Hey, AU! — Autonomous Unmanned News

May 29, 2015  - By

In this special section, GPS World focuses on automous positioning and navigation technology, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs).


SenseFly Launches Intelligent Mapping and Inspection Drone

SenseFly launched the eXom, a quadcopter for mapping and inspection, at the AUVSI Unmanned Systems show, held May 4–7 in Atlanta.

The 3.7-pound quadcopter offers professionals such as civil engineers and land surveyors the situational awareness, imaging flexibility and durability they need for challenging tasks, senseFly said. The sensors — GPS, inertial measurement units, barometers, magnetometers and magnetic encoders — maximize stability and safety.

Septentrio Launches UAS Receiver, Software for Drones

The AsteRx-m UAS by Septentrio.

The AsteRx-m UAS by Septentrio.

Septentrio has launched the AsteRx-m UAS, an RTK-accurate GNSS receiver solution specially designed for the drone market. The AsteRx-m UAS provides high-accuracy GNSS positioning with low power consumption, according to Septentrio.

The launch of the AsteRx-m UAS board is complemented by the release of GeoTagZ software suite. The GeoTagZ suite works with the UAS camera and image-processing solution to provide centimeter-accurate position tagging of images without the need for a real-time data link.

Despite being Septentrio’s smallest receiver, the AsteRx-m UAS provides consistent, robust and accurate positioning from Septentrio’s in-house GNSS+ algorithm technology. The receiver delivers cm-level accuracy at less than 600 mW with GPS and less than 700 mW with GLONASS.

Kairos Kit Makes Vehicles Unmanned

Kairos Autonomi’s Pronto4 robotic applique kit is an add-on vehicle autonomy system that provides unmanned capabilities to current manned vehicles, rendering them optionally unmanned. Pronto4 delivers the torque needed to control traction, braking, throttle and implements in heavy vehicles and equipment, as well as smarter robotic functions such as GPS path following and supervised autonomous behaviors. The kit can be installed in any heavy vehicle or machine, rendering that vehicle optionally unmanned, and the equipment can still operate manually.

Applications include government and academic research and development; military training and testing; range clearance; mining; and tactical military uses.

Kairos Autonomi produces solutions that can be retrofitted or "strapped-on" to any existing optionally unmanned vehicle or vessel.

Kairos displayed its Pronto4 unmanned kits at May’s AUVSI show.


Exelis, FAA Test Sites to Research Safety

Exelis has signed agreements with four FAA-designated UAS test sites for airspace situational awareness and research. The research will use the Exelis Symphony RangeVue sense-and-avoid tool to aid in safe integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace. The test sites will gain situational awareness of the range airspace via Symphony RangeVue, while Exelis gains product feedback. Symphony RangeVue enables UAS operators to access real-time and historical surveillance information via a web-hosted platform, helping to manage mission operations across multiple locations.

FAA Names MSU as Its Center of Excellence

The FAA has selected a Mississippi State University team as its Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (COE UAS). The COE will focus on research, education and training in areas critical to safe and successful integration of UAS into the nation’s airspace.

Bipartisan Bill Would Expedite Exemptions

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) have introduced the Commercial UAS Modernization Act, which would set temporary rules for those who want to fly commercial unmanned aircraft systems before the FAA establishes permanent laws regarding drone use. The senators believe the U.S. is falling behind other countries when it comes to creating rules for commercial drones.

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