Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Bluefin-21, was deployed from the vessel around 2am this morning

ADV Ocean Shield has arrived back in the search area.

The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Bluefin-21, was deployed from the vessel around 2am this morning. It remains underwater on its search mission.

Over the next week, Bluefin-21 will search the remaining areas in the vicinity of the acoustic signals detected in early April by the Towed Pinger Locator deployed from Ocean Shield that are within its depth operating limits.

This continues the process that will ultimately enable the search team to discount or confirm the area of the acoustic signals as the final resting place of MH370.

Ocean Shield is anticipated to depart the search area on 28 May and return to Fleet Base West on 31 May where it will demobilise the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle equipment and disembark the support team.

The Chinese survey ship Zhu Kezhen departed Fremantle yesterday to begin conducting the bathymetric survey of the areas provided by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. The bathymetric survey—or mapping of the ocean floor—is being done in preparation for a commercially contracted deep ocean search, including towed side-scan sonar operations.

Chinese ship Haixun 01 will today begin transiting to the survey area to support the survey operations, including the weekly transportation of survey data to Fremantle for further processing by Geoscience Australia.

The Australian Defence Force’s Military Coordination and Sub-Surface Planning team, in consultation with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, will partner with Chinese units to conduct the survey.

The work continues to review and analyse all the data and information relating to the likely flight path of MH370, together with the information acquired in the course of the search to date. This work will confirm the best areas on which to focus an effective future search.

JACC Media Release
22 May 2014—pm


NAVAIR Flight Ready: Autonomous Capabilities



Publicado el 19/05/2014

From handheld to high-tech, autonomous systems are at the forefront of today’s Navy. Learn more about unmanned system technology and how it brings increased capability and situational awareness to the warfighter.


NAVAIR: Final UCLASS Request for Proposal Due in July

An artist’s concept of the Lockheed Martin’s bid for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS). Lockheed Martin Image

Despite a Congressional push to stall the Navy’s next generation carrier-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) plans to issue a full request for proposal (RFP) for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) in July.

Rear Adm. Mat Winter, NAVAIR’s program executive officer for unmanned aviation and strike weapons, told attendees at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Unmanned Systems 2014 conference the final RFP would be issued following an industry day with the four companies that have participated in the draft RFP process — General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

NAVAIR’s move comes as the House Armed Service Committee (HASC) included language in the current draft of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill for Fiscal Year 2015 that would put the program on hold until a new study on the program and would be conducted.

The bill included language that claimed the Navy’s current requirements for the program are insufficient for the Pentagon’s own stated goals.

“As planned, UCLASS appears unsupportive of the 2012 Defense Strategic Guidance for the United States to ‘maintain its ability to project power in areas in which our access and freedom to operate are challenged’,” read the bill.

The character of UCLASS has shifted from a stealthy, well-armed penetrator to a platform focused on uncontested information, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and a secondary light strike capability after a contentious debate over the last few years inside the Pentagon.

NAVAIR issued a restricted draft RfP last month to the four companies.

According to Winter in April, the aim of the UCLASS program is to provide two ISR orbits at “tactically significant ranges” 24 hours a day, seven days a week over uncontested airspace.






NASA Robotic Mining Competition May 19-23 at Kennedy Space Center

NASA Robotic Mining Competition is for university-level students to design and build a mining robot that can traverse the simulated Martian chaotic terrain, excavate Martian regolith and deposit the regolith into a Collector Bin within 10 minutes.  There is particular relevance to NASA’s recently announced mission to find an asteroid by 2016 and then bring it to Cis-Lunar space.

The technology concepts developed by the university teams for this competition conceivably could be used to mine resources on Asteroids as well as Mars.  NASA will directly benefit from the competition by encouraging the development of innovative excavation concepts from universities which may result in clever ideas and solutions which could be applied to an actual excavation device or payload. 

The unique physical properties of basaltic regolith and the reduced 1/3rd gravity make excavation a difficult technical challenge. Advances in Martian mining have the potential to significantly contribute to our nation’s space vision and NASA space exploration operations.

The Competition

The complexities of the challenge include the abrasive characteristics of the basaltic regolith simulant, the weight and size of the limitations of the mining robot, and the ability to control it from a remote center.  The scoring for the mining category will require teams to consider a number of design and operation factors such as dust tolerance and projection, communications, vehicle mass, energy/power required, and autonomy.

The teams that can use telerobotic or autonomous operation to excavate the basaltic regolith simulant, called Black Point-1 or BP-1, and score the most points wins the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence. The team will receive the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence trophy, KSC launch invitations, team certificates for each member, and a $5,000 team scholarship.  Awards for other categories include monetary team scholarships, a school trophy or plaque, team and individual certificates, and KSC launch invitations.

Check out the NASA EDGE Show from the 2013 Robotic Mining Competition.Click here to download the show.


Itinerary (PDF)

 Monday, May 19, 2014

 Tuesday, May 20, 2014

 Wednesday, May 21, 2014

 Thursday, May 22, 2014

 Friday, May 23, 2014

2014 Competitors

  • Arizona State University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Florida International University
  • Iowa State University
  • John Brown University
  • Kapiolani Community College
  • Miami University
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Mississippi State University
  • Montana State University
  • Montana Tech of the University of Montana
  • NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering
  • Oakton Community College
  • South Dakota School of Mines
  • Temple University
  • Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
  • The University of Akron
  • The University of Alabama
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • University of Arkansas
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Florida
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Tech
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • West Virginia University
  • Wright State University

2014 Sponsors

Bethanne Hull, Wichita Tribal Enterprises, LLC
Kennedy Education Projects Office
Robotic Mining Competition Project Coordinator

NASA Robotic Mining Competition

May 19-23 at Kennedy Space Center

Laser Weapons Special Edition. Laser Weapon System (LaWS): a low cost solution against drones


Publicado el 15/05/2014

Articles and issues discussed in this episode: The U.S. Navy’s new Laser Weapon System (LaWS), a low cost solution against drones, light aircraft and missiles



New Israeli “star wars” laser systems defend against short range rockets Lockheed Martin’s new ADAM laser cannon

Raytheon’s new croud control system uses radiation to cause pain and disperse mobs

Source: IHLS

Lockheed Martin Introduces Vector Hawk, Latest Addition to Small Unmanned Aircraft System Family

ORLANDO, Fla., May 13, 2014 – Designed for versatility and affordability, the new Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT] Vector Hawk addresses a broad set of unique missions and operating needs within a single system. With a gross takeoff weight of only four pounds and a vertical profile of only four inches, Vector Hawk boasts best-in-class payload capacity, speed and endurance.

“We are proud to deliver Vector Hawk, a waterproof system that provides leading edge multi-mission capabilities in all environments,” said Kevin Westfall, director of Unmanned Solutions at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business. “The Vector Hawk can be field reconfigured to multiple missions including fixed-wing, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and tilt-rotor enabling VTOL with transition to fixed wing flight. Our fixed wing variants may be hand or tube launched, and VTOL and tilt-rotor variants may be launched from land or water surfaces.” 

Vector Hawk features fully autonomous flight, landing and fail-safes.  It is inaudible at operational slant ranges.  The data link features a high bandwidth software defined radio, mesh networking (including 3G, 4G, and LTE cellular), over-the-air reconfiguration, and is capable of employing a variety of waveforms. With an open architecture, reconfigurable variants, adaptable data link, and scalable payload, Vector Hawk is engineered for unmatched capability.

Lockheed Martin has five decades of experience in unmanned and robotic systems for air, land and sea. From the depths of the ocean to the rarified air of the stratosphere, Lockheed Martin’s unmanned systems help our military, civil and commercial customers accomplish their most difficult challenges.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 113,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.

Source: Lockheed Martin

Bluefin 21 Searching for Malaysia 370: the Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUVs) connection


Publicado el 14/05/2014

Insight into how unmanned underwater vehicles are aiding in the search for the missing Malaysia 370 Boeing 777 airliner. John Keller discusses with David Kelly, president and CEO of Bluefin Robotics, whose company is provided the unmanned submersibles that are spearheading the search.

Source: Military & Aerospace Electronics