Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works advanced development unit is building an unmanned vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) air vehicle under a U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program to demonstrate a cargo UAV capable of carrying interchangeable mission payloads.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) awarded Rockwell Collins a three-year contract worth up to $3.1 million to develop a new transmitter that will reduce the size, weight, power and cost of software-defined radios. The Rockwell Collins method uses “diverse accessible heterogeneous integration foundry technology” to “prevent unwanted harmonics from occurring in the first place.” This would eliminate the need for heavier and larger transmitters with filtering to prevent the unwanted signals, thus making it possible to shrink the devices.
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is soliciting proposals from industry for a vertical takeoff and landing experimental aircraft (VTOL X-plane) that would demonstrate “radical” improvements over the current state of VTOL flight. In late February, Darpa issued a broad agency announcement seeking proposals by May 1.
Raytheon and Northrop Grumman are developing new systems and concepts for close air support using an unmanned version of the twin-engine A-10 Thunderbolt II. The companies received contracts worth $7 million each in April 2011 under phase one of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) program.
A revolution in the progress of aviation could result from Rockwell Collins’ recent acquisition of Athena Technologies. Athena Technologies said it is convinced that the time has arrived for completely safe operation of unmanned parcel-carrying aircraft.
Athena bases its prediction on a successful flight test in which it ejected almost 60 percent of the right wing on an F/A-18 subscale model without an ensuing disaster.
A supersonic business jet (SSBJ), which many in the industry see as inevitable but just not in the near future, may have taken another step forward when Raytheon Aircraft partner Northrop Grumman unveiled its latest design for a supersonic military strike aircraft.
General Electric’s research arm and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (Darpa) have joined forces to develop an entirely bio-based jet fuel to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. The main challenge is to make the conversion process efficient. The project envisions a conversion efficiency, by energy content, of crop oil to JP-8 surrogate of between 60 and 85 percent.
Helicopter maker Sikorsky Aircraft has tapped Honeywell to develop synthetic-vision technology for Black Hawk pilots landing in brownout conditions. The $6.9 million contract is part of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) so-called Sandblaster program.