DARPA floats aerial surveillance Dragnet by UAV

September 27, 2016By

As off-the-shelf unmanned autonomous systems (UAS) become less expensive, easier to fly, and more adaptable for terrorist or military purposes, U.S. forces will increasingly be challenged by the need to quickly detect and identify such craft, especially in urban areas, where sight lines are limited and many objects may be moving at similar speeds. To map small UAS in urban... read more

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DARPA FLA program tests sensor-loaded quadcopters

September 8, 2016By

The sensor-loaded quadcopters edged around obstacles and achieved target speeds of 20 meters per second in a cluttered Massachusetss hangar, during initial data collection for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program. The project develops and tests algorithms to reduce the amount of processing power, communications and human intervention needed for UAVs to accomplish... read more

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Tomorrow’s driverless convoy on the road today

June 6, 2016By

Unmanned tactical wheeled vehicles for logistics and route clearance missions provide a significant force protection advantage — removing personnel from targeted vehicles, extending standoff distance from explosives, and empowering a single operator to simultaneously supervise multiple unmanned assets in convoy. This article discusses some of the enabling technologies and the motivations behind them, for safer and more efficient logistics and... read more

HRL to develop inertial sensor tech for DARPA

April 12, 2016By

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded HRL Laboratories $4.3 million to develop vibration- and shock-tolerant inertial sensor technology that enables future system accuracy needs without utilizing GPS. While GPS provides sub-meter accuracy in optimal conditions, the signal is often lost or degraded due to natural interference or malicious jamming. HRL Laboratories, based in Malibu, California, is a corporate research-and-development... read more

PNT Roundup: Navigating GPS-free, MEMS inertial trends and non-GPS tracking

April 7, 2016By

Initiatives to provide continuous, high-frequency and high-accuracy position spanning GPS outages or obstructions are discussed, as well as the frontiers of non-GPS tracking, in April's PNT Roundup. read more

DARPA hosts Proposers Day on new atomic clock

January 13, 2016By

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is holding a Proposers Day on Feb. 1 to inform potential contractors about the Atomic Clock with Enhanced Stability (ACES) program. ACES is a potential $50 million program that seeks to develop battery-powered atomic clocks that work to provide warfighters with synchronization and precision timing capabilities during navigation, communications, electronic warfare and reconnaissance... read more

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DARPA awards Northrop Grumman contract for unmanned system demonstration

January 11, 2016By
An illustration of Tern, Northrop Grumman's next-generation unmanned system for maritime ISR and strike. (Image: Northrop Grumman)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research have awarded Northrop Grumman the third phase of the Tern unmanned systems program. Phase three plans include final design, fabrication and a full-scale, at-sea demonstration of the system. Tern seeks to develop an autonomous, unmanned, long-range, global, persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and strike system intended to safely... read more

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PNT Roundup: STOIC technology to augment or substitute for GPS

November 11, 2015By
The X-47B unmanned combat aircraft receives fuel from an Omega K-707 tanker on April 22 while operating in the Atlantic Test Ranges over the Chesapeake Bay. This test marked the first time an unmanned aircraft refueled in flight. The X-47B is a tailless, jet-powered, blended-wing-body aircraft capable of semi-autonomous operation and aerial refueling.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) selected Rockwell Collins to develop technologies that could serve as a backup to GPS. The research, being conducted as part of DARPA’s Spatial, Temporal and Orientation Information in Contested Environments (STOIC) program, aims to reduce warfighter dependence on GPS for modern military operations. read more

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