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CHIPS Articles: U.S. Navy Conducts Live-Flight Demonstration of the 3D-Printed Unmanned Aerial System

U.S. Navy Conducts Live-Flight Demonstration of the 3D-Printed Unmanned Aerial System
By James Pluta, OPNAV N415, Additive Manufacturing - October 28, 2016
On 21 September, 2016, the U.S. Navy conducted a live-flight demonstration of the 3D-printed unmanned aerial system (UAS) Operational Responsiveness 1 (OR-1) in Newport, RI. The UAS flight was conducted within view of heads of navies and coast guards from nations around the globe that participated in the 22nd International Seapower Symposium (ISS-22). The purpose of the flight demonstration was to highlight the recent efforts of a joint U.S. Navy-UK Royal Navy logistics interoperability initiative using additive manufacturing (AM), commonly referred to as “3D printing.”

In this initiative, the U.S. Navy and UK Royal Navy exchanged digital data files for components of their respective UASs in order to demonstrate sustainment interoperability through the 3D printing of each other’s UAS components. The OR-1 UAS was designed, built, and flown by the Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Laboratory (PSUARL) in support of an OSD (AT&L)-sponsored project.

The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense or the United States government.

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An image captured from the OR-1’s onboard camera at the Naval War College.
An image captured from the OR-1’s onboard camera at the Naval War College.
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