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OSCE to use Austrian-made drones to monitor Ukraine conflict http://i-hls.com/2014/09/osce-use-austrian-made-drones-monitor-ukraine-conflict/

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has Friday confirmed it will use Austrian-made drones for observational purposes in eastern Ukraine.

The Vienna-based organization told the Austria Press Agency (APA) the unmanned and unarmed Camcopter drones made by Austrian company Schiebel will be used to support its Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to monitor the situation on the border between Russia and Ukraine, in particular with regard to the current cease-fire.

According to Global Post the technology will be used to monitor larger areas and to collect information in real-time, which the OSCE will then decide if it will make public.

The OSCE said it was the first time it had used such technology and equipment as part of its operations, and stressed that at no time will the Camcopter drones be armed either at present or in the future, and that their use is solely for reconnaissance and surveillance.

Unmanned Systems Conference 2014 – Israel

Under the contract Schiebel will provide a minimum of two of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) along with a control station, six operators, and three technical staff. Their operation is expected to begin at the end of September or in early October.

Total expenses for the arrangement are not yet known, the APA report stated, though will be paid for by the OSCE participating states.

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OSCE to use Austrian-made drones to monitor Ukraine conflict

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has Friday confirmed it will use Austrian-made drones for observational purposes in eastern Ukraine.

The Vienna-based organization told the Austria Press Agency (APA) the unmanned and unarmed Camcopter drones made by Austrian company Schiebel will be used to support its Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to monitor the situation on the border between Russia and Ukraine, in particular with regard to the current cease-fire.

According to Global Post the technology will be used to monitor larger areas and to collect information in real-time, which the OSCE will then decide if it will make public.

The OSCE said it was the first time it had used such technology and equipment as part of its operations, and stressed that at no time will the Camcopter drones be armed either at present or in the future, and that their use is solely for reconnaissance and surveillance.

Unmanned Systems Conference 2014 – Israel

Under the contract Schiebel will provide a minimum of two of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) along with a control station, six operators, and three technical staff. Their operation is expected to begin at the end of September or in early October.

Total expenses for the arrangement are not yet known, the APA report stated, though will be paid for by the OSCE participating states.

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New Post http://i-hls.com/2014/08/commercial-drone-market-set-take-china/

Commercial drone market set to take off in China

DJI Phantom 2 UAV. Photo: Da-Jiang Innovations

Commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is an emerging line of business in China, set to be worth billions of yuan within a few years as more companies show interest in entering the market, with a Shenzhen-based UAV company having posted explosive growth since its establishment in 2006, Guangzhou’s 21st Century Business Review reports.

US e-commerce giant Amazon has used unmanned drones for the delivery of products to reduce logistics costs, for example. Today drones have a multitude of functions in the civilian world from cinematography to agriculture, able to film overhead shots and monitor the health of farm crops. They are also used for security and detection of geological features.

Unmanned drones are able to transmit data to ground personnel or a server through wireless transmissions.

According to the report, an international UAV company called Da-Jiang Innovations (DJI) Science and Technology Company made its debut in 2006 in Shenzhen in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

Frank Wang Tao, the founder of DJI, said the company’s annual sales have surpassed a billion yuan (US$163 million). Over the past three years, the company’s revenue has jumped 79 times, while sales grew 150-fold, making it the most rapidly growing UAV company in the world.

Unmanned systems conference 2014 – Israel

DJI’s drones are designed specifically for photo and video applications. Swedish video website Travelbydrone said that 75% of its videos are made using drones from DJI.

DJI’s latest Phantom quadcopter model sells for only about 7,000 yuan (US$1,137), relatively low when compared with the tens of thousands of yuan spent to rent an unmanned helicopter for aerial video and photography several years ago.

Some companies in the Pearl River Delta region have also sought to tap into the UAV market, with several having built their own brands by providing aerial surveillance data and express delivery services.

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New Post http://i-hls.com/2014/09/manned-unmanned-emerging-trend/

Manned to Unmanned – an emerging trend?

Illusrtration

Some Israeli manufacturers of unmanned air systems (UAS) are still evaluating the potential in converting manned air platforms to unmanned ones. Aeronautics is currently evaluating the conversion of additional manned aircraft to unmanned operation.

A source in the company said  that using a certified manned aerial platform for unmanned missions is a way to offer the market a “very reliable cost effective UAS

In the meantime, the Israeli company is marketing its Dominator XP UAS, a manned light aircraft that was converted for unmanned flight. “This is currently one of our main products and we see a big potential market for it,” the source said.

Unmanned systems conference 2014 – Israel

The first export contract of the Dominator XP was signed in mid 2011 shortly after the XP was cleared for export by the Israeli ministry of defense.

The Dominator XP was adapted to comply with the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) limitations.

The Dominator XP, which is based on the Diamond DA-42 twin engine aircraft, can achieve an endurance of 30 hours and is capable of carrying a 300-kg payload. Its max takeoff weight is 2000 kg. Max altitude is 30.000 feet and max speed is 190 kilometers per hour.

The Dominator is aimed at the high-end of the MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) UAS market.

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New Post http://i-hls.com/2014/08/sony-begin-developing-drones/

Sony to begin developing drones

Illustration

Sony officials say they have begun developing unmanned aerial vehicles commonly known as drones.

Sony holds the leading global market share for sensors that work like human eyes. They are used in digital cameras and other devices.

Sony wants to expand the use of the technology to drones.

Unmanned systems conference 2014 – Israel

Sony is considering the development of drones equipped with these sensors to inspect infrastructure such as aging tunnels and bridges. The drones can also be used to check how agricultural crops are growing.

Analysts say that the economic effect of drones will be over 76 billion dollars in the US alone by 2025.

According to sUAS, the new project may help Sony rebuild its finances, as its television business has been in the red for the past 10 years.

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New Post http://i-hls.com/2014/08/u-s-needs-drones/

The U.S. needs more drones

Illustration. Photo: U.S. Air Force

Al-Qaeda is morphing and metastasizing, spreading like a cancer in an arc of jihadism from the deserts of Northern Mali through Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. Islamic extremists continue to gain ground in Iraq, and President Barack Obama has authorized more than a dozen airstrikes as fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant threaten to take Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

According to Defense One the U.S. Defense Department, meanwhile, is cutting one of the most vital tools against this threat: loitering unmanned aircraft, aka drones, to provide persistent surveillance of terrorist networks.

While DOD has had drones flying over Iraq for over a month, most of them attack drones, a drastic shortfall in global supply means that their presence in Iraq is at the expense of another vital mission elsewhere. And yet not only is DOD not moving to address this shortfall, it is taking steps to reduce its drone fleet, a dangerous move that will make it harder to keep tabs on a growing and changing terrorist threat.

In its recent Quadrennial Defense Review, the Pentagon announced a 15 percent cut to its Predator and Reaper fleet, the bulk of the unmanned aircraft currently used to surveil terrorists around the globe. This isn’t because there is an excess of capacity. Demand for airborne surveillance for critical missions like countering terrorism far outstrips supply. It’s because the ugly disease of “next war-itis” that Defense Secretary Robert Gates repeatedly warned about during his tenure has flared up in the Pentagon yet again.

Despite guidance from the president that prioritizes fighting terrorism, Pentagon force planners have taken their eye off of today’s threats and are overly concentrating their budget dollars on potential future challenges at the expense of current threats. With U.S. troops on their way out of Afghanistan, DOD leaders have mistakenly assumed that demand for unmanned aircraft will abate. In reality, the threat from terrorism is changing in ways that will make intelligence collection all the more important.

Unmanned systems conference 2014 – Israel

It is true that the way in which unmanned aircraft are used today is very personnel-intensive. While the air vehicles themselves are relatively cheap, there are a tremendous number of people behind each “orbit” flying the aircraft, managing the sensors, and processing the reams of intelligence they produce. A smarter way to go about reducing costs in today’s budget-conscious environment would be to invest in new technologies that can reduce the manpower burden for operating these aircraft and exploiting the intelligence.

These include multi-aircraft control technology to reduce the number of pilots, wide area sensors that multiply the amount of information collected from each aircraft, and automated video processing to cut down on the number of intelligence analysts needed to manage the deluge of data. Together, these could dramatically reduce operational costs, conceivably even allowing a greater amount of intelligence to be collected at lower cost. Some of these manpower-reducing technologies are already fairly mature, and are explored in greater detail in the Center for a New American Security’s recent report, “Robotics on the Battlefield – Part I: Range, Persistence and Daring.”