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  1. #26
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    I don't think the R/c heli is the important bit, it's the creation of a suitable auto-pilot operating system, for ease of use.

  2. #27
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    Interesting that the platform doesn't appear to be in production any more, although many similar ones are. Might have been more prudent to build on a similar low cost COTS platform to give some future proofing. No point building on a COTS platform that's no longer COTS. After all, a new platform of similar style will be minimal cost versus the autopilot etc that is being bought anyway.

  3. #28
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    I'm sure that an autopilot for one could easily be adapted for use in another. It's just a matter of having the right input channels surely?
    Pitch/yaw/drag/lift etc...

  4. #29
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    There are a lot of low cost autopilot systems coming on stream now for RC aircraft - like the ArduPilot/Arduino set up.

    They can be easily adapted for different RC aircraft so there's no problem developing a system for this out of production platform - you're promptly going to be blowing them out of the sky anyway and the same systems and knowledge can be adapted for more recent platforms.

    This seems like an ideal project for college teams to work on & gain experience.

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  6. #30
    Space Lord of Terra morpheus's Avatar
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    right up MERC3's alley.
    "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
    "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."

  7. #31
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    Sorry just saw the mention of optics etc, still makes sense to use existing aircraft for the initial steps

    Here's a video from an RC aircraft over NYC:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9cSxEqKQ78#!

    Would be easy in adapting an existing RC plane and use it for topcover on boarding missions, simple to launch from the extended deck on the P60's and just a net to capture it on landing.

  8. #32
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    Makes sense using an existing system, if that systems components can be supported in the near future ie engines, gearing, blades, tail rotors, body structure. If they cannot then regardless of the AP system its a dead duck.

    Also the ArduPilot/Arduino and most other low cost systems are open source autopliots and not cleared for use in commercial systems (which this is as it is going to be sold to the Navy). The guys would need to gen up before they take anything in case they buy a lemon or worse an insurance nightmare in the event of an accident. Micropilot are one of the worlds leading UAV AP makers but those systems are at least a couple of grand each just for the board.

  9. #33
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    Correction $6000 a piece...if you buy 100!!
    http://store.micropilot.com/product-p/a-2128-heli.htm

  10. #34
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    Why not link up with a university on this? The Aeronautical Dept at UL springs to mind.

  11. #35
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    It is also to support MERC3

  12. #36
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Lads, lads, its a tender. all the suggestions being made by you will no doubt be submitted if the organisations mentioned are on the ball.

  13. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldie fish View Post
    Lads, lads, its a tender. all the suggestions being made by you will no doubt be submitted if the organisations mentioned are on the ball.
    you might be surprised about how many orgs/companies might not see/read/understand/see the relevence of the tender, but on reflection on boards like this think 'actually, we could do that...'.

    you'd be amazed at some of the 'home grown' stuff coming out of 32 Regt RA and its associated TA units - give switched on blokes some bits to play with and a bit of cash and the results can pour in. even the Crabs are being helpful...

  14. #38
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    If an organisation is trying to secure business/funding and isn't checking etenders regularly for appropriate projects, then it deserves no sympathy.

  15. #39
    Space Lord of Terra morpheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    you might be surprised about how many orgs/companies might not see/read/understand/see the relevence of the tender, but on reflection on boards like this think 'actually, we could do that...'.

    you'd be amazed at some of the 'home grown' stuff coming out of 32 Regt RA and its associated TA units - give switched on blokes some bits to play with and a bit of cash and the results can pour in. even the Crabs are being helpful...
    What sort of stuff? Ive been toying around with a homebuild UAV idea for an infantry unit but havent gotten much further than starting looking at various platforms, software and cameras.
    "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
    "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."

  16. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by morpheus View Post
    What sort of stuff? Ive been toying around with a homebuild UAV idea for an infantry unit but havent gotten much further than starting looking at various platforms, software and cameras.
    thats basicly what they have done - some of it is obsolete platforms that are being used as testbeds for newer systems that they are building/buying OTS, and some is effectively building a model aircraft from bits the local model shop, and putting either 'home-built' systems or OTS systems in them. the expensive/difficult bit is not building an aircraft with a camera in it, its putting an air vehicle where you need it to be and making the capability networked so that the feed can be down-linked to anyone on the ground who needs it, and having the bloke on the ditch looking at the same picture as the Battery Commander with half-a-dozen L118's dialled in, and the BC knowing which bunch of blokes lying in a ditch with rifles is our bunch of blokes, and which bunch of blokes lying in a ditch with rifles is the Taliban - and getting that capability into a cheap and easy-to-operate enough system that every Inf Coy in the Army can operate it without having a REME/RA bloke looking after the fiddly bits is the holy grail: the bloke/Company who manages it can retire instantly.

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  18. #41
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    Homegrown invention is great and its how ideas are started and would be fine for training scenarios but homebuilt UAVs have no place on a modern battlefield mainly because:

    1. They don't have proper redundant autopilots with EM testing and safety features up the ying yang. If everybody could use Ardupilot based on cost they would and Micropilot would be out of business.
    2. Signal Security: Security of the UAV control system from other users, ie the enemy
    3. Signal spectrum: Very few areas left in the modern battlefield and there are specific regions for UAVs, usually ones that require expensive equipment.
    4. Transmission security: Do you want the enemy to also know the guys with rifles behind THAT ditch are yours. Without Tx security you are potentially also providing the enemy with footage.
    5. Environmental capabilities: Wing, Rain, Dust etc

    Yes, all of the above can be sorted out but its expensive to do so by which time you are approaching if not beyond the cost of a commercial UAV.

    As for MERC3 I dare say if this tender is aimed towards them then they prob had the heads up long before this was published. Talk of UAVs and MERC for a long time now.

  19. #42
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Have you read the tender?

    It is for anti-aircraft training (and sensor development with IMERC).

  20. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpole View Post
    Homegrown invention is great and its how ideas are started and would be fine for training scenarios but homebuilt UAVs have no place on a modern battlefield...
    oh absolutely - what is being done is to expand the Armys understanding of UAV ops at a sub-unit level, help us understand what capabilities we want to develop and how they can be developed, and to keep BAES and QinetQ on their toes by being knowledable about the requirements/systems that they are developing for us that will eventually be bought for large lumps of cash.

    this stuff is available - its just too expensive, and too technically demanding to be shoved out to every Inf Coy/Mortar Pln in the Army - this work is intended to help make the eventual solution a bit cheaper, and a bit easier to operate than it might otherwise be.

  21. #44
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    Have you read the tender?
    Have you read the post? Its a reply to Ropebag not suggestions for the tender.

  22. #45
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Contract awarded to:
    Skytek UAS Ltd.
    Glengara,
    Mountain Road,
    Carrigaline,
    Co. Cork.

  23. #46
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    I do n ot think that a home grown school project type UAV would be appropriate for the NS or DF for that matter. However many countries that do not have a technology tradition have developed capable UAV that have been used in combat. Sri Lanka is one as an example. I know the DF have spent a lot of money over the years educating officers in UCG and elsewhere. Many leave after their 9 years and do very well in the commercial world. We have a good research facilites in Ireland , a record of innovation in many areas it should be possible/ maybe even commercially desirable to develop a home grown UAV.
    I think at times that in the search for the perfect weapon/ system, carrying equipment, rifle , whatever we often tend to ignore thewell tried tested and just plain good

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  25. #47
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Do you read threads, or do you just look at the heading and presume what the thread is about?

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  27. #48
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    Have u read the previous threads?

  28. #49
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    Royal Navy have a tender out for contracted shipborne UAV support. Contract is for 300 flight hours per month with a minimum spec of operations out to 40nm and 8hrs endurance. Primary sensor is to be EO/IR. It will be interesting to see what they go for.

  29. #50
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    from across the pond.

    Fire Scout surpasses flight hour record aboard USS Samuel B. Roberts
    Helicopter Strike Maritime Squadron (HSM) 46, Det. 9 recently surpassed the MQ-8B Fire Scout’s previous monthly flight hour record while performing operations at sea aboard USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58).

    In June, four Fire Scouts that embarked on the frigate flew 333 flight hours, exceeding the unmanned helicopter’s previously monthly operational flight time record by more than 110 hours.

    While at sea, the Fire Scouts regularly fly 18 hours per day while providing a 12-hour real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) orbit to combatant commanders.

    “The teams from USS Samuel B. Roberts and HSM-46 have built on the great success of earlier deployed operators,” said Capt. Patrick Smith, Fire Scout program manager. “Their perseverance and mission effectiveness have demonstrated the real difference that maritime-based ISR can make to combatant commanders.”

    This is the Fire Scout’s sixth underway deployment aboard a U.S. Navy frigate. Just like earlier deployments, the ship receives communication upgrades that allow the aircraft’s Full Motion Video (FMV) camera feed to be distributed to the ship’s Combat Information Center (CIC) and to commanders at military installations throughout the world.

    "None of these achievements would be possible without the hard work and efforts by the entire team aboard USS Samuel B Roberts,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mike Gerhart, HSM-46, Det. 9 officer in charge. “We are just two months into our six-month deployment, but the operators and maintainers have put in significant hours supporting the needs of the warfare commanders. They can be justly proud of setting a new standard for embarked operations of the Fire Scout.”
    http://seawavesmagazine.blogspot.ie/....html?spref=tw

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