|Posted by Omar Bilonashvili on September 23, 2016 at 11:00 AM||comments (0)|
At the National Press Club in Washington, DC, Bell helicopter has unveiled its new V-247 Vigilant tiltrotor drone for the US Marine Corps. Like the company's V-22 Osprey, the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) can lift off and hover like a helicopter, yet has the range and speed of a fixed-wing aircraft. According to Bell, the Vigilant can carry out combat reconnaissance missions from land bases without runways or from small ships with flight decks.
Bell says that the V-247 is intended to fit the capabilities required by the 2016 Marine Corps Aviation Plan and, if approved, could be in production by 2023. It has enough endurance for a pair of the aircraft to keep a target under surveillance for 24 hours a day, yet has a small logistical footprint. In addition, it has air-to-air refueling capability, a redundant flight control system, and an Electro Optical System and Targeting System.
Based on Bell's earlier work on the V-22 and the V-280 Valor, it combines the strengths of a helicopter and an fixed-wing airplane, and can fold its rotors so fits into the hangar of a US DDG guided missile destroyer. Its open architecture, modular design provides a high degree of flexibility with bays that allow it to carry extra fuel, high-definition sensors, sonar buoys, lidar, radar, and a combination of MK-50 torpedoes, or Hellfire and JAGM missiles.
According to Bell, the single-motor V-247 has retractable landing gear and can carry payloads of up to 2,000 to 9,000 lb (907 to 4,100 kg), depending on how they're stowed. It has a cruising speed of 240 kts (276 mph, 444 km/h), a maximum altitude of 25,000 ft (7,620 m), and a range of up to 1,400 nm (1,600 mi, 2,600 km) with an endurance of up to 17 hours. This allows it to not only provide 24-hour surveillance when used in pairs, but also to act as escorts for the V-22 or V-280.
One key point about the V-22 is its mission flexibility. Bell says that it can carry out any Group 5 UAS mission, which puts it on the same footing as the MQ-9 Reaper, RQ-4 Global Hawk, and MQ-4C Triton. It can conduct electronic warfare; Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR); escort flights; Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (C4); and persistent fire missions. In addition, it as autonomous flight capability, can carry out day or night picket duties, and provide early warning of incoming threats.
|Posted by Omar Bilonashvili on May 22, 2016 at 2:20 PM||comments (0)|
Saab has unveiled its next-generation multi-role fighter. The Gripen E prototype 39-8 "Smart Fighter" is the latest product of the Swedish/Brazilian fighter program and is aimed at markets not cleared to purchase the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. According to Saab, the single-seater E is a major advance over previous Gripens with greater range and endurance, as well as more advanced weaponry and electronic warfare capability.
The sixth variant of the Gripen line, the first of which entered active service in 1997, the Gripen E carries on with the basic design of a lightweight, agile multi-role fighter with a fast-turnaround time and the ability to operate from small airfields or even motorways. It's designed for low maintenance and a service life of 50 years. In addition, it has very flexible hardware and avionics, plus a large number of hardpoints designed to carry almost any weapon in the current inventory.
The Gripen E retains the delta wing and canard configuration and fly-by-wire flight avionics, but differs from previous versions in that it has more fuel capacity, a General Electric F414G jet engine for 20 percent more thrust, more pylons, and increased takeoff weight. It also has in-flight refueling capability and is NATO compatible.
|Posted by Omar Bilonashvili on March 19, 2016 at 2:40 PM||comments (0)|
The VTOL X-Plane is the result of Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation's Phase 2 design contract for the program and is aimed at addressing both vertical and horizontal flight requiements. DARPA says that by calling on over half a century of advanced air vehicle and aeromechanics design and testing, adaptive and reconfigurable control systems, and highly integrated designs, the VTOL X-Plane does away with conventional mechanical drive systems in favor of a modular approach.
What this means is that instead of a single powerplant directly powering one or two rotors by way of a shaft, the VTOL X-Plane has two large rear wings and two smaller front canards. These are made up of cells carrying 24 ducted fans – nine integrated in each wing and three in each canard. These each have their own electric motor and all 24 are powered by a turboshaft engine off a V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, which cranks out 4,000 hp (3 MW) of electrical power.
To control this arrangement, the VTOL X-Plane has power distribution systems for multiple fans in a "transmission-agnostic air vehicle design." That means no gearbox, so the flight control system must be able to alter the thrust of each fan independently for efficiency as well as for changing from vertical to horizontal flight and back.
"This VTOL X-plane won't be in volume production in the next few years but is important for the future capabilities it could enable," said Ashish Bagai, DARPA program manager. "Imagine electric aircraft that are more quiet, fuel-efficient and adaptable and are capable of runway-independent operations. We want to open up whole new design and mission spaces freed from prior constraints, and enable new VTOL aircraft systems and subsystems."
Flight tests are scheduled for 2018 and DARPA says that the VTOL X-Plane technology is also suitable for manned aircraft.
The animation below shows the DARPA VTOL X-Plane in action.
|Posted by Omar Bilonashvili on January 24, 2016 at 1:00 PM||comments (0)|
Ehang CEO Huazhi Hu began designing the one-seater electric drone a couple of years ago, after two of his pilot friends were killed in plane crashes. He decided that people needed a form of short-to-medium-distance personal air transport that didn't require them to have a pilot's license, and that took much of the danger out of low-altitude flight.
The idea behind the Chinese-built 184 is that users will simply get in, power it up, select their destination using a 12-inch touchscreen tablet display, then press the "take-off" button. The drone's automated flight systems will take over from there, managing tasks such as communication with air traffic control and other aircraft, obstacle avoidance, and of course navigation – it will always choose the fastest yet safest route between its present location and its destination.
Failsafe systems will reportedly take over in the event of malfunctions, plus passengers can get the drone to stop and hover in place if needed.
The current incarnation of the 184 features a carbon fiber/epoxy composite body, an aerial aluminum alloy frame, and eight motors putting out 142 hp/106 kW to eight propellers – those props are divided into four groups of two, each pair located on the top and bottom of one of four arms. Those arms can fold up when the drone is parked on the ground, allowing it to take up less space.
Charging of its 14.4-kWh battery pack takes four hours in trickle mode or two hours in fast-charge, with a full charge reportedly being sufficient to keep one passenger airborne for up to 23 minutes at sea level. The whole thing weighs 440 lb (200 kg), can carry up to 264 lb (120 kg), has a maximum speed of 62 mph (100 km/h) and can reach a maximum altitude of 11,480 ft (3,499 m).
According to the Ehang rep we spoke to, the 184 is already fully functional, with a worldwide series of demo flights scheduled to begin soon. They claim that it should be commercially available later this year(!), priced somewhere between US$200,000 and $300,000.
It can be seen in actual flight (as opposed to animated flight), towards the end of the following video. And 184, incidentally, stands for "one passenger, eight propellers, four arms."
|Posted by Omar Bilonashvili on November 14, 2015 at 6:25 AM||comments (0)|
Fires in high-rise buildings can be very problematic. It can be difficult to move around the building, to quickly get equipment to where it needs to be and even to communicate with people inside. Dubai, a place with lots of towering constructions, plans to tackle this by giving Jetpacks to its firefighters.
The country's Directorate of Civil Defence has signed a memorandum of understanding with Martin Aircraft Company for the planned initial delivery of up to 20 Jetpacks and two training simulators. The proposed deal will also include initial training services and operational support.
Martin Jetpacks have been developed with first responder use in mind. They can be flown by a pilot or via remote control, take off and land vertically, operate in confined spaces (such as close to or between buildings or near trees) and carry commercial payloads of up to 120 kg (265 lb).
This functionality means the Jetpacks can provide a variety of first response services. For example, they can be used for surveillance or observation (such as to determine the focus of a fire), transporting equipment to where it is required, rescuing individuals or deploying specialist teams.
|Posted by Omar Bilonashvili on October 19, 2015 at 6:55 AM||comments (0)|
"თბილისი მოლში" 18 ოქტომბერს გამართული გამოფენა–გაყიდვის დროს "საქართველოს გამომგონებელთა კლუბის" გუნდის გოგონებმა 85 ლარი გამოიმუშავეს, აქედან 50 ლარი წმინდა მოგება – თავისი იდეის და შრომის პირველი ანაზღაურება, ვულოცავთ მათ ამ წარმატებას და ვუსურვებთ წინსვლას მთელი ცხოვრების განმავლობაში. ეს დღე იმედია არასოდეს დაავიწყდებათ.
P.S. მონაწილე 8 გუნდიდან ყველაზე მცირეწლოვანები ესენი იყვნენ!
Selling exhibition held at 18 October, 2015 in the "Tbilisi Mall" representatives of "Inventors club of Georgia Tamta Bilonashvili and Mariam Dautashvili earned their first 85 GEL (with 50 GEL Net income) wih their idea and startup. Congratulations with this success and wish to them "keep it up" .
We hope this was unforgetable day for them.
P.S. They were youngest between 8 participant team!
|Posted by Omar Bilonashvili on June 8, 2015 at 3:30 PM||comments (0)|
The construction of the largest optical telescope ever built has moved one step closer today, with US$500 million in funding now committed from 11 international partners. Set to be the world's biggest and most powerful, the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) is constructed from seven huge mirrors that will span a total of 25.4-meters (82 ft), bringing in six times more light than any other large telescope. It is also claimed that the instrument will be able to resolve images up to ten times more clearly than the space-based Hubble telescope.
Set to sit high atop a hillside in Chile at the current site of the Las Campanas Observatory above the Atacama desert, the remote location and haze and light pollution free skies will allow the GMT the best chance to employ its incredible imaging capabilities.
With scientific partners including Australia, Brazil, Chile, Korea and the United States, the massive instrument, which will be housed in a 22-story high rotating building, is slated to take its first tentative image of the heavens by 2021 and become fully operational by 2024. At a cost estimated to be around US$1 billion dollars, this enormous eye on the sky has great things expected of it.
Consisting of seven separate 8.4-meter (27 ft) diameter segments, to create the combined 25.4-meter (82 ft) primary mirror, each mirror weighs approximately 15,000 kg (17 ton) and needs a year to prepare, cast, and cool. It then takes a further three years or more of meticulous, super-accurate finishing and polishing to produce the required level of accuracy for such a precise instrument.
So accurate, in fact, that the face of the mirror is the same level to within 19 nanometers across its entire surface. As such, if the mirror were expanded to the size of the continental United States, the tallest mountains would be only slightly more more than 1/2 in (12.5 mm) high, according to the mirror lab producing the reflectors at the University of Arizona.
Even though the primary mirrors will be amongst the most accurate ever made, and the skies above the GMT some of the clearest available on Earth, the atmosphere itself still holds a challenge for this ground-based instrument. Adaptive optics systems from researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) will help remove distortions and aberrations caused by the Earth’s atmosphere, such as turbulence, that gives stars their distinctive twinkle.
"The next generation of optical telescopes such as the GMT demand a new class of astronomical instrumentation and facilities, and the ANU is well equipped to meet this challenge," said Professor Colless, Director of the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at ANU.
|Posted by Omar Bilonashvili on April 28, 2015 at 3:20 PM||comments (0)|
A Portuguese company that wants to use drones to provide internet access to offline areas of the world has completed its first test flight. Quarkson plans to use solar-powered SkyOrbiter drones that will stay airborne for weeks, months or even years at a time and will fly at altitudes of up to 22,000 m (72,000 ft).
Quarkson says it is ready to begin mass producing its internet-beaming SkyOrbiter dronesThe SkyOrbiter drones are designed to be fully autonomousThe SkyOrbiter LA25 is designed to fly at 3,500 m (11,500 ft) for up to 2 weeks at a timeQuarkson says the SkyOrbiter drones will be capable of transmitting via LTE or W-iFi on th...View all
The test flight took place on April 2 at an undisclosed location. The drone was equipped with Wi-Fi-transmitting equipment that can provide internet access to local users on the ground via a patch antenna that receives the signal.
The drone tested was a small version of those planned for eventual use with a wingspan of 5 m (16 ft). It was flown within line of sight up to an altitude of 330 ft (100 m) and successfully relayed a Wi-Fi signal to the ground. Quarkson founder and CEO Miguel Angelo Martins da Silva says the test has provided proof of the concept's viability.
One of Quarkson's larger SkyOrbiter LA25 drones with a wingspan of 22 m (72 ft) has reportedly already been built, but da Silva says it could not be tested due to opposition by the Portuguese government.
As a result, da Silva says the test was performed under poor conditions using a small airstrip. Nonetheless, he says, the team was able to retrieve telemetry and determine additional ways to optimize the prototype models.
The drones are designed to be fully autonomous with an energy management system, autopilot and ground control software and long range communications working on different frequencies. Quarkson says they will be capable of transmitting via LTE or W-iFi on the unlicensed spectrum or via Wi-Fi, LTE, 3G or 2G via a carrier on the licensed spectrum.
da Silva says the organization is producing prototypes at a rate of one every 2 months, except for the SkyOrbiter LA25 that took a year to construct. He says that with the correct investment, mass production could begin within 4-6 months.
|Posted by Omar Bilonashvili on April 7, 2015 at 3:55 PM||comments (0)|
Plans are afoot to establish a spaceport in Australia. The town of Rockhampton in Queensland is one of three locations currently being considered as a potential site for the base, which would focus primarily on space tourism.
Speaking to Gizmag, John Moody of Spaceport Australia said that the facility would cater for both government and private enterprise using air launch vehicles for space burials and other space tourism activities, and eventually establishing an offsite launch terminal for the delivery of nano satellites to orbit.
Operators such as XCOR Lynx and S3 Systems are being canvassed as potential participants in the venture.
While the location has not been finalized, Moody says that Rockhampton is favored because of its proximity to the state's capital, Brisbane, and the fact that it has an existing airport which is currently used by the military and its a short distance from the ocean. The development would also bring much needed employment and tourism to the region.
To get the project up and running, the existing infrastructure only needs a 1,000 ft (305 m) run of road added, and a new hangar, along with a visitor center and offices, need to be built.
Moody has been working on the project for two and a half years, but ramped up his efforts in recent months and momentum is starting to build.
Moody says that the first stage of the project could be completed in as little as two years at a cost of around $12.5 million. Both state and federal governments in Australia and space officials in the US have expressed support in preliminary discussions, and Ethan Chew, (NASA ex contractor, DARPA) has recently joined Spaceport Australia as Chief Technical Advisor.
With Virgin Galactic and SpaceX leading the new era of private space flight and a similar project on the cards in the UK, the commercial imperatives of putting a spaceport in the Southern Hemisphere with access to growing Asian markets are obvious, but for Moody the underlying motivation is simply to bring the wonder of space travel to a wider audience.
|Posted by Omar Bilonashvili on March 28, 2015 at 10:30 AM||comments (0)|
Mark Zuckerberg's plans to use unmanned drones to provide internet connections appear one step closer to reality. The Facebook CEO today revealed that his Internet.org initiative has put the aircraft to the test for the first time, describing the operation as a success.
Zuckerberg first unveiled his vision for flying wireless internet access points in March last year. The aim of Internet.org is to use solar-powered, internet-beaming aircraft flying over remote communities to connect parts of the global population that don't currently have internet access.
In a Facebook post this morning, Zuckerberg revealed that the Internet.org aircraft have been successfully tested in the UK. Indicating that it is still under development, he says the finished aircraft will have a wingspan greater than a Boeing 737, but still weigh less than a car. It will be capable of flying at an altitude of 60,000 ft (18,288 m) for months at a time.
"Aircraft like these will help connect the whole world because they can affordably serve the 10% of the world's population that live in remote communities without existing internet infrastructure.
And Facebook isn't the only company with high-flying internet aspirations. Last year, Portuguese company Quarkson announced its SkyOrbiter program that plans to use UAVs to transmit internet access "to every corner of the world," while Google has floated the idea of using balloons with its Project Loon and is continuing testing of the concept having just successfully sent a balloon on a 20,000 km trip from New Zealand to Australia – the long way around.