DARPA Awards Phase 2 Gremlins Program Contracts

2017-03-20

DARPA Awards Phase 2 Gremlins Program Contracts
DARPA recently completed Phase 1 of its Gremlins program, which envisions volleys of low-cost, reusable unmanned aerial systems (UASs)—or “gremlins”that could be launched and later retrieved in mid-air. Taking the program to its next stage, the Agency has now awarded Phase 2 contracts to two teams, one led by Dynetics, Inc. (Huntsville, Ala.) and the other by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (San Diego, Calif.).

The Phase 1 program showed the feasibility of airborne UAS launch and recovery systems that would require minimal modification to the host aircraft, said Scott Wierzbanowski, DARPA program manager. We’re aiming in Phase 2 to mature two system concepts to enable ‘aircraft carriers in the sky using air-recoverable UASs that could carry various payloadsadvances that would greatly extend the range, flexibility, and affordability of UAS operations for the U.S. military.

Gremlins Phase 2 research seeks to complete preliminary designs for full-scale technology demonstration systems, as well as develop and perform risk-reduction tests of individual system components. Phase 3 goals include developing one full-scale technology demonstration system and conducting flight demonstrations involving airborne launch and recovery of multiple gremlins. Flight tests are currently scheduled for the 2019 timeframe.

Named for the imaginary, mischievous imps that became the good luck charms of many British pilots during World War II, the program envisions launching groups of UASs from multiple types of military aircraftincluding bombers, transport, fighters, and small, unmanned fixed-wing platformswhile out of range of adversary defenses. When the gremlins complete their mission, a C-130 transport aircraft would retrieve them in the air and carry them home, where ground crews would prepare them for their next use within 24 hours.

The gremlins expected lifetime of about 20 uses could provide significant cost advantages over expendable unmanned systems by reducing payload and airframe costs and by having lower mission and maintenance costs than conventional manned platforms.


Region:  USA and Canada
Contry:  USA
Category:  UAV


Ship Agency to use Drones for Ship Deliveries

2017-05-26
Ship Agency to use Drones for Ship Deliveries
Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) is launching a pilot program to study the use of unmanned aircraft systems for delivering supplies to ocean vessels.

US Air Force Research Lab to Extend Aircraft ISR Range

2017-05-23
US Air Force Research Lab to Extend Aircraft ISR Range
The US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) is developing a tube-launched unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that can be deployed from an AC-130 gunship, or similar aircraft, and provide video that will rival that provided by its own sensors.

Firefighting Drone Debuts in Summer in USA

2017-05-15
Firefighting Drone Debuts in Summer in USA
Spain-based start-up DRONE HOPPER has designed a heavy-duty firefighting drone that the company says offers “safety, flexibility and efficiency over traditional fire suppression technology.”

AeroVironment Unveils Snipe  New, Stealthy Nano Quadrotor UAS

2017-05-11
AeroVironment Unveils Snipe New, Stealthy Nano Quadrotor UAS
AeroVironment, Inc. has officially unveiled the new Snipe Nano Quad, a miniature (“Class 0”) and field-rugged unmanned aircraft system designed to support close-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The first U.S. government customer delivery of 20 Snipe systems took place in April.

NASA Selects Black Swift for Volcano Ash Monitoring

2017-05-11
NASA Selects Black Swift for Volcano Ash Monitoring
NASA has awarded Black Swift Technologies, a specialized engineering firm, a contract to develop and deliver a purpose-built scientific platform to explore volcanoes in order to improve air traffic management systems and the accuracy of ashfall measurements.

FAA Evaluates Drone Detection Systems at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport

2017-05-02
FAA Evaluates Drone Detection Systems at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport
Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its partners are conducting detection research on unmanned aircraft (UAS) – popularly called drones at Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport.The DFW evaluation is the latest in a series of detection system evaluations that began in February 2016. Previous evaluations took place at Atlantic City International Airport; John F. Kennedy International Airport; Eglin Air Force Base; Helsinki, Finland Airport; and Denver International Airport.

US Army to Hold Flight Demo to Develop Next-Gen UAS

2017-05-02
US Army to Hold Flight Demo to Develop Next-Gen UAS
Nearly mirroring its approach to examine the art of the possible for a Future Vertical Lift aircraft, the U.S. Army plans to conduct a science and technology-level demonstration of a next-generation tactical unmanned aircraft system that would replace the Shadow and the Gray Eagle.

Virginia Tech Aviation Partnership Test BVLOS Flights

2017-04-27
Virginia Tech Aviation Partnership Test BVLOS Flights
Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, Ligado Networks, AeroVironment, Inc., and Dominion Virginia Power evaluated communications strategies and other parameters to help build a safety case for unmanned aircraft flights beyond the visual line of sight of a pilot or observer.

US Army Releases Counter-Drone Manual

2017-04-24
US Army Releases Counter-Drone Manual
Having developed and utilized unmanned aerial systems (UAS, or drones) for surveillance, targeting and attack, the US military now finds itself in the position of having to defend against the same technology.

US Army Purchases Dronebuster C-UAS System

2017-04-20
US Army Purchases Dronebuster C-UAS System
Radio Hill has just finalized a contract initiated by the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force (REF) to purchase a large lot of block 3 Dronebusters. This hand-held drone detection and jamming systems for use in the battle against ISIL.


Back to the list