LOCUST: Autonomous, swarming UAVs fly into the future

miércoles, 15 de abril de 2015

Press Release

A new era in autonomy and unmanned systems for naval operations is on the horizon, as officials at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced today recent technology demonstrations of swarming unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) -- part of the Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program.

LOCUST can launch swarming UAVs to autonomously overwhelm an adversary. The deployment of UAV swarms will provide Sailors and Marines a decisive tactical advantage. (Watch: LOCUST video on YouTube)

"The recent demonstrations are an important step on the way to the 2016 ship-based demonstration of 30 rapidly launched autonomous, swarming UAVs," said ONR program manager Lee Mastroianni.

The LOCUST program includes a tube-based launcher that can send UAVs into the air in rapid succession. The breakthrough technology then utilizes information-sharing between the UAVs, enabling autonomous collaborative behavior in either defensive or offensive missions.

Since the launcher and the UAVs themselves have a small footprint, the technology enables swarms of compact UAVs to take off from ships, tactical vehicles, aircraft or other unmanned platforms.

The ONR demonstrations, which took place over the last month in multiple locations, included the launch of Coyote UAVs capable of carrying varying payloads for different missions. Another technology demonstration of nine UAVs accomplished completely autonomous UAV synchronization and formation flight.

ONR officials note that while the LOCUST autonomy is cutting edge compared to remote-controlled UAVs, there will always be a human monitoring the mission, able to step in and take control as desired.

"This level of autonomous swarming flight has never been done before," said Mastroianni. "UAVs that are expendable and reconfigurable will free manned aircraft and traditional weapon systems to do more, and essentially multiply combat power at decreased risk to the warfighter."

UAVs reduce hazards and free personnel to perform more complex tasks, as well as requiring fewer people to do multiple missions.

Lowering costs is a major benefit of UAVs as well. Even hundreds of small autonomous UAVs cost less than a single tactical aircraft -- and, officials note, having this capability will force adversaries to focus on UAV swarm response.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert's Sailing Directions to the fleet note that over the next 10 to 15 years, the Navy will evolve and remain the preeminent maritime force. It directs: "Unmanned systems in the air and water will employ greater autonomy and be fully integrated with their manned counterparts."


NAVAIR: Aerial Refueling Will End X-47B Test Program, Salty Dogs Bound for Museums or Boneyard

NAVAIR: Aerial Refueling Will End X-47B Test Program, Salty Dogs Bound for ...
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — There are no plans to extend the testing for itsUnmanned Carrier Air Vehicle demonstrator (UCAS-D) program after this month's planned autonomous aerial refueling (AAR) tests, Naval Air Systems Command officials said on ...
X-47B Unmanned Demonstrator Could Begin Aerial Refueling Tests This WeekSEAPOWER Magazine Online
X-47B Drone Set For Refueling Test TomorrowBreaking Defense

los 3 artículos informativos »


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​Embraer Promotes Commercial Aviation Customer Support at MRO Americas

Embraer will promote its Commercial Aviation Service & Support products during MRO Americas 2015, April 14 to 16, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, in Miami Beach, Florida. The Company’s booth will be #707. Embraer global Services & Support structure provides prompt responses to a full range of needs, including field and technical support, material and spare parts, flight and maintenance operations consulting, aircraft upgrades and modifications and comprehensive crew and personnel training.

Luís Carlos Affonso, Senior Vice President & COO, Embraer Commercial Aviation, will be the Opening Keynote Speaker at the event, on April 14. John Linn, Vice President, Customer Support & Services North America – Embraer Commercial Aviation, will participate as a member of the “Parts Pooling” panel which will focus on how airlines can reduce costs by partnering with MROs through spare parts support and pooling.

Embraer is the only manufacturer to develop a modern family of four airplanes specifically targeted to the 70- to 130-seat segment. Since entered into service, in 2004, the E-Jets have redefined the traditional concept of regional aircraft by operating across a range of business applications.

Currently, E-Jets hold 62% market share, based on deliveries, in the segment of jets with capacity of up to 130 seats. The E-Jets are flying with mainline, low-cost and regional carriers, as well as charter airlines and count with a global customer support of 37 MRO service centers, worldwide, including 12 Embraer Authorized Service Centers (EASC) and 25 independent centers.


Embraer Executive Jets Takes Legacy 500 to Aero Friedrichshafen for the First Time

Embraer Executive Jets’ Legacy 500 will make its debut at the 2015 AERO Friedrichshafen on April 15-18, in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The game-changer midsize business jet will be at the static display alongside the Phenom 300, the most delivered business jet in 2014 for the second year in a row.

“We are thrilled to bring the Legacy 500 for the first time to AERO Friedrichshafen”, said Peter Griffith, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Europe & Africa, Embraer Executive Jets. “The Legacy 500 represents a new generation of business jets which redefines its class by introducing sophisticated technologies never before seen in the midsize category”.

One of the most responsive business aviation markets in Europe, Germany is home to many of Embraer’s executive jets which illustrates the Company’s strong position in this competitive region.

During this major general aviation trade show Embraer Executive Jets will promote its full aircraft portfolio and Customer Support and Services solutions.


​Embraer and Compass Airlines Extend Pool Program for New 20 E-Jets Operated For American Airlines

Embraer and Compass Airlines recently extended their ten year Flight Hour Pool Program agreement for the Compass E-Jet fleet. The Flight Hour Pool Program currently serves 42 aircraft for Compass and will include Pool component support for the carrier’s fleet of 20 new E175 jets to be operated for American Airlines under the American Eagle brand. The Flight Hour Pool Program agreement covers over 400 repairable part numbers and includes common and extended Pool components with on-site stock for Compass’s E170 and E175 fleet.

“We are extremely proud that Compass Airlines has trusted Embraer as the provider to support its additional fleet of E175s,” said John Linn, Vice President, Customer Support & Services North America – Embraer Commercial Aviation. “The Pool Program allows Compass to focus on operating the aircraft at high levels of reliability and availability, while letting Embraer manage the supply-chain for high-cost rotable components.”

“We are pleased to extend our highly successful and long-standing Flight Hour Pool Program with Embraer to include 20 new additions to our fleet,” said Brian Randow, Chief Operating Officer at Compass Airlines. “By managing our inventory levels and parts forecasting, the Pool Program has allowed us to streamline our Maintenance operation and reduce costs, and we look forward to the continuation of those benefits as we move forward with the expansion of this program.”

Embraer’s Flight Hour Pool Program, which currently supports more than 30 airlines worldwide, is designed to allow airlines to minimize their upfront investment on expensive repairable inventories and resources and to take advantage of Embraer’s technical expertise and its vast component repair service provider network. The results are significant savings on repair and inventory carrying costs, reduction in required warehousing space, and the virtual elimination of the need for resources required for repair management, while ultimately providing guaranteed performance levels.

About Compass Airlines

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Compass Airlines is a leading regional airline operating on behalf of American Airlines (as American Eagle) and Delta Air Lines (as Delta Connection). Serving over 4 million customers annually, Compass averages over 180 departures per day to over 50 destinations.

About Embraer Commercial Aviation Services & Support

Embraer is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jets that seat up to 130 passengers. Supporting a fleet of over two thousand aircraft, Embraer Commercial Aviation currently has 37 service centers worldwide, including 12 Embraer Authorized Service Centers (EASC) and 25 independent centers, certified by the respective local aviation authorities, servicing E-Jets, ERJ 145 family and Brasilia and Bandeirante turboprops.

Our global Services & Support structure provides prompt responses to a full range of needs, including field and technical support, material and spare parts, flight and maintenance operations consulting, aircraft upgrades and modifications and comprehensive crew and personnel training. It also incorporates eSolutions, a platform of web-based tools on the FlyEmbraer website. FlyEmbraer is a single point that connects Embraer customers with a digital portfolio of services at any time, on any device. It is designed to maximize aircraft productivity and avoid unnecessary operating costs and delays through both corrective and preventive maintenance.

The Pool Program for replacement parts benefits customers through optimized inventory control that reduces the initial cost of investing in spares and infrastructure. More than half of the worldwide E-Jets fleet uses the program. The Company recently introduced the Embraer Fuel Efficiency Program, a consulting service that furnishes an accurate diagnosis to assist with decision-making for single- or multi-fleet airlines that are looking to save fuel.


​Embraer and Saab Establish Partnership for Joint Programme Management for Brazil’s F-X2 Project

Embraer and Saab today have signed an agreement that establishes a partnership for joint management of the F-X2 Project for the Brazilian Air Force following the Memorandum of Understanding announced on July 11th, 2014. The partnership agreement is part of Saab’s commitment to deliver industrial co-operation in relation to the F-X2 project. Under this agreement, Embraer will have a leading role in the overall performance of the programme. Embraer will also undertake an extensive share of work in the production and delivery of both the single and two-seat versions of the Gripen NG, Brazil’s next-generation fighter jet.

Embraer will be responsible for extensive work packages in systems development, integration, flight test, final assembly and aircraft deliveries. Embraer will also participate in the coordination of all development and production activities in Brazil. Furthermore, Embraer and Saab will be jointly responsible for the complete development of the two-seat version of the Gripen NG. Beginning in the second half of 2015, a team of Embraer engineers and technicians will be based in Sweden to conduct initial training in the maintenance and development work for the Gripen NG. This skill and competence will subsequently be transferred to Brazil. Embraer and Saab will build an Engineering Centre at Embraer's industrial plant in Gavião Peixoto, in the state of São Paulo, to support operations of the Gripen NG fighters with the Brazilian Air Force.

“With this agreement, Embraer and Saab establish a long-term partnership on a strategic project for Brazil and for the Brazilian Air Force,” says Jackson Schneider, president and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security. “The Gripen NG will raise the operational standard of our Air Force and enable it, with the appropriate means, to fulfill its primary mission, which is the defense of our territory.”

“Through this partnership we will secure an excellent result for the Brazilian Air Force and we will establish solid ground for success with future business opportunities and customers. Not only do we share experience in the defense and aeronautical markets, but both organisations have a clear dedication to customer satisfaction that validates Gripen as the most capable and modern fighter system on the market”, says Lennart Sindahl, Deputy CEO at Saab.

“The Brazilian Air Force sees with great enthusiasm this additional incentive to the Brazilian industry, through the companies of the defense sector. This new strategic partnership confirms that we are building a promising future. The defense industry needs to be increasingly strengthened as it is one of the main drivers of scientific and technological development of our country”, said Aeronautics Commander, Air Force Brigadier General Nivaldo Luiz Rossato.

The implementation of the partnership for joint programme management between Saab and Embraer is subject to the F-X2 contracts between Saab and COMAER (Brazilian Air Force Command) becoming effective. The contract between Saab and COMAER for Gripen NG and the associated industrial co-operation contract will come into effect once certain conditions have been fulfilled. These conditions are expected to be fulfilled during the first half of 2015.

The Gripen NG is a true multi-role fighter aircraft, based on the proven Gripen C/D platform. It is built to adapt to all of the changing threats and operational requirements currently faced by modern air forces. Gripen’s combination of very advanced operational capabilities with moderate through-life costs make the fighter absolutely unique on the world market.


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PICTURE: Airbus rolls out first Leap-powered A320neo [feedly]


Additive manufacturing: Innovation is helping the A320neo take flight [feedly]

The company is utilizing 3D printing (also known as additive layer manufacturing) to produce components for the pylon of A320neo developmental aircraft powered by CFM International's LEAP-1A – which is one of two new-generation engine choices for the single-aisle NEO Family, along with the PurePower PW1100G-JM from Pratt & Whitney.

Applying such pioneering technical solutions is important for Airbus to ensure its market-leading jetliners continue to meet ever-changing requirements, as well as for sustaining the fast-paced production increases of its latest products. 

Printing the way forward
Additive layer manufacturing is a relatively quick process that allows for the production of parts with complex geometries by using the fine powder of a base material – such as aluminium, titanium, stainless steel, nylon and carbon fibre – to add numerous thin layers in incremental stages.

Selected by Airbus to produce the 3D-printed pylon components for CFM-powered A320neo jetliners, U.S.-based manufacturer RTI delivered the parts in three months – less than half the time that would be required for their production by traditional casting methods.  

"In developing two different pylons for the A320neo Family's new engine options over a short period of time, we needed to find innovative solutions," said Helene Lagier, Airbus' A320neo Pylon-specified and Standard Parts Customer Team Leader. "3D printing technology has great potential and will be used more and more in future aircraft."

Achieving A320neo milestones 
The use of such advanced manufacturing techniques is helping Airbus continue to advance toward key A320neo project milestones this year, including the certification and subsequent no. 1 delivery of the first NEO version – the Pratt & Whitney-powered A320neo. 

Currently, Airbus has two A320neo jetliners – both powered by Pratt & Whitney engines – flying in its test campaign with the second A320neo test aircraft taking to the skies for the first time at the end of March. It joined Airbus' initial A320neo developmental jetliner – which performed its historic maiden flight in September 2014. 

The developmental fleet has also expanded with today's rollout of Airbus' third flight test aircraft, the no. 1 A320neo powered by CFM International's LEAP-1A.

In addition to its new engine choices, A320neo Family jetliners also incorporate Airbus' fuel-saving Sharklets wingtip devices – improvements which will deliver 20 percent reductions in fuel burn for operators.

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Continental Motors recently announced FAA Type Certification of its new alternative fuel powerplant, IO-360-AF. This success encouraged Flight Design to move its test article C4 from the fabrication plant to its German headquarters in Kamenz where it will undergo final tests leading to first flight of the new design.

Flight Design's senior engineering staff is based in Kamenz, Germany lead by Technical Director Oliver Reinhardt and C4 Project Lead Engineer Artem Izokh. Along with technicians, the engineers will launch final evaluations including a ground vibration test. This method, commonly used by sailplane manufacturers who were early to embrace composite structures, allows verification of characteristics like control surface stability. Following the ground vibration tests and final preparations, Flight Design will proceed with initial flight tests.

  Continental Motors' IO-360-AF is the first in its class to be certified for alternative fuels, which will add flexibility for customers of Flight Design. In addition to widely available 100LL avgas, C4 owners will be able to use 91UL avgas that may offer a lower price.

  The Mobile, Alabama company's IO-360 series is also the lightest of all Continental's six-cylinder aircraft powerplants, which makes it a perfect solution for Flight Design's C4 that extensively uses carbon fiber to reduce structural weight while increasing useful load and payload.

   Flight Design will run the IO-360-AF engine at a maximum power output of 180 horsepower at 2550 RPM to permit quieter operation as needed to meet international noise standards. The newly certified powerplant boasts 2,200 hours Time Between Overhaul or TBO.

  "We are very pleased with the close cooperation we have received from Continental Motors on the C4 project," said Matthias Betsch, CEO of Flight Design GmbH. "The engine manufacturer has shown great care with our engineers for the C4 design, including a IO-360-AF training course at their headquarters in Mobile.

  "We are excited Flight Design selected Continental Motors to power their newest aircraft," said Rhett Ross, Vice President, AVIC International Holding Corporation; Director; Continental Motors Group, Ltd.; President, Continental Motors, Inc. and Continental Motors Services, Inc. "This further demonstrates Continental's reputation for delivering innovative products that are backed by an experienced staff and a 100-year history."



Research UAV Helping Advance Aeroservoelastic Technology

Researchers at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, Edwards, California, successfully conducted the agency's first flight of the X-56A Multi-Utility Technology Testbed (MUTT) on April 9. The 20-minute flight marked the beginning of a research effort designed to yield significant advances in aeroservoelastic technology using a low-cost, modular, remotely piloted aerial vehicle. Aeroservoelasticity involves the interaction of an airplane's automatic flight controls with the response of non-rigid structures to aerodynamic forces. The X-56A is being flown in support of NASA's Advanced Air Transport Technology (AATT) project's Higher Aspect Ratio Wing subproject, Performance Adaptive Aeroelastic Wing element.


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