Jul 122015

July 11th, – Defense Daily


cram truck hemmt

While the private sector promotes the myriad commercial opportunities for drones of all shapes and sizes, this proliferation has some in the military and security sector worried. The U.S. still maintains a monopoly on weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles – and places stringent export policies on sharing this technology with partners – officials worry that smaller UAVs could serve as flying improvised explosive devices.

There have been some close calls recently, such hobbyist drones crashing on the grounds of the White House, forcing many to call for greater and more robust methods of detecting these small aircraft, which literally fly under the radar used to detect larger craft. But even detecting a weaponized small hobby drone, such as the device with radioactive material that landed on the Japanese prime minister’s residence, might not do any good, unless they can also be neutralized.


antimisile cram

With that point in mind, the Army has creatively adapted a program designed to counter rockets, artillery and mortars, a process they call C-RAM, for defense against small UAVs, according to an Army news release.

The Army sees this as a way to address an growing threat. “Every country has [drones] now, whether they are armed or not or what level of performance,” said Manfredi Luciano, the project officer for the Extended Area Protection and Survivability Integrated Demonstration, which encompasses the C-RAM program. “This is a huge threat [that] has been coming up on everybody. It has kind of almost sneaked up on people, and it’s almost more important than the counter-RAM threat.”

According to Nancy Elliot, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Army’s Fires Center of Excellence at Fort Sill, Okla., the range of unmanned aircraft systems has grown from about 20 system types and 800 aircraft in 1999 to more than 200 system types and approximately 10,000 unmanned aircraft in 2010.

Jan 302014
Arcturus T-20 UAV

Arcturus T-20 UAV



Arcturus T-20 Medium Range Tactical UAV

Arcturus T-20 Medium Range Tactical UAV

ROHNERT PARK, Calif., Jan. 24, 2014 — The GeoDragon sensor system has now been integrated and flown on an Arcturus UAV T-20 Tier II unmanned aerial vehicle. The sensor system is enclosed in a wing-mounted pod and is capable of high resolution 2-D and 3-D image capture. The sensor was designed by Urban Robotics in Portland, Oregon. The aircraft was built by Arcturus UAV in Rohnert Park, California. The GeoDragon system can create 3-D reconstructions in near-real time and output high-resolution digital elevation models, LIDAR-like datasets, and wide area maps. The system will be released in mid-2014. GeoDragon adds significant 3-D imaging and mapping capabilities to the T-20 UAV.
The unique aspects of the system are low weight (equating to longer endurance and loiter time,) small operational footprint on the ground (1 or 2 full size pick-up trucks,) a quick mount/dismount pod, quiet operation (the T-20 utilizes a modified 4-stroke engine,) and the ability to fly simultaneously with other payloads on the T-20, such as EO/IR.






GeoDragon imagery is post-processed using automated 3-D algorithms to rapidly generate large mapping and modeling datasets. Urban Robotics develops software and hardware solutions for 3-D ISR, remote sensing and geospatial applications, including collection, post-processing, and data management.

The T-20 is a runway independent, Tier II class, small tactical unmanned aerial vehicle with a technical readiness level (TRL) 9. The primary mission of the Arcturus UAV is intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Typical missions include aerial mapping, drug interdiction, fire-fighting, border patrol, force protection, search and rescue, as well as military ISR. Payloads include full motion video from daylight and infrared cameras. Video is then transmitted by secure data link to mission commanders on the ground. An onboard GPS autopilot with waypoint navigation accepts multiple flight plans from the Ground Control Station, allowing the T-20 to return to a specified location autonomously after up to 16 hours of flight. The T-20 is powered by a 190cc an air-cooled, four-stroke, fuel injected engine. Carbon fiber composite construction used in the T-20 airframe allows for payloads up to 65 lbs.