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CHIPS Articles: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory to Showcase Innovative Autonomous S&T at AUVSI XPONENTIAL ‘17

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory to Showcase Innovative Autonomous S&T at AUVSI XPONENTIAL ‘17
By NRL Public Affairs - May 8, 2017
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) will showcase innovative science and technology at the Associations for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s (AUVSI) XPONENTIAL 2017. The four-day event will take place at the Kay Bailey Convention Center in Dallas May 8 -11.

XPONENTIAL is an event where the worlds’ leading authorities in drones, unmanned systems and intelligent robotics meet for intellectual exchange and determine industry trajectory. AUVSI, the facilitating organization, is the largest nonprofit organization committed to promoting unmanned systems and intelligent robotic systems.

Scientists and engineers involved with the small glider Close-in Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft (CICADA) will explain how their research is applied. Essentially a flying circuit board, with an inherently stable glide, CICADA is designed for launch from manned or unmanned aircraft, balloons, or precision guided munitions. After being deployed, CICADA glides to a waypoint, enters an orbit, and then descends within the orbit until it reaches the ground, typically landing with an average error of 15 feet from the commanded orbit.

Among other technologies on display, NRL will showcase a multi-day endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that uses an array of power sources while in flight, called the Hybrid Tiger. The UAV uses a high-pressure hydrogen tank and fuel cell system for power during nighttime; while a suit of high-efficiency solar cells provide power during daylight. The autonomous soaring Hybrid Tiger has energy-aware algorithms that guide the UAV for maximum energy and minimum energy loss.

NRL’s research and development is equipped to support the global intelligent robotics and unmanned systems community. For example, NRL’s Stackless Fuel Cell that will be exhibited. It is an extreme lightweight fuel cell that acts as a skin on the main body of an aircraft. Natural airflow through the fuel cell removes water, delivers oxygen and cools the surface it’s attached to.

Additional NRL Displays:

• Solar Soaring: Unmanned vehicle which combines integrated solar photovoltaic arrays and autonomous soaring algorithms, specifically with interest toward extended daytime flights over the ocean, with the goal of easing charging time requirements for overnight battery flight.

• SEWEED: A decoy with rapid launch ability from ships. SEWEED positions itself to sustain long flight durations, while supporting EW payloads to fortify defensive ship postures

• Free-to-Pitch (F2P): Variable Pitch Propeller - investigates the potential of passive variable pitch propellers suitable for small unmanned flight vehicles. F2P propeller blades are tailored to result in a positive-lift blade-pitch trim condition during operation. F2P propellers will operate expanded flight envelope, improving field, climb, and speed performance.

• Black Ghost: A turboshaft engine powered generator the propulsion of UAVs that runs on jet fuel. It last longer, runs quitter and last longer than conventional internal combustion engines. Black Ghost will enhance reliability and endurance of UAVs, and enable quieter, stealthier missions.

• Multipurpose Ultrasonic Trans-receiver for Electronic Warfare (MUTE): An ultrasonic positioning and communications system, enabling relative-positioning and two-way communications between two UAS platforms in tandem, while delivering centimeter accuracy.

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country’s position of global naval leadership. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to advance research further than you can imagine. For more information, visit the NRL website or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

NRL’s CICADA mk5 technology is a low cost sensor emplacement glider. Thirty-two CICADAs fit in a single size-A sonobuou tube. Each CICADA autonomously glides to a unique destination for dispersion in selectable patterns around designated areas. U.S. Naval Research Laboratory/Jonathan Sunderman
NRL’s CICADA mk5 technology is a low cost sensor emplacement glider. Thirty-two CICADAs fit in a single size-A sonobuou tube. Each CICADA autonomously glides to a unique destination for dispersion in selectable patterns around designated areas. U.S. Naval Research Laboratory/Jonathan Sunderman
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