Weekly Roundup 2/11/19

Russia is expected to take delivery of 12 Uran-6 robots this year. Credit: Russian MoD via Wikimedia

February 4, 2019 – February 10, 2019

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At the CSD

This year’s Munich Security Report includes a detailed infographic based on research by the Center for the Study of the Drone on the proliferation of drones of all sizes among militaries across the globe. Read the full report here.

Top Stories

Israel’s Ministry of Defense has reinstated export licenses for top officials at Aeronautics, enabling the military drone manufacturer to fulfill a pending order for an unnamed foreign customer. The approval had been temporarily rescinded earlier this month amidst an investigation into Aeronautics’ alleged involvement in a drone strike in Azerbaijan. (Globes)

Know Your Drone

A team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced that it has developed an unmanned semi-submersible vehicle capable of launching rocketsondes. (Press Release)

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has issued a presolicitation for autonomous submarines that can travel extended distances and manipulate objects underwater without human control. (FBO)

The U.S. Air Force has issued a request for information for scalable folding vertical take-off and landing drones. (FBO)

The U.S. Army has been awarded a patent for a counter-drone grenade that projects a weighted net toward the intruding aircraft. (Gizmodo)

The British Royal Army has declared full operational capability for the Thales Watchkeeper, a medium-altitude long-endurance surveillance and reconnaissance drone. (Jane’s)

U.S. firms UAVOS and Stratodynamics Aviation have concluded a series of high-altitude flight tests for the HiDRON, a stratospheric balloon-launched glider drone. (Unmanned Systems Technology)

Amazon has been granted a patent for a landing zone verification system for its proposed drone delivery program. (Drone DJ)

Drones at Work

The Super Bowl LIII halftime show featured a lightshow of Intel Shooting Star drones flying over pop group Maroon 5. (Drone Life)

Meanwhile, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV’s New Year’s Gala featured a lightshow of 88 Verity Studios drones flying over pop singers Sun Nan and Jason Zhang. (Press Release)

Meanwhile, a drone light show in the United Arab Emirates broke the record for the most consecutive formations formed by unmanned aircraft in a lightshow. (UPI)

The U.K. Royal Navy has acquired an L3 ASV C-Enduro autonomous boat for scientific and hydrographic missions. (The Maritime Executive)

Germany’s air traffic controller DFS and defense firm Rheinmetall demonstrated a multi-layered counter-drone system that integrates existing air traffic management infrastructure. (Reuters)

German firm Emqopter has launched a drone delivery service to move parts between industrial facilities for an undisclosed automotive company. (Inside Unmanned Systems)

Security drone firm Skyfire demonstrated a tethered surveillance drone at the Super Bowl LIII. (Drone Life)

The U.S. Army has activated a new special operations regiment to operate the MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range. (The Drive)

Cranfield University and Blue Bear Systems Research conducted the first flight tests for the U.K’s National Beyond visual line of sight Experimentation Corridor, an installation for testing drone use in regular shared airspace. (Press Release)

Industry Intel

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency awarded General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems a $30.9 million contract modification for demonstrating the MQ-9 Reaper in Ballistic Missile Defense System Tests. (DoD)

The U.S. Air Force awarded Systems & Technology Research a $4 million contract for work on autonomy and artificial intelligence.

France and Germany awarded Dassault Aviation and Airbus a $74 million contract for a two-year concept development phase for the Future Combat Air System, a project that is expected to involve an unmanned component. (Defense News)

Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced that it will take delivery of 12 Uran-6 unmanned ground vehicles this year. (Jane’s)

In a statements at the International Military Helicopter Conference, a U.S. Army official said that the Army intends to award up to six contracts by mid-June for the next stage of the program to replace the RQ-7 Shadow. (FlightGlobal)

Under a new memorandum of understanding, Logos Technologies will provide Insitu with the RedKite-I compact wide-area motion imagery sensor for the Insitu Integrator drones. (Unmanned Systems Technology)

Renewable energy consultancy Natural Power acquired Ascent Technologies, a Texas-based company that develops software for drone inspections. (Press release)

Commentary, Analysis, and Art

At UPI, John E. Jackson argues that education and technology could go a long way to prevent drones from interfering with commercial air traffic.

In a new report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office finds that while the Air Force has taken steps to improve the management of its cadre of drone pilots, more oversight in some areas is required.

At The Nation, Amanda Sperber reports that there has been a spike in U.S. airstrikes in Somalia, many of which were likely carried out by drones.

At The Drive, Joseph Trevithick digs into a U.S. Army plan to equip small tactical units with mini-drones.

Also at The Drive, Joseph Trevithick examines Russia’s plan for an air-launched unmanned spacecraft.

At Wired, Rhett Allain offers a guide to determining the angular field of view of any drone.In a report for the Center for a New American Security, Gregory C. Allentown describes China’s views on the opportunities and challenges posed by artificial intelligence.

At the South China Morning Post, Celia Chen explains how DJI became the world’s leading consumer drone manufacturer.

At CNET, Stephen Shankland profiles a San Francisco-based company developing drones for home security.

At Defense News, Kelsey D. Atherton takes another look at why the U.S. military has stepped up domestic drone missions.

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