The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has evaluated small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) from three manufacturers since launching its Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (Raps) program in December.
Micro air vehicle
Compelled by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the FAA released information in April identifying the public and private entities authorized to operate UAVs in U.S. domestic airspace.
Honeywell Aerospace said its unmanned T-Hawk Micro Air Vehicle has flown several missions in support of disaster-remediation efforts at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility in Japan.
The U.S. military is preparing to deploy a small number of unmanned “micro air vehicles” in Iraq in an effort to stem the damage caused by roadside bombs.
Built by Honeywell using ducted-fan technology, each MAV is small enough to fit in a backpack and can be used by soldiers with minimal training. It normally flies between 10 and 500 feet and relays video back to a handheld terminal.
Bental Industries, an Israel-based manufacturer of motion systems, is launching its hybrid engine for unmanned aerial vehicles here in Europe, having already introduced it to the U.S. market. Designed for mini to mid-size UAVs, the system combines the benefits of an electric motor and a fuel engine.
Honeywell announced that its 13-inch-diameter, 12.5-pound surveillance aircraft has successfully completed its first untethered free flight at a test facility near Laguna, New Mexico. The ducted-fan micro air vehicle, developed as part of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency advanced concept technology demonstration program, is designed to provide soldiers with improved situation awareness without exposing them to enemy fire.
Responding to the fast-growing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market and exhibiting at Dubai for the first time, Canada’s MicroPilot has developed what it claims to be the world’s smallest fully functional autopilot. Weighing just one ounce, the MP2028g has capabilities that include airspeed hold, altitude hold, turn coordination, GPS navigation, as well as autonomous operation from launch to recovery.
Among the defense products on display at Honeywell’s Farnborough International exhibit one that is likely to catch the eye is the new micro air vehicle (MAV) that the company has developed for the U.S. Army’s future combat systems program. The MAV has undergone extensive field testing, including some service with active military units (presumably in Iraq and/or Afghanistan).