerial target capable of being air launched or surface launched (land or shipboard).  The BQM-74E supports fleet training requirements for gunnery, surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles exercises from fixed sites and during open ocean and deployed remote site operations, both air and land.   

The San Diego-based aerospace firm also received a $11.7 million contract from the USN to deliver Fire Scout VTOL Tactical UAV hardware for the U.S. Armys Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. A version of the Navy Fire Scout will serve as the FCS Class IV UAV. Hardware to be provided include eight airframes, transponders, radar altimeters,  GPS/INS systems, antennas and pressure transducers. 

Carnegie Mellon Robot Chills Out
By AUVSI Staff
  Researchers Deploy Robot on Frozen Lake in Preparation for Antarctic Expedition 

Nomad, one of Carnegie Mellon University's most accomplished robotic rovers, is at it again.  

This time the rover that trekked 220 kilometers through Chile's Atacama Desert and explored Antarctica for meteorites is being groomed for a potential return to the frozen continent to search for signs of living microorganisms near the top of its icy surface. 

Carnegie Mellon robotics researchers recently deployed Nomad on the frozen surface of Lake Mascoma in Hanover, NH, as part of the LORAX Project (Life on Ice, Robotic Antarctic Explorer), which seeks to measure the distribution of surviving microorganisms in the near-surface ice on the Antarctic plateau. 

Nomad, which successfully traversed 10 kilometers through the snow and ice on Lake Mascoma, was equipped with a wind turbine for the first time, while researchers studied the possibility of powering a robotic investigation with combined wind and solar energy. 

Carnegie Mellon and NASA researchers worked with the Army's Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) in Hanover, to arrange the long-distance autonomous navigation tests on Lake Mascoma, which they say simulates the flat, icy terrain of the Antarctic plateau. CRREL also provided logistical support and test facilities to the Carnegie Mellon and NASA team. CRREL researchers made ice thickness measurements throughout the test area and confirmed 18 inches as safe conditions for the rover trials. 

Nomad, which has been upgraded with sensors and computing to increase its ability to act independently, first gained notoriety in 1997 when it traveled through the Atacama and again in 2000 when it autonomously discovered meteorites in Antarctica and became the first robot to perform science on its own. 

In the past, Nomad has largely been teleoperated, but for the LORAX expedition, it was given the "brains" of another robot called Zoé that has been surveying microscopic life in the Atacama Desert. 

"The goal of this field experiment was to establish that Nomad's mobility on snow and ice and our technology for autonomous navigation meet the requirements for survey traverse in the Antarctic," said Robotics Institute Associate Research Professor David Wettergreen. 

Carnegie Mellon alumnus Liam Pedersen of NASA's Ames Research Center is the project's principal investigator. Wettergreen and Senior Systems Scientist Dimitrios Apostolopoulos are co-investigators at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute where the rover design and analysis, and autonomous navigation work is being done.  

Apostolopoulos has been leading rover mechanism work while Wettergreen has been developing its autonomy. The Carnegie Mellon researchers are being funded by a one-year, $400,000 grant from NASA. 

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma are developing an ice coring and sampling device, while others at the University of California at Berkeley are developing a fluorescence spectrometer, which could be the primary science instrument in identifying the presence and abundance of microorganisms in Antarctic ice. 

iRobot's Dyer Joins Athena Board
By AUVSI Staff
  Joe Dyer on Athena Board of Directors

Athena Technologies, Inc., has appointed VADM Joe Dyer (U.S. Navy, ret) to its board of directors.  

Dyer, who brings a wealth of military, government and private sector experience to Athena's governing board, is currently the executive vice president and general manager for iRobot Inc.'s Government and Industrial Division. 

Dr. David Vos, Athenas founder and president said, "bringing Vice Admiral Dyer to our board will add a level of insight, experience and creativity that will immediately be felt at our company. His public and private sector background in unmanned systems development is well-suited to our mission and I think we both understand how future combat environments are changing because of these dynamic platforms." 

Prior to his 2003 retirement, Dyer was the commander of the Naval Air Systems Command. Dyer's naval career also included positions as the commander of the Naval Air Warfare Center's, Aircraft Division, naval aviation's chief engineer and three years as the Navy's chief test pilot. 

Regarding the appointment to Athena's board, Dyer said, "Being able to affiliate with Athena is important to me because I believe the types of technologies they are focusing on represent the transformational links to the battlefield of the future. Companies like Athena are providing the technical know how to make that future a reality." 

AAI Acquires ESL Defence
By AUVSI Staff
  AAI Acquires British Firm ESL Defence 

United Industrial says its wholly-owned subsidiary AAI Corp. completed the acquisition of ESL Defence Limited (ESL), an electronic warfare (EW) systems company based in the United Kingdom, on April 4, 2005. The purchase price was approximately $10 million in cash. 

Headquartered in Hamble, England, ESL is a market leader in the design and production of electro-optic (EO) test and simulation products for use on flight lines and in aircraft maintenance facilities. The simulators are used to assess the operational readiness of sophisticated missile warning and countermeasures self-protection systems used on military aircraft. ESL's EO simulators are also used at military test, evaluation, and training ranges to evaluate the effectiveness of new self-protection systems and to train pilots for combat readiness. 

In addition, ESL specializes in EW related research, study, and in-service support activity for U.K. government agencies and prime contractors both in the United Kingdom and in the United States. 

ESL's EO test and training products have grown during the past year due to the accelerating use of EO defensive systems to protect aircraft from man- portable missile
threats. The strong demand is expected to continue and should result in continued business growth. ESL is expected to generate approximately $7 million in sales during the remainder of 2005 and be accretive to UIC's results of operations. 

"The ESL product line complements AAI's EW test and training products," said Frederick M. Strader, president and chief executive officer. "The integration of AAI's highly successful EW test and training products with ESL's flight line test systems will allow us to broaden our sales distribution channels internationally and offer our customers a full range of support equipment to test the complete complement of EW sensors on military aircraft."  

Aurora Flight Sciences Delivers
By AUVSI Staff
  Aurora Fabricates First Aft Fuselage for the RQ-4B UAV  

Aurora Flight Sciences has delivered the first aft fuselage for the new RQ-4B model of the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to prime contractor Northrop Grumman.  

Under the previously announced Engineering and Manufacturing Development Phase II (EMD) contract, Aurora designed and fabricated tooling for the new aircraft's aft fuselage, vertical tails and engine nacelle components.  

"The aft fuselage is a critical path item for the RQ-4B, and being the lead on this component assembly shows how Aurora has matured as a company," said Aurora Flight
Sciences President John Langford. "When Aurora started our Global Hawk work in 1995, we were a scrappy small company. Over the past 10 years, we have developed the mature design and manufacturing capabilities and experienced staff that make it possible to lead a critical project like the aft fuselage." 

In 1995 the company received its first subcontract to build vertical tails for the RQ-4A. Over the years, Aurora has increased the scope of its Global Hawk work. Today the company manufactures almost one-third of each Global Hawk fuselage assembly. 

Tom Williams sector vice president for Northrop Grumman's high altitude, long endurance programs said " the know-how, dedication and ability to deliver quality products demonstrated by subcontractors like Aurora Flight Sciences make it possible to put such a powerful tool in the hands of America's fighting men and women." 

Despite Aurora's Global Hawk experience, the scope of the EMD contract was daunting. Employees at Aurora's Bridgeport, WV manufacturing facility designed and manufactured tooling for the 120 different components that make up the aft fuselage.  

After the tooling was complete, Aurora fabricated each of the components and devised an assembly plan for the aft fuselage. The assembly process worked exactly as planned, and Aurora's technicians are already applying lessons learned from the first assembly to further streamline the aft fuselage assembly process for subsequent RQ-4Bs. 

The new RQ-4B Global Hawk is larger than the currently deployed block 0 systems, carries 5 percent more payload and provides two and a half times the available onboard power for sensor systems. The RQ-4B is expected to make its first flight in 2006.

NASA/GA-ASI to Demo Altair UAV
By AUVSI Staff
  UAV Earth Science Flight Demo Scheduled 

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in cooperation with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), will be conducting a series of flights near the Channel Islands off the Southern California coast this spring to evaluate the ability of remotely operated aircraft to conduct a variety of Earth Science missions.  

The goal of the Altair Integrated System Flight Demonstration Project is to evaluate the operational capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for science missions related to oceanic and atmospheric research, climate research, marine sanctuary mapping and
enforcement, nautical charting, and fisheries assessment and enforcement.  

GA-ASI's remotely piloted Altair, whose development was funded in part by NASA, will carry a payload of instruments for measuring ocean color, atmospheric composition and temperature, and surface imaging during flights in late April and early May. Six flights totaling about 53 hours flight time will be flown at altitudes up to 45,000 feet and durations up to 20 hours. 

BAE Systems Develops LMSJ
By AUVSI Staff
  LMSJ Development Contract Awarded 

The USAF on April 6 awarded BAE Systems Information and Electronic Warfare (EW) Systems, Nashua, NH a $5 million contract to perform additional development of the Lightweight Modular Support Jammer (LMSJ). 

Congressionally mandated, the program will undertake hardware and software modifications and upgrades to the basic LMSJ system to include: total end-to-end integration with the advanced threat alert and response digital receiver; development and fabrication of a high band transmitter and active phased array antenna; and, improvements to the electronic attack (EA) jamming manager and techniques generator.   

Ground testing and flight test demonstrations of the full system on a small unmanned aerial vehicle will take place at an electronic warfare (EW) test range in Nevada to further evaluate jammer performance against realistic radar threats.    

Also included in the research effort is a thorough study of the feasibility and architecture for a network centric EW battle management concept, which would control an EA system-of-systems.  The LMSJ contract concludes in October 2006.   

The Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, is the contracting activity.

Metal Storm on Target
By AUVSI Staff
  Metal Storm 'On Target' With Live Fire Demos 

Metal Storm successfully completed a series of weapon demonstrations of a Metal Storm 40mm weapon mounted on a Foster-Miller Talon unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). 

In the demonstrations at the U.S. Armys Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, the Metal Storm-equipped Talon engage a variety of targets, including simulated personnel, an infantry carrier and a bunker, with pyrotechnic rounds. 

The demonstration showcased the technical and operational capabilities of the Metal Storm 40mm weapon system combined with a robotic platform currently in use by the U.S. military. Senior scientific and technical personnel attended the demonstrations from the U.S. Department of Defense as well as selected defense industry representatives. 

The Metal Storm 40mm weapons system employed in the demonstrations was a specially designed 4-barrel array loaded with 4 rounds per barrel and utilizing significant design and engineering improvements, including improved cartridge reload and recoil management systems.  

It also incorporated an optical targeting system integrated with a purpose-designed mount, which provided 2-axis control, stability and accuracy in aiming and operating the weapon. 

Metal Storm's Chief Executive Officer, Mr. David Smith, said the demonstrations achieved their objective in generating a positive response from key defense industry personnel.  

"Our system performed extremely well and we are delighted with the positive feedback and interest expressed by those attending. We already have a number of new potential opportunities under discussion as a result of the demonstrations and our technical staff has gathered very valuable data on the performance of the system. This is the outcome we were aiming for," he said. 

The demonstrations were held as part of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) that the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and
Engineering Center (ARDEC) has with Metal Storm.  

Personnel from the Medium Caliber Ammo Branch of ARDEC attended the live fire demonstrations to observe the functionality of the system. Under the CRADA they will be working with Metal Storm on the development of a range of munitions for use in the Metal Storm 40mm weapon system. 

The live fire demonstrations at Picatinny Arsenal did not include firings from the Dragonfly DP4X unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as previously planned because of operational restrictions on the range, which prevented in-flight live fire trials being possible.  

Arrangements are currently being made for in- flight test-firings and demonstrations to be held in the next few months at another location.

Herley Industries Acquires
By AUVSI Staff
  Herley Buys Innovative Concepts, Inc.  

Herley Industries has acquired Innovative Concepts, of McLean, VA, for about $20 million in cash. 

Since its inception in 1985, ICI has developed wireless communications technology and real-time embedded systems, software, hardware and high-speed processing in support of the defense industry. ICI's core competencies are directly applicable to the increasing defense industry requirements for tactical communications and data processing. 

Lee N. Blatt, chairman of Herley, stated, "The acquisition of Innovative Concepts completes our strategy to accumulate the technology that we believe is essential for Herley to successfully compete in the defense industry of the future&The military requirements of the future involve unmanned forces equipped with precision weaponry with technology that detects and identifies, in real-time, to eliminate terrorist threats. 

"Herley has working relationships with companies that provide us with access to unmanned platforms. Our recent acquisition of Micro Systems and the strength and market acceptance of their command & control systems, when combined with Herley's in-house capabilities, create a full line of product solutions to control unmanned platforms. 

"The millimeter wave technology Herley acquired when we reached a licensing agreement with Lockheed Martin and Xytrans will give Herley the capability to be an active participant in lightweight, precision guided weaponry that will be on next-generation missiles as well as a variety of unmanned platforms. 

"The acquisition of Innovative Concepts is the last link in the strategic chain that will enable Herley to provide the data links between the vehicle, the ground stations and the long and growing list of diverse electronic equipment that will need the products Herley now has to offer. 

"The acquisition of ICI is an excellent fit for Herley and will provide immediate benefits for both business operations. Herley has strong relationships with the U.S. Navy and Air Force while ICI has strong ties with the U.S. Army. Herley has significant content on fixed-wing platforms, with ICI involvement focused on rotary-wing aircraft. Herley is a hardware oriented company and ICI is a software driven company. 

Innovative Concepts had revenues in their last fiscal year of approximately $28 million.  

Herley Industries, Inc. is a leader in the design, development and manufacture of microwave technology solutions. Based in Lancaster, PA, Herley has nine manufacturing locations and more than 1000 employees. Additional information about the company can be found at 

Noted NASA Scientist Passes Away
By AUVSI Staff
  Noted NASA Researcher Dies 

Robert Dale Reed, 75, a distinguished NASA aeronautics researcher who pioneered Lifting Body and remotely piloted research aircraft programs at the Dryden Flight Research Center in the 1960s and 70s passed away March 18 in San Diego due to complications of cancer.  

Although he worked on numerous aeronautical research programs during his almost 52-year career at NASA Dryden, Reed is best known for his major contributions to aeronautical research in the initiation and development of the Lifting Body and Remotely Piloted Research Vehicle (RPRV) programs. 

As manager of innovative programs, Reed's fascination with using model drones airplanes for flight research led to the Remotely Piloted Research Vehicle (RPRV) Program. In place of the model aircraft operator's simple switch console, Reed substituted an actual
ground-based cockpit containing all of the flight instruments and sensors of a fully equipped airplane.  

Reed tested his concept with the Hyper III, the first RPRV to have a test pilot fully in the loop, using a radio uplink. Reed carried the concept further with the PA-30 and 3/8th scale F-l5, both of which added a computer control system in conjunction with the ground-based cockpit. 

Reed held a patent for the Mini-Sniffer -- a foldable Mars airplane with hydrazine-fueled engine designed to ride aboard a Viking spacecraft and be remotely dropped to explore the
planet from low altitude. If used as Reed had envisioned, the craft would have performed aerial exploration until its fuel ran out, then land at a desirable spot to continue feeding back information through the Viking Orbiter, like the familiar Mars rovers.

Integrated GPS Receiver Unveiled
By AUVSI Staff
  Integrated GPS  Receiver Unveiled 

Heim Data Systems, Inc., a leading supplier of data acquisition equipment, has introduced an integrated 20 Channel L1+L2 GPS receiver for Heims line of high performance airborne recorders.  

With modular signal interfacing and interchangeable media cartridges, these recorders provide highly flexible, COTS solutions that can easily adapt to changing mission requirements in both airborne and mobile applications.   

The integrated GPS receiver provides two functions essential to airborne data acquisition systems. Primarily, the GPS receiver serves as a highly accurate time synchronization source used to generate precision UTC time stamping for the entire range of the recorders flexible modular signal interfaces. The GPS receiver eliminates the need for stand-alone free running time sources that require jam synchronization at the beginning of every mission. The GPS timing source is used to continuously synchronize the recorders precision data time stamping electronics and eliminates time inaccuracies due to drift experienced when using free running time sources. The Heim recorder also uses the GPS time information to produce a modulated IRIG B, A, or G time output source that can be used as the master time source to synchronize other instrumentation devices.   

In addition, the fast acquisition and re-acquisition receiver provides high dynamic, precision navigational data. The GPS system can be specified for economical single frequency low rate operation or high performance L1+L2 plus WAAS to support high dynamic, high-velocity applications. Accurate navigation solutions are provided one or ten times per-second. The GPS receiver data is also compatible with typical Differential GPS Solution applications. The user has the flexibility to program the specific message output from the wide variety of message types available.  

The GPS data is captured and recorded in the IRIG106 Chapter 10 flight data acquisition standard data format. Heim data packet recording technology is recognized as a leader in providing very accurate time base and inter-channel phase accuracy for multiple input channels covering a wide range of disparate signal types. The GPS capability further enhances the recorders ability to capture data that can be accurately and reliably time synchronized to other mission events during mission data analysis.  

The GPS option is available either in a signal module package for plugging into any Heim airborne recorder or it can be integrated into the latest recorder mainframes. Fitted integrally into D5000 series flight test or D7000 series mission recorders, the GPS option provides full functionality without taking up valuable signal interface module slots. The integration of precision GPS data and timing information eliminates the need for bulky stand-alone GPS receivers and time generators, thus reducing the traditional three box solution to a single COTS recorder.  

For more information on Heim Data System's complete product line, contact Ginny Decker, Heim Data Systems, Inc. PO Box N, Belmar, NJ, 07719. Telephone (732) 556-2318, fax (732) 556-2319, visit, or email

L-3 Com to Aquire Sonoma Design
By AUVSI Staff
  L-3 Com Agrees to Acquire Sonoma Design Group 

L-3 Communications has signed an agreement to acquire Sonoma Design Group. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The business will be renamed L-3 Communications Sonoma EO, Inc.  

Located in Santa Rosa, CA, Sonoma Design Group designs, develops and manufactures highly stabilized electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) imaging systems for airborne and surface platforms, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  

The business produces ultra-performance imaging systems for the intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting needs of the U.S. intelligence and military community.  

Sonoma Design Group provides large aperture turrets, payloads and sensors for EO/IR and laser systems. The company supplies turreted EO/IR sensors and gimbal equipment on several key programs, including the U.S. Navy's Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft, fixed and rotary wing UAVs, as well as both classified and unclassified

"Sonoma Design will enhance L-3's market penetration in the growing EO/IR sector, while continuing as a merchant supplier of very advanced stabilized products," said Frank C. Lanza, chairman and chief executive officer of L-3 Communications. "Sonoma's high resolution imaging capabilities are very complementary with our Wescam business and will create increased opportunities for L-3 in both the military and homeland security segments."  

Israel's Elbit Delivers
By AUVSI Staff
  Elbits Skylark UAV delivered to the IDF Ground Forces Command. 

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Ground Forces Command (GFC) has taken delivery of initial Elbit Systems Skylark mini-UAV systems. 

Skylark, an advanced mini-UAV, is designed for day and night observation and data collection "over the hill" up to distances of 10 km.  The man-pack system is equipped with a quiet electric motor, and conducts totally autonomous flight. A single soldier can launch the UAV after little training.

Elbit Systems was selected last year by the Israel Ministry of Defense to supply Skylark mini-UAV systems for the GFC, after successfully passing a series of stringent tests which demonstrated its technical and operational capabilities, meeting the demands set by the Israel MoD and the IDF. 

Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international defense electronics company engaged in a wide range of defense-related programs throughout the world, in the areas of aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance ("C4ISR"), advanced electro-optic and space technologies.  

The Company focuses on the upgrading of existing military platforms and developing new technologies for defense and homeland security applications.

LSI Issues Final RFP for Class II/III UAV
By AUVSI Staff
  FCS Team Issues Final RFPs for Class II/III UAVs  

Boeing and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), as the Lead Systems Integrator team for the U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, in late March released separate Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for development of FCS Class II and III Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems. Bidders were given30 days in which to respond. Contract awards are anticipated in early August.  

A phased acquisition approach will be implemented for Class II and III development efforts. Multiple contracts will be awarded for Phase I, involving technology and risk reduction demonstrations.  

Phase II will include flight, logistics and training demonstrations of both industry- and DARPA-developed  (OAV-II) systems. Candidates will be evaluated for their suitability to meet FCS requirements during a 24-month concept maturation phase, which will result in down-selects for the final phase of System Design and Development (SDD) when the LSI and the Army will select the best-value solution for Class II and III systems.  

"Leveraging best-of-industry solutions and current government development efforts will yield innovative, affordable and technologically superior UAV systems," said Mark Franzblau, FCS UAV integrated product team leader.  

The Class II UAV will provide reconnaissance, security/early warning, target acquisition and designation at the company level. A 70-120 lb. drone with a 16km radius of operation, it will be vehicle mounted, providing enhanced dedicated imagery.  

The Class III UAV (300-500 lbs. with 40km radius) will have greater endurance and a larger payload-carrying capacity. It will operate at the battalion level. Both FCS Class II and III UAV systems will be deployed with the first full FCS-equipped unit of action beginning in 2014.  

Robots in the ICU
By AUVSI Staff
  Hospital Introduces Robots in ICU 

UCLA Medical Center is conducting initial clinical tests of the RP-6 mobile robot system in its neurosurgery intensive care unit (ICU).  

The RP-6 robot, made by InTouch Health Inc. in Santa Barbara, CA, allows doctors to "virtually" consult with patients, family members and health care staff at a moment's notice, even if miles away from the hospital. 

Intensivists  the physicians who specialize in the care of critically ill patients  in the neurosurgery department at UCLA are using RP-6 to provide additional monitoring from their homes and offices of ICU patients. Studies show that intensivist presence in the ICU can decrease morbidity, mortality, length of stay and cost of care.  

The project is funded through an assistance agreement with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, located at Ft. Detrick, MD.

There is a nationwide shortage of intensivists. There are fewer than 6,000 practicing intensivists in the United States today. and more than 5 million patients admitted to ICUs annually. Therefore, only about 37 percent of ICU patients receive intensivist care. These specialists are familiar with complications that may occur and are therefore better able to minimize errors. 

UCLA is testing the RP-6 robot as a way to extend the reach of the intensivist. The patient sees, hears and interacts with the doctor through the nearly 5-foot-6-inch tall robot, which displays a live video image of the physician's face on its monitor/head.  

The physician, seated at a computer console called a ControlStation, also sees and hears the patient through a live video image projected on a monitor. The ControlStation comes equipped with a joystick, which allows the physician to drive the robot to the patient's bedside, control movements of the robot's head and even zoom in to take a closer look at the patient or bedside monitors. 

Leveraging the health care expert's time offers the possibility of improved patient care, reduced length of stay and cost savings. UCLA has combined its in-house electronic medical information system, GCQ, with the RP-6 remote presence system to monitor and access patients anytime from homes and offices in a way not previously possible. 

Global Care Quest, or GCQ, founded by Martin, Nenov and Farzad Buxey, is a commercially available, remote wireless mobile patient data system developed at UCLA Medical Center. 

Patient and family reaction to the robot has been very positive. In a study done by Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, half the patients preferred a tele-rounding visit by their own doctor to a "real" visit by another physician. And 80 percent of the patients felt that the robot increased physician accessibility. 

UCLA is the first hospital to test the RP-6 robot in the ICU, though more than a dozen other institutions are using the robot to provide remote medical expertise in areas such as emergency rooms and patient wards.

Tracking the Gulf Stream
By AUVSI Staff
  Underwater Robot Launched from Bermuda 

A small autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) named Spray was recently launched about 12 miles southeast of Bermuda in a mission to study the Gulf Stream. 

The two-meter (6-foot) long orange glider with a four-foot wingspan will slowly make its way northwest, crossing the Gulf Stream and reaching the continental shelf on the other side before turning around and heading back to Bermuda, where it will be recovered in July.  

The voyage is the vehicle's second trip across the Gulf Stream. Spray made history last fall as the first AUV to cross the Gulf Stream, but this time it is making the trip from the other direction.  

Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution located in Massachusetts previously launched the 112-pound vehicle. 

Scientists are tracking Sprays progress and are able to communicate with the vehicle via satellite during the mission to change course or alter the information it is collecting while at sea.  

The vehicle will proceed north at about one-half knot, roughly half a mile an hour or 12 miles per day, measuring various properties of the ocean as it glides up to the surface and then glides back down to 1,000-meters depth (3,300 feet) three times a day.  

Every seven hours Spray spends about 15 minutes on the surface to relay its position and information about ocean conditions, such as temperature, salinity and pressure, via satellite. 

Spray has a range of 6,000 kilometers, or about 3,500 miles, which means it could potentially cross the Atlantic Ocean and other ocean basins.  

Researchers plan to send the vehicle on its first round trip between Woods Hole and Bermuda later this year -- marking another first for an underwater vehicle.  

The successful trip last fall proved the viability of self-propelled gliders for long-distance scientific missions and has opened new possibilities for studies of the oceans. Research missions are being planned using the vehicle once field testing is completed.  

Researchers developed the Spray glider with support from the Office of Naval Research. Sensor development was funded under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Observations Program. The Gulf Stream project is funded by the National Science Foundation.  

Proteus With Teeth
By AUVSI Staff
  Weapon Dropped from Proteus UAV 

Northrop Grumman has successfully demonstrated the ability to release a weapon from a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) demonstrator. 

The drop on Feb. 24 of a 500-pound inert weapon from Proteus over Nellis AFB, NV supports a Northrop Grumman-funded effort to develop a new multi-mission MALE UAV dubbed Model 395. Based on Proteus, Model 395 will be able to perform a variety of missions ranging from traditional intelligence gathering to weapons delivery. Proteus is a manned UAV surrogate developed by Scaled Composites. 

Steve True, Northrop Grumman's Model 395 test director, said the weapons drop is the first of several demonstrations the company has planned to exercise and highlight Model 395's ability to fulfill a variety of special customer mission requirements. The next flight demonstration is planned for later this year. 

``The jet-powered Model 395 is a cost-effective, multi-role, multi-mission UAV with the right altitude, speed, endurance and payload capacity to perform tasks that span our
customers' air operations,'' said Chris Hernandez, vice president and general manager of the company's Unmanned Systems unit. ``In the hunter-killer role, it can carry
multi-spectral sensors to detect and track targets and myriad munitions to destroy those targets.'' 

According to Hernandez, the Model 395 system will also extend the reach of air commanders by providing tailored support to ground forces in near-real time in almost any combat situation. A family of modular payloads will allow it to be optimized quickly for a variety of missions including signals intelligence, psychological operations,
communications relay and area surveillance. 

In addition to its 900-pound internal payload capacity, Model 395 will be able to carry external payloads of up to 6,500 pounds. It also has more than 100 cubic feet of unused
internal volume. 

GA-ASI Completes ER/MP SCD
By AUVSI Staff
  GA-ASI Completes ER/MP Demo for U.S. Army 

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) recently completed a Systems Capability Demonstration (SCD) at Fort Huachuca, AZ as part of Phase I of the U.S. Army Extended Range Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) program.   

The Warrior Team, led by GA-ASI, with teammates AAI and SPARTA, completed all required flight test objectives in record time, flying a minimum number of hours to meet program objectives.  One aircraft, equipped with a heavy fuel engine, flew the majority of the missions in order to demonstrate the maturity of this heavy fuel engine installation, an engine combination that meets a longstanding Army requirement. 

The Warrior demonstrator aircraft capitalized on the experience of over 120,000 Predator flight hours and extensive combat experience to meet the demands of the test objectives with ease.  
Warrior #1 demonstrated the requirement to transition from line-of-sight data link to satellite link control for over-the-horizon control with a single aircraft, leveraging GA-ASIs 12-year satellite control experience with Predator systems.  This capability eliminates the burdensome and inefficient need to have two aircraft airborne, one with a data link relay to support the other mission airplane. 

Aircraft availability to meet the demanding schedule was exceptional.  The aircraft demonstrated automatic as well as pilot control landings.  Most missions were flown from the AAI One-System ground control station (GCS) required by the U.S. Army.  One heavy weight mission was also flown with four hellfire missiles installed. 

"Overall, this operation was extremely successful, thanks to the dedicated professionalism of our small support team and to the performance of our combat proven aircraft systems," said Thomas J. Cassidy, Jr., president and chief executive of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. 

iRobot Provides EOD Robots to DoD
By AUVSI Staff
  iRobot Wins $18 Million USN Contract to Produce EOD Robots 

iRobot has been awarded a Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) contract worth over $18 million to deliver its PackBot EOD robots -- explosive ordnance disposal robots -- for rapid deployment in support of U.S. troops around the world. 

iRobot PackBot EOD robots are being used daily in Iraq and Afghanistan to disarm roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices (IEDs). To fulfill the contract, iRobot will deliver over 150 robots to the U.S. Navy by the end of 2005.  

"The rapid acquisition of small EOD robots comes in response to war fighters' requirements for technologies that protect personnel and overcome the threat posed by unexploded ordnance, mines and IEDs," said Commander Scott Stuart, EOD Program Manager, NAVSEA.  

"The EOD program office is working in close partnership with joint force and combatant commanders, and with industry, to deliver state-of-the-art capability, based on commercial off-the-shelf technologies that meet the demands of real-world operations."  

iRobot PackBot EOD is a rugged, lightweight robot designed to assist in explosive ordnance disposal, HAZMAT, search-and-surveillance, hostage rescue and other vital tasks for military units. It can handle a full range of conventional ordnance disposal and improvised explosive devices.  

iRobot PackBot EOD's lightweight, ruggedized OmniReach Manipulator System can reach as far as two meters in any direction to assess and safely disrupt difficult-to-access IEDs, military ordnance, land mines and other incendiary devices.

Hound Sniffs Out Illicit Drugs
By AUVSI Staff
  Sniffing Out Drug Traffickers
On a South Texas highway local police and border patrol agents are using a hand-held sniffer developed at Sandia National Laboratories to help stem the flow of illegal drugs northward into the U.S. 

Sandia loaned the South Texas Specialized Crimes and Narcotics Task Force one of its prototype Hound systems in November 2003 as part of a field trial to evaluate the system for drug detection. Since then Task Force officers have used the Hound system at border checkpoints to help screen vehicles for narcotics and drug money. 

Task Force officials say its officers have on numerous occasions used the Hound system to help local, state, and federal law enforcement officers detect covert narcotics shipments in vehicles at checkpoints. 

The toolbox-sized Hound system includes a front-end sniffer developed by Sandia for sample collection and a commercial chemical detector that works for both explosives and drugs. 

Although the system was originally developed for explosives, the switch from detection of explosives to drugs is relatively simple within the commercial detector, says Dave Hannum, one of the Sandia developers of the pre-concentration technique that makes the Hound system so sensitive. 

The sniffer works by drawing a bathtub's worth of air through its nozzle, trapping heavy organic compounds in the air on a filter, then heating the filter and redistributing the collected compounds into a smaller air sample. The compounds then are identified in a commercial ion mobility spectrometer-based detector that is part of the system. 

It's the equivalent of netting hundreds of fish in a vast ocean, then releasing those fish into a pond and fishing for them, with much increased odds. 

The Hound system is sensitive enough to detect and identify residues in the fingerprints drug users leave behind on door handles, steering wheels, locker latches, etc. 

Sandia pioneered the pre-concentration approach in the mid 1990s and has since developed a family of explosives-detection systems based on the technique, including hand-held detectors, a vehicle screening system, and a walk-through portal that can sniff trace amounts of explosives on people's skin and clothing. 

A commercial version of the portal is now being used to screen airline passengers at a checkpoint at New York's JFK International. 


Megitt Provides WMD Sentry
By AUVSI Staff
  Megitt Provides Unmanned WMD Sentry to Canadian Forces 

Meggitt Defense Systems (MDS), a unit of Meggitt PLC, has been awarded a contract by Defence R&D Canada  Suffield to provide technical support in the manufacture, systems integration, and testing of follow on units of the DRDC Suffield developed MultiAgent Tactical Sentry (MATS) unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) entering service with the Canadian Forces. 

The MATS system consists of a series of state-of-the-art protective sensors integrated onboard a UGV for use in the detection of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear contaminants.  

Under the contract, MDS Canada (formerly Schreiner Canada) will provide engineering support to DRDC Suffield for the construction of the follow on MATS UGVs, their payload integration and the fabrication of ground stations.  

MDS, a unit of Meggitt PLC, is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of free flying aerial, marine, and ground-based targetry, including towed targets and countermeasures, unmanned aerial vehicles, UGVs, unmanned surface vehicles, pods and aeromechanical structures, electronic scoring systems, ammunition handling equipment and environmental control systems.

NASA Working on Swarming UAVs
By AUVSI Staff
  New Software Let UAVs Team Up  

The old saying, "birds of a feather, flock together," can now be applied to a couple of small uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs) flown in a NASA research experiment using principles derived from studies of fish and bird motions to simultaneously guide them around obstacles. 

Engineers and technicians from NASA's Ames Research Center and Dryden Flight Research Center recently conducted flight tests over a 'virtual' forest fire to evaluate new flight-control software that will allow UAVs to autonomously react to obstacles as they fly pre-programmed missions.  

The tests were conducted over a remote area of Edwards Air Force Base, CA, to investigate cooperative flight strategies for airborne monitoring and surveillance of natural disasters and for atmospheric sampling. 

"We developed and flight tested several novel approaches for providing assistance to wildfire suppression crews using a team of two small UAVs," said John Melton, principal investigator for the Networked UAV Teaming Experiment at NASA Ames.  

The aircraft were flown using a combination of rules from nature and robotics to cooperatively transit and search a virtual forest fire. 

The two autopilot-equipped, 12-foot wingspan APV-3 UAVs were built by RnR Products, Milpitas, CA. They flew along computer-generated paths and demonstrated the ability to avoid obstacles in a cooperative and synchronized manner, all without the help of flight personnel. 

The software also created waypoints on a rectangular grid of the search area, automatically developed individual flight plans and transmitted them to each vehicle. After passing their first few waypoints, one of the aircraft was commanded to begin orbiting over the virtual fire. The remaining search points were then transmitted to the second aircraft that incorporated these points into its flight plan and completed the mission. 

"This technology may one day enable swarms of aircraft to move safely from one area to another as a flock or group," Melton said. "A number of UAVs could be flown stacked in a vertical column with instruments to collect air samples on future science missions or help ground personnel monitor forest fires and other natural disasters," he added. 

NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate is supporting a variety of technology development projects for remotely or autonomously controlled high-altitude, long-endurance UAV aircraft.  

Such aircraft have the potential to serve as platforms for a wide variety of Earth science, surveillance, and communications relay and disaster-mitigation missions. They are especially useful in circumstances where flying a manned aircraft is dangerous.  

The Networked UAV Teaming Experiment was sponsored by the Directorate's
Aeronautics Systems Analysis Project. 

More Predators for the USAF
By AUVSI Staff
  Predator Fleet to Expand 

USAF officials plan to buy enough General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to equip as many as 15 squadrons, up from the three currently. The USAF would spend $5.7 billion over the next five years for the medium-altitude, long endurance (MALE) drones, said an AF spokesman. 

This increase, announced March 18, is in response to the escalating demand for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. The plans are intended to ensure an increased number of Predators are available in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots. 

A future total force initiative will establish two Air National Guard Predator units in Texas and Arizona. Air Force officials are determining manpower and training requirements that will significantly enhance the Predator's ability to support combatant commander requirements. ANG personnel will operate the UAVs from their respective states. Additionally, Air Force officials plan to place a Predator squadron with an ANG unit in New York. 

An initiative involves establishing a distributive ground station in western New York to process global intelligence information. Air Force and Air National Guard leaders said establishing a Predator unit in New York would provide a more immediate impact to the war on terrorism. 

Aside from the planned ANG Predator units, the USAF currently has three operational, active-duty Predator squadrons located at Nellis AFB and Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field in Nevada. Air Force Special Operations Command and Air Force Reserve Command personnel also will operate Predators out of Indian Springs.

Earnings Up for AAI
By AUVSI Staff
  United Industrial Income Increases 73% in 2004 on Revenue Growth of 24%  

United Industrial Corp., parent of UAV maker AAI, recently reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and the year ended December 31, 2004.  

Net sales from continuing operations for the three months ending Dec. 31 increased 14.4% to $95.2 million compared to $83.2 million for the three months ended December 31, 2003. Income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2004 decreased $3.2 million to $3.3 million, compared to $6.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2003. 

Net income in the fourth quarter of 2004 increased to $4.9 million, compared to $4.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2003. Net sales for the defense businesses in the fourth quarter of 2004 increased 16.1% to $88.6 million compared to $76.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2003. Pre-tax income from the defense segment decreased $2.2 million to $8.0 million compared to $10.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2003. 

"We were extremely pleased with the strong performance of our core defense segment and our results for the full year," said Frederick M. Strader, the company's president and chief executive. "Our Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV) program for the U.S. Army continued to lead the company's performance through the end of 2004. In 2005, we expect to continue the solid performance of our TUAV program with the U.S. Army."  

During the fourth quarter of 2004, the company's UAV product line received its third consecutive full-rate production contract for $71.9 million from the U.S. Army for eight Shadow 200 TUAV systems, including ground control stations, maintenance equipment and spare components, to be delivered over the next twenty months.  

The company's UAV business was also awarded $23.4 million of additional contracts in the fourth quarter of 2004 for ongoing logistical support of TUAV systems deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Including these awards, funded backlog for the UAV product line at December 31, 2004 was approximately $233.9 million. 

Net sales from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2004 increased 23.8% to $385.1 million compared to $310.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2003. Income from continuing operations in 2004 increased 72.8% to $26.1 million compared to $15.1 million for 2003. 

Net sales for the defense segment increased $72.6 million primarily due to an increase in production of TUAV systems as well as support for delivered and deployed TUAV systems. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2004 increased to $26.8 million compared to a net loss of $5.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2003. 

The company received $152.5 million of new awards during the fourth quarter of 2004, an increase of $34.5 million, or 29.2%, compared to the corresponding fourth quarter of 2003, including $71.9 million for AAI's third consecutive full-rate production contract from the U.S. Army for Shadow TUAV systems.  

For the year ended December 31, 2004, the company was awarded $449.8 million of new contracts, which was $117.1 million, or 35.2%, more than in 2003. Funded backlog for the company's continuing operations was $387.9 million at December 31, 2004, an increase of $64.7 million, or 20.0%, from December 31, 2003.

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