NASA – Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Ecosystem Working Groups Kickoff Workshop

When: March 10-12, 2020


Where: The Hotel at The University of Maryland – 7777 Baltimore Ave., College Park, MD 20740


Room Block Details: A block of 40 sleeping rooms is being held at the hotel at a discounted rate of $199.00 per night. Reservations for the room block can be made by either of the following methods:

– Calling the hotel directly (301) 277-7777 and asking for the NASA Advanced Air Mobility Room Block

– Online using the following link: NASA Advanced Air Mobility Workshop Room Block


NOTICE TO NASA ATTENDEES: You must be an approved attendee in NCTS (41570-20) to attend the UAM Ecosystem Working Groups Kickoff Workshop. Please verify you are approved prior to signing up for the kickoff workshop or booking the hotel.


Register for the UAM Ecosystem Working Groups Kickoff Workshop:

Wing Supports ASTM Standard for Drone Remote ID

Wing is committed to the safe, open, and secure use of airspace. To that end, Wing supports the remote identification of drones (“Remote ID”), which will help to protect the public, promote responsible flying, and keep our skies open to all users.

Following the December release of the FAA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for Remote ID in the United States, Wing welcomes the publication this week of a new ASTM International standard for Remote ID. The ASTM standard reflects two years of collaboration between regulators and industry. It demonstrates that Remote ID can be implemented in a way that supports a diverse drone ecosystem, protects privacy, and enables hobbyists to participate in the airspace.

While Wing agrees with the objectives of the FAA’s NPRM, the proposed rule poses some challenges as drafted. The ASTM standard can help to address some of these challenges, and Wing looks forward to providing detailed public comments to the FAA as part of the rulemaking process.

Challenges

Wing believes that simple changes can resolve the challenges presented by the proposed rule in a safe and secure way, and enable Remote ID to be implemented quickly with existing technology:

  • Drones are diverse. Drones range from sophisticated commercial systems to off-the-shelf aircraft and home-built models. The rule should outline viable pathways to compliance for all commercial and recreational operators. It should permit operators to select any form of Remote ID that delivers the necessary performance.
  • Privacy is important. Unlike passenger aircraft flying between airports, drones operate between people, shops, hospitals, and homes. The draft rule requires operators to share substantial data with few controls. That data may reveal sensitive information about customers and operators. Remote ID data should be capable of effective anonymization, and limited to essential information. The storage of this information should be restricted in accordance with a legal process.
  • Our skies are open to all. Hobbyists are vital to innovation in the United States. However, the proposed rule would make it difficult for hobbyists to build and operate their aircraft. The final rule should recognize alternative ways for hobbyists to identify their drones, including via smartphone, and should avoid limiting their participation in the airspace.

Path forward

Remote ID can be implemented in a way that supports safety and security, respects privacy, and offers viable pathways to compliance. Working with ASTM International, the drone industry has developed a technical standard for Remote ID. The final rule should adopt the approach outlined in the new standard.

The ASTM standard follows nearly two years of collaboration between regulators, drone manufacturers, and drone operators worldwide. Together with industry partners, police, and regulators, Wing has demonstrated the standard in real-world operations across the United States and Europe. The standard:

  • Supports a diverse range of drones. The ASTM standard outlines two methods of compliance: 1) broadcast information locally with onboard equipment; 2) share information widely via a network of UAS Service Suppliers (“USS”). Wing believes that the final rule should allow operators to choose the best Remote ID system for their operation so long as it meets required performance.
  • Balances transparency and privacy. The ASTM standard enables observers on the ground to identify and verify nearby aircraft. However, it incorporates a number of technical mitigations to protect the privacy of drone customers and operators. Wing believes the final rule should incorporate the privacy protections of network Remote ID as described in the standard, and outline clear privacy protection requirements.
  • Keeps our skies open to all. The ASTM standard supports all kinds of operators. Compliance is simple and affordable, and operators can identify themselves without additional equipment or infrastructure. Wing believes that the final rule should allow hobbyists with low-risk, basic-capability aircraft to register their flight intent via the USS network on publicly available smartphone apps. This is consistent with the ASTM standard for non-equipped participants, and similar to authorizations for airspace access under LAANC. Further, Wing believes that community based organizations should be permitted to establish and renew exempt flying sites beyond twelve months.

The ASTM standard demonstrates that Remote ID can be implemented swiftly in a safe, fair, and effective way that maximizes compliance. Wing encourages the FAA to adopt the same inclusive approach in the rule for Remote ID, and looks forward to providing detailed comments to the FAA in the near future.

AAUS Industry Champions Awards 2020 Finalists Announced

Recognition of Australian Unmanned Systems Industry Champions 2020

AAUS is once again proud to be hosting an Industry Awards night to recognise individuals and organisations that have made a significant contribution to the Australian unmanned systems industry.

Over 100 nominations were received for the 5 award categories highlighting the strength of our rapidly developing industry. The finalists make an impressive list of individuals and organisations. Our judging panel had the difficult job of selecting finalists for each category.

Finalists are listed below.

Winners will be announced during the AAUS Gala Dinner that will be held in Canberra on the evening of Thursday March 26, 2020. The Gala Dinner is being held in conjunction with the AAUS RPAS in Australian Skies 2020 conference. Tickets for the Gala Dinner can be purchased via the conference website.

AAUS INDUSTRY CHAMPION AWARDS FINALISTS

The Leadership Award recognises individuals or organisations that lead the way with advocacy work that strives to improve the commercial and / or technological viability of the unmanned system industry.

Finalists:

  • Dr Renee Bartolo (Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment)
  • Andrew Crowe (Mirragin Unmanned Systems)
  • Dr Terry Martin (Nova Systems)
  • Dr Andrew Tridgell (Aerial Robotics Australia, ArduPilot)
  • UAV Challenge (QUT, CSIRO)
  • Rob Whittle (Queensland Police Service)

The Innovation Award recognises organisations that have designed a new product, a new service, a new production or manufacturing process contributing to the advancement of the unmanned systems industry.

Finalists:

  • AUAV (inSite 3D drone data platform)
  • AVT Australia (Micro Gimbal for small UAS)
  • Skyborne Technologies (man packable aerial fire support UAS)
  • Textron Systems Australia (Avionics 2 -distributed avionics for Aerosonde UAS)
  • University of Technology Sydney (artificial Intelligence technologies and ultra-low latency live streaming from drones)

The Education & Safety Award recognises individuals or organisations who demonstrate leadership in educating the unmanned systems industry with particular emphasis of developing a safety-focussed culture.

Finalists:

  • Aviassist (Train the Trainer program for the excluded category)
  • Hover UAV (Tailored complex drone operation training)
  • UAVAIR (Cert III in Aviation (Remote Pilot VLOS) high school program)
  • UAV Training Australia (Specialised and contextualised RePL courses for Government agencies)

The Humanitarian Achievement Award recognises individuals or organisations that demonstrate the role unmanned technologies can play in bettering our world.

Finalists

  • Bushfire and Aviation Unit, Fire and Rescue NSW
  • Global Drone Solutions
  • Mobility Robotics
  • SUAS Troop, 20 Regiment, Royal Australian Army
  • Swoop Aero
  • Team Rubicon Australia

The NextGen Achievement Award recognises young individuals (under 35 yo) that demonstrate elite capability and leadership in their field within the unmanned systems sector.

Finalists

  • Richard Adams (Team Rubicon Australia)
  • Andrew Davies (Taz Drone Solutions)
  • Andrew McKinnon (Australian Defence Force)
  • Eric Peck (Swoop Aero)
  • Amy Steiger (Cardno)
  • Josh Tepper (Swoop Aero)

Award Winners will be announced that the AAUS Gala DInner (held in conjunction with the RPAS in Australian Skies conference 2020) in Canberra on Thursday March 26, 2020.

Redfin Launches ‘Redfin Premier’ Service for Luxury Properties

A Redfin Premier home

Redfin (www.redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage, has launched a new offering for homes listed at $1 million and above. Redfin Premier builds on Redfin’s service for home sellers, providing specialized marketing to highlight distinguished homes and attract luxury buyers. Every Redfin Premier home will receive drone* and twilight photography, premium brochures and printed materials, and high-end yard signs. Redfin will market Premier homes with additional social media advertising campaigns, postcard mailings to attract local buyers, and international advertising to reach overseas buyers. All of these Premier services are included for Redfin’s listing fee of only 1% provided the client buys their next home with Redfin within one year. The Premier services come in addition to a 3D walkthrough of the home, email and social media marketing, open houses, prominent placement on Redfin.com, and everything that is included for all sellers who list their home with a full-service Redfin agent.

A client selling a million-dollar home would save $15,000 to $20,000 with Redfin Premier compared to a traditional 2.5% to 3% listing commission. The service is launching today in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Hawaii, Maryland, Orange County, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego and Virginia, and will be rolled out to Redfin’s other large markets over time.

Redfin Premier builds on Redfin’s sales growth in the high-end market and its track record of successfully selling luxury homes. Redfin agents sold over $1 billion in luxury real estate in 2019.

“Redfin Premier is the culmination of a long-term effort to reach luxury customers,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. “Already, Redfin is a top-15 brokerage for U.S. luxury listings, and one of the only market-leaders gaining luxury share over the past five years. In that time, we’ve increased agent bonuses for high-end sales, introduced concierge service for staging and sprucing up listings, and increased the number of Redfin agents with luxury experience. Our highest-value transaction closed just last year, for a home worth more than $70 million. Luxury customers love our one-on-one personal service, our sophisticated digital campaigns to target local and international luxury buyers, and the accountability to track how those investments lead to online viewings, tours, and ultimately offers. Now with Redfin Premier, we’re investing even more in marketing each of our listings, all while saving a customer enough money in listing fees to buy a new car.”

In Orange County and San Diego, where Redfin offers its concierge program, Redfin Premier customers will get Redfin’s white-glove concierge service as part of the Premier offering. A Redfin concierge will develop a custom plan to maximize the home’s sale price and get it ready to list with services such as painting, staging and landscaping. They’ll schedule the vendors, oversee the work, and make sure the home is ready for a perfect debut. Redfin pays for all the upfront costs, which are taken from the proceeds when the home sells. Redfin ordinarily charges an additional 0.5% for the concierge service in Orange County and San Diego, but this fee will be waived for Redfin Premier clients.

Mia Simon, Redfin director of sell-side strategy, said, “Like Redfin Concierge, the idea for Redfin Premier came from our agents, who helped us design a service that gives clients with distinguished homes extra marketing and attention to sell for the highest price. Sellers at every price point deserve impeccable service, data-driven marketing, easy-to-use technology and great value for their money. With a listing fee as low as 1%, we’re proud to offer an unparalleled service for Redfin Premier clients at an incredible value.”

Visit https://www.redfin.com/why-sell to learn more about selling your home with a Redfin agent.

*Drone photography is not available in areas designated as no-fly zones.

The Redfin listing fee is subject to terms and conditions.

DB Schenker invests as Volocopter extends Series C Round to € 87 million

Volocopter and DB Schenker today announced an investment by the global logistics service provider into the pioneer of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) as Volocopter extends its Series C funding to now total € 87 million. Besides DB Schenker, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, TransLink Capital join the round as new investors, existing investor Lukasz Gadowski and btov also invested. The funding will go towards the certification of the VoloCity, hiring more industry experts, and a second generation VoloDrone to ensure commercialization of the heavy-lift cargo drone product. To date Volocopter has raised total funding of € 122 million.

Volocopter is developing autonomous electrical Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, e.g. the VoloCity, to offer air taxi services in the megacities of this world as an addition to existing transport options. Just recently the company performed a public flight over Marina Bay Reservoir in Singapore demonstrating the maturity of its technology. A full scale VoloPort prototype on display allowed visitors to experience what UAM could feel like in the future. This bears testimony to Volocopter’s holistic approach to UAM as an ecosystem. Last October, Volocopter presented the demonstrator of its VoloDrone, marking the company’s expansion into the logistics, agriculture, public services and construction industries.

“We are convinced that the Volocopter technology has the potential to bring transport logistics to the next dimension for our customers”, says Jochen Thewes, CEO of DB Schenker. “DB Schenker has already tested autonomous and electrical vehicles in several innovation projects and in actual operations. By integrating the VoloDrone into our supply chain of the future we will be able to serve our clients’ demand for fast, remote, emission-neutral deliveries. We are thrilled to now be part of this drive for innovation in a fantastic team.”

“The new shareholder structure strengthens our global network of strategic and financial partners significantly. Bringing urban air mobility to life for passengers and goods is a great ambition and with our new partners we bring the expertise and necessary long-term funds on board to make this innovative form of mobility a reality,” says Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter.

With the round’s closing, the company has also newly appointed Yifan “Frank” Li, Vice President of Geely Holding Group Co, Ltd., and Jochen Thewes, CEO of DB Schenker, to its Advisory Board. In a move towards further enhancing its corporate governance, Volocopter is bringing on two Independent Advisory Board Members with extensive industry expertise: Former CEO of Daimler AG Dr. Dieter Zetsche, as well as the founder of CAS Software AG, Martin Hubschneider. Volocopter’s Chairman Stefan Klocke comments: “We very much welcome the new members to our Advisory Board, in particular Dieter Zetsche and Martin Hubschneider. The board will support the management in the further strategic development of the company towards the global market leader in urban air mobility and in the preparations for a potential future IPO!”

Volocopter has recently championed several public flights at Helsinki airport, in Stuttgart, and over Singapore’s Marina Bay. As the first eVTOL company to receive Design Organisation Approval by the European Aviation Safety Authority, the German air taxi service provider is already actively pursuing commercial certification and expects the first commercial routes to be opened within the next two to four years.

About Volocopter GmbH

Volocopter is building the world’s first sustainable and scalable urban air mobility business to bring affordable air taxi services to megacities worldwide. With the VoloCity, the company is developing the first fully electric “eVTOL” aircraft in certification to safely and quietly transport passengers within cities. Volocopter leads and cooperates with partners in infrastructure, operations, and air traffic management to build the ecosystem necessary to ‘Bring Urban Air Mobility to Life’.

In 2011, Volocopter performed the first-ever manned flight of a purely electric multicopter and has since showcased numerous public flights with its full-scale aircraft. The most notable have been the public test flights at Singapore’s Marina Bay in October 2019 and the world’s first autonomous eVTOL flight in Dubai 2017. Volocopter is also developing products for the logistics and precision agriculture space with their VoloDrone.

Founded in 2011 by Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel, Volocopter has 150 employees in offices in Bruchsal, Munich, and Singapore. The company is managed by CEO Florian Reuter, CTO Jan-Hendrik Boelens, CFO Rene Griemens, and CCO Christian Bauer, and has raised a total of 122 million euro in equity. Volocopter‘s investors include Daimler, Geely, DB Schenker, Intel Capital, Team Europe, btov, Micron, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, TransLink Capital (Japan Airlines and Sompo Insurance), MS&AD Ventures, and Manta Ray Ventures.

Find out more at: www.volocopter.com


About DB Schenker

With more than 75,800 employees at more than 2,000 locations in over 130 countries, DB Schenker is one of the world’s leading logistics providers. The company operates land, air, and ocean transportation services, and it also offers comprehensive solutions for logistics and global supply chain management from a single source. The investment in Volocopter is subject to various closing matters.

www.dbschenker.com

Grey Arrows Drone Club integrate Altitude Angel’s airspace data

London, UK:Altitude Angel, the world’s leading UTM (Unmanned Traffic Management) technology provider is now feeding airspace and ground hazard data into the flight planning tool of Grey Arrows Drone Club, one of the UK’s leading hobbyist drone pilot organisations.

Established in 2017 and with one of the largest memberships in the UK, the Grey Arrows Drone Club is a forum where drone users can share and exchange information and discuss various topics around drones and recreational flying.

Airspace and ground hazard data will now be supplied by Altitude Angel and will appear on the club’s dronescene.co.uk flight planning tool.

In addition, members will be encouraged to file flight reports prior to their recreational flights via the tool. These reports will then be incorporated into Altitude Angel’s GuardianUTM system, which will then propagate the data to Altitude Angel’s other applications and partner platforms, such as NATS’s Drone Assist app, Guardian App and DroneSafetyMap.com

Rich Kavanagh, Grey Arrows Drone Club, Chairman and founder member said: “DroneScene is the leading ‘where to fly’ platform for hobbyist drone operators in the UK offering details of safe, legal and stunning locations to fly your drone. DroneScene chose to partner with Altitude Angel because they are the most trusted supplier of world-class airspace management and real-time data feeds on the market.

“Airspace regulations are changing all the time, coupled with temporary FRZs and short notice NOTAMs, the up-to-the-minute information Altitude Angel provides is invaluable for the drone community who are looking to make safe and legal flights, often at very short notice. It made perfect sense for us to partner with the leaders in UTM.”

Jack Drinkwater, Altitude Angel, Sales & Account Manager (Innovation), added: “Our partnership with the Grey Arrows Drone Club showcases how the sharing of data across a myriad of platforms used by numerous airspace users will not only encourage flight reporting, but increase safety for all.

“By being able to proliferate the data collected through dronescene.co.uk across other platforms, we’re one step closer to having a single-source point-of-truth, helping make BVLOS flights a daily occurrence and unlocking the potential of the UK drone economy.”

Altitude Angel’s airspace and ground hazard data is already integrated into leading drone-centric risk management applications, including CQ Net & Dronecloud. The data supplied gives operators a unified view of the airspace to ensure they can fly safely – whatever application they are using.

Zipline – Flight Operator and Controller (Pilot in Command) North Carolina

USA – NORTH CAROLINA GLOBAL OPERATIONS – DISTRIBUTION CENTER OPERATIONS FULL-TIME

Zipline is at the forefront of a logistics revolution, using battery powered autonomous aircraft to deliver just-in-time, lifesaving medical supplies around the world, and we’re looking for motivated, proactive team members to join us. We have flown over 30,000 flights to date in multiple countries and this role will help launch and support Zipline in the US.

At Zipline, we live our core values of transparency, servant leadership and customer centricity. Our team’s collaborative nature combined with a high-energy environment means we tackle seemingly impossible challenges together.

We are seeking a Flight Operator and Controller (Pilot in Command) who has sound judgment, excellent interpersonal skills and high standards. Success will require attention to detail, a safety-oriented attitude, flexibility, and enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology.

The ideal candidate is a qualified commercial pilot with a remote pilot certificate, has combined manned and UAS aviation experience with a passion for operational excellence and safety. The right candidate will have a critical attention to detail and the ability to solve problems in a complex environment without supervision and has a passion for all things unmanned. You will be expected to conduct flight operations (ground and flight), perform limited equipment troubleshooting, and potentially conduct training/evaluation activities.

Requirements

  • FAA Commercial or Private Pilot Certificate
  • FAA Remote Pilot Certificate
  • 1+ years working in the UAS space
  • Possess a current second-class medical (can be obtained after hire)
  • Must be able to travel 20 %- 30%, as necessary
  • Must be eligible to work in the US

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Experience in a manned aviation organization
  • Experience with flight instruction and/or flight standardization (manned or sUAS)
  • Experience in the development of flight manuals, training materials, and operational procedures for sUAS operations

What to Expect

  • WITHIN 1 MONTH: You will receive elite UAS training that includes professional courses as well as apprenticeship with the rest of the Flight Ops team to learn on the job.
  • WITHIN 3 MONTHS: You will become a certified Flight Ops professional – Being able to handle Pre-flight, Post-flight, Launching our UASs, and incident response alone, and have a thorough understanding of Zip hardware.
  • WITHIN 6 MONTHS: You will become a qualified UAS Operations Instructor assisting with the delivery of classroom and ops training.
  • WITHIN 12 MONTHS: You will be looked to as someone looked at as a leader for the UAS Facility, fielding questions from your team and helping onboard new flight operations personnel coming on-board

We value diversity at Zipline and welcome applications from those who are traditionally underrepresented in this field. If you like the sound of this position but are not sure if you are the perfect fit, please apply!

Zipline is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, favorite ice cream flavor, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws or our own sensibilities.

APPLY FOR THIS JOB

Axon Launches First Connected App for Law Enforcement that Livestreams Drone Video Directly into Axon Evidence

Axon (Nasdaq: AAXN), the global leader in connected public safety technologies, today announced a new drone piloting and livestreaming application that allows law enforcement to livestream critical data directly into Axon’s digital evidence management solution, Axon Evidence (Evidence.com). The Escondido Police Department in California was the first to use the application.

The first-of-its kind Axon Air app allows law enforcement to stream drone footage to command staff and into Axon Evidence in near real-time. The data is protected by the same rigorous data management system and chain of custody protocols that law enforcement agencies trust for body-worn, in-car and in-room video systems. Axon partnered with a network of agencies to develop the app, which includes customizable piloting controls and settings — about 30 agencies are using it in the field.

“We are excited to have a flight app that streamlines our workflow. From livestreaming in the moment to capturing the Evidence in a secure system, it makes our jobs easier and keeps everything consistent,” says Escondido PD’s Drone Program Coordinator and Chief Pilot, Sergeant Craig Miller. “Our pilots love the simple interface and the streaming allows us to get widespread awareness on any critical incident — the Axon Air app has been a game-changer.”

Drone technology is an important tool for Escondido Police in keeping its community safe — used in standard patrol activities, overseeing SWAT operations from above, aiding in missing people searches, gaining critical insights into traffic scenes, and used in city planning efforts.

“Drone technology is very valuable to public safety, but law enforcement officers have specific end-to-end needs that Axon is committed to serving,” says Axon CEO and founder, Rick Smith. “We will continue to partner with departments such as Escondido to deliver advanced situational awareness technology, automated pilot and flight records, advancements in scene reconstruction and more. Our goal is to make drone use easy and seamless, so agencies can take advantage of all the benefits of a drone program.”

Axon Air is Axon’s suite of software solutions for unmanned aircraft use in public safety. By leveraging the Axon Evidence platform, Axon Air gives public safety agencies another tool to improve officer and community safety. Integration with Axon Aware brings livestreaming and situational awareness beyond the body camera and into the sky. Through a strategic partnership with DJI — the global leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology — Axon Air software is tailored specifically to public safety use cases. The new piloting and livestreaming features of the Axon Air application are compatible with the Mavic 2 Enterprise and Matrice 200 series drones and accessories. Agencies can use their existing DJI drones or purchase them directly through Axon.

For more information on Axon Air visit: https://www.axon.com/products/axon-air or contact [email protected].

GA-ASI Successfully Tests Air-to-Space Laser Communication System

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) has successfully ground tested its Airborne Laser Communication System (ALCoS) by establishing a link with a satellite in Geo-synchronous Earth Orbit (GEO). GA-ASI conducted the test with Tesat-Spacecom (TESAT), the leader of space-based laser communication (lasercom), using their GEO Laser Communication Terminal (LCT), the LCT 135. This was the first demonstration of an air-to-space lasercom system with Size, Weight and Power (SWAP) that is compatible with a Medium-altitude, Long-endurance (MALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA).

GA-ASI tested the ALCoS from an optical observatory located on Tenerife in the Canary Islands and closed link with TESAT’s LCT 135 terminal onboard the GEO satellite Alphasat. The test successfully demonstrated acquisition and tracking, and sufficient power to close the link with the LCT 135. GA-ASI is completing the development of the flight system for use on a GA-ASI-produced MQ-9 RPA.

“This test was a critical step towards enabling our aircraft with a high-bandwidth communication system that cannot be jammed or detected by an adversary,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “ALCoS allows a new generation of high-performance sensors by breaking the data bottleneck of current RF SATCOM technology.”

ALCoS is the result of a five-year, GA-ASI-funded effort to deliver Low Probability of Intercept (LPI), Low Probability of Detect (LPD) communications link to the MQ-9. With 300 times the data carrying capacity of conventional RF SATCOM systems, ALCOS will be able to operate as a gateway to the Joint Aerial Network for forward-deployed forces.

The system has the capability to work in two optical wavelengths, 1064nm and 1550nm. TESAT brings more than 12 years of experience with deployed lasercom systems for space. TESAT’s LCT 135 terminals are currently in use on seven satellites in orbit. These LCTs make over 60 satellite-to-satellite links over a distance of 45,000 km per day and have logged over 30,000 links total. TESAT has proven the commercial viability of laser satellite communications.

GA-ASI Holds Second Multi-Domain Operations Demo Using Gray Eagle ER

On January 30th, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) showcased an impressive suite of long range sensors on its Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) during flight operations at Yuma Proving Grounds. The second in a series of demonstrations, GA-ASI partnered with industry to integrate best-of-breed long-range ISR payloads and Air Launch Effects (ALEs) on the GE-ER. The aircraft showed a persistent stand-off capability with up to 40 hours of endurance that Commanders can leverage to orchestrate forces in the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) environment.

During the flight, the GE-ER identified emitters with Communications Intelligence (COMINT) payload while operating at 25,000 feet, cross-cueing the onboard Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to produce precision coordinates sufficient for targeting within minutes. L3Harris’ Rio Nino lightweight COMINT system, capable of detecting emitters out to 250 km, was combined with GA-ASI’s Lynx® SAR to perform the task. The flight activities were all controlled from a GA-ASI laptop-based Scalable Command and Control (SC2) system. Additionally, the aircraft carried two Area-I Altius-600 ALEs. The ALEs will be launched and controlled through the GE-ER for the next flight demonstration this summer.

“We are excited to team with industry partners to demonstrate these capabilities on the Gray Eagle ER,” said David R. Alexander, president, GA-ASI. “The long-range radar, COMINT and ELINT packages, as well as launch and control of ALEs and the GBU-69B Small Glide Munition are all capabilities that are available today on the Gray Eagle ER.”

GE-ER is a long-range variant of the U.S. Army’s MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS. It provides the U.S. Army with increased endurance, more payload capacity to support future mission tasking, and considerable improvements in system reliability and maintainability. The third in the series of MDO demos using GE-ER is set for this summer.