UAS Developments

There has been some interesting news on unmanned air systems (UAS).

A “sense and avoid” radar system has been developed for the the Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) land based system. Replacing “See and Avoid” with no eyes on board has been a problem in integrating UAS with the domestic air traffic control system. This system does not give all around detection, but then eyes don’t see under the plane or what is coming up behind either.

Lighter than air, or in this case slightly heavier than air always seems almost ready. The Army and Northrop Grumman’s optionally manned long endurance, multi-intelligence vehicle (LEMV). has had its first flight.

“HAV business development director Hardy Giesler told AIN today that, configured as a freighter, the airship could carry a payload of 20 tonnes, but for the ISR mission it is designed to carry a 2,500-pound payload at 20,000 feet for 21 days. The Army says the airship will perform the ISR mission with fuel consumption 10 times less than that of mission-comparable platforms, and that it will provide a 2,000-mile radius of¬†action.”
There is also a report that the few land based drones the Department of Homeland security has employed over water have not been as successful as might have been hoped. It does look like this report originated with Customs and Border Protection’s aviation unit. They might have their own agenda.

UAVs Starting to Score

From U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs, “EASTERN PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) — During a routine test flight, a MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Take-off and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) supported its first drug interdiction with USS McInerney (FFG 8) and a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (USCG LEDET) Apr. 3.” Read the rest of the story here.

Looks like UAVs are starting to show what they can do. UAVs flying from the Seychelles, in this case Air Force MQ-9s Reapers, are also having some success looking for pirates.

Hope we start seeing some Coast Guard use of these assets soon.