Signals intelligence

August 20, 2014 - 5:21pm
RQ-4 Global Hawk and U-2 reconnaissance aircraft

The U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $240 million contract modification to build three more RQ-4B Global Hawk Block 30 unmanned aircraft, each with integrated sensor suite and signals intelligence (Sigint) payloads, plus two Sigint payloads as retrofit kits. The new aircraft will join 18 Block 30 Global Hawks the service earlier planned to retire.

August 18, 2014 - 10:55am

The FAA on August 14 released its final solicitation for a new Center of Excellence (COE) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) tasked with identifying current and future issues critical to the safe integration of UAS into the nation’s airspace. These issues include detect-and-avoid technology, control and communications, low-altitude operations safety, compatibility with ATC operations and training and certification of UAS pilots and other crewmembers. The agency will support this new COE with at least $500,000 per year over the next 10 years.

August 14, 2014 - 9:40am

Aurora Flight Sciences told AIN that it is close to securing up to three customers in Europe, plus one in the U.S., for its Centaur optionally piloted aircraft (OPA), which is based on the Diamond DA42 twin-engine tourer. The American company has been marketing the Centaur in the U.S. as a versatile, low-cost airborne sensing platform for two years but only recently expanded the effort to Europe.

August 13, 2014 - 4:37pm
Aeryon SkyRanger

The FAA announced that the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site Virginia Polytechnic Institute will manage is cleared to start flying aircraft.

August 11, 2014 - 10:15am

The FAA on August 8 banned all U.S. airlines and commercial operators, as well as anyone flying with an FAA-issued pilot certificate, from operating within Iraqi airspace at any altitude in response to ground fighting between Iraqi security forces and militants. The ban remains in force until further notice.

August 7, 2014 - 6:32pm
PrecisionHawk Lancaster Mk III

Airlines should not expect to see unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flying regularly in U.S. airspace “anytime soon,” a senior official with the Federal Aviation Administration told pilots August 7. The assurance came amid continuing reports of unauthorized UAS flights near airliners.

July 28, 2014 - 3:00pm

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general’s office (IG) has significant concerns about the FAA’s plan to integrate unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System. The FAA will miss the August 2014 deadline for issuing a UAS rule, “due to unresolved technological, regulatory and privacy issues,” according to the IG.

July 24, 2014 - 1:31pm
MQ-1C Gray Eagle with Nero pod

Testing the U.S. Army conducted in June proved that equipping an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for an airborne electronic attack role is “technically and tactically feasible.” The service will continue experimenting with the system, although it has no immediate plans to field it on a UAS.

July 21, 2014 - 9:51am

A federal appeals court has dismissed the case a Texas non-profit search and rescue organization brought against the FAA after the agency ordered it to stop using a model aircraft fitted with a camera to assist in searches. Both parties claimed an advantage from the decision.

July 17, 2014 - 6:50am

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) conducted the first flight of its Predator XP remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) on June 27 at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground range complex in Arizona. The Predator XP is an unarmed export version of the iconic RPA.

 
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