Tag Archives: UAS

NIST Seeks First Responder UAS Tech via Prize Competition; Dereck Orr Quoted

Dereck Orr

The National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) has introduced a three-stage prize competition that seeks to explore unmanned aircraft system technologies for potential use by first responders when they conduct search and rescue operations. "These prize competitions are a way for us to find solvers from around the world to help us with this important research," said Dereck Orr, chief of NIST's public safety communications research division.

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Alion Lands $72M U.S. Air Force Contract For UAS Program Support; Terri Walker-Spoonhour Quoted

Terri Walker-Spoonhour

Alion Science and Technology announced on Wednesday that the company has secured a five-year $72 million task order awarded by the U.S. Air Force's 774th Enterprise Sourcing Squadron from the Department of Defense Information Analysis Center (DOD IAC) multiple-award contract (MAC) vehicle. The task order requires Alion to perform research, analysis, trade studies, and testing to provide recommendations and plans for the development, integration, management, and technical support for UAS programs.

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DARPA Demos Drone Interceptor System Under Mobile Force Protection Program; Gregory Avicola Quoted

DARPA Mobile

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) demonstrated a multilayer architecture designed to detect and counter small unmanned aerial systems in recent tests at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida as part of DARPA’s Mobile Force Protection program. The drone interceptor system zeroed in on UAS threats using an X-band radar during the demonstration.

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Federal Agencies Launch Efforts to Address National Security, Public Safety Risks of Drones

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Federal agencies are initiating measures to address the potential risk posed by unmanned aircraft systems to national security and public safety amid an increasing number of drones flying near airports and other critical infrastructure. “Remote identification will help law enforcement determine if a drone poses an actual threat that needs to be mitigated,” a spokeswoman for FAA said in a statement.

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Army Research Laboratory Demos Drone’s Autonomous Landing on Unmanned Ground Vehicle; Stephen Nogar Quoted


Researchers with the U.S. Army developed and demonstrated a method through which unmanned aircraft systems may autonomously land on unmanned ground vehicles. The team from Army Research Laboratory (ARL) aimed to demonstrate this landing approach without reliance on GPS systems. Nogar said GPS is easily disrupted, and therefore must not be relied on by unmanned aircraft.

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FAA Postpones Implementation of New Rules for Drone Tracking, Operations

Drone Operations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has delayed the implementation of two new rules that will require operators of small unmanned aerial systems to register their UAS for remote identification tracking, and allow them to conduct drone operations over people and vehicles at certain times of the day. Both Remote ID and Operations Over People and at Night rules were finalized in Dec. 2020. 

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Navy Releases Environmental Assessment of MQ-25A Refueling Drone Operations in California

MQ-25A Stingray

The U.S. Navy has issued an environmental assessment stating that home-basing 20 Boeing-built MQ-25A Stingray refueling drones at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) in Point Mugu, California, will have no significant impact on the environment. Activities that will take place at the naval base include over 960 annual Stingray flight operations and related stationing support for approximately 730 personnel and their families. 

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FAA Partners With Oklahoma’s Choctaw Nation to Study UAS Integration Into National Airspace; Michelle Coppedge Quoted

FAA Safety Field Office

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma will jointly research unmanned aircraft system-assisted cargo transportation to advance the national airspace system. “Our goal is to advance the development and integration of UAS into what is already a complex national airspace system,” said Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center Director Michelle Coppedge.

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FAA to Test UAS Security Systems at Five U.S. Airports

FAA Safety Field Office

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has named five host airports that will test new security systems designed to boost security against drone threats. FAA said Tuesday its Airport Unmanned Aircraft Systems Detection and Mitigation Research Program will use the gathered input to implement new standards and technologies for airport protection against unauthorized UAS.

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Defense Innovation Unit Transitioned 11 Commercial Prototypes in 2020

Defense Innovation Unit

The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) said in its annual report that it launched 23 new projects in 2020, which reflects a year-over-year increase of 35 percent, and transitioned 11 prototypes to Department of Defense partners for large-scale procurement. DIU received 944 commercial proposals and awarded 56 prototype other transaction agreements to companies in 2020, bringing the total number of prototype OTAs issued to 208.

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