by Ryan Maass
Washington (UPI) Feb 6, 2017
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently demonstrated the capabilities of its SideArm, a device built to catch unmanned aircraft in flight.
In a test conducted by Aurora Flight Sciences in December 2016, the SideArm was used to catch a Lockheed Martin Fury unmanned aircraft system weighing 400 pounds. While DARPA aimed to create a device capable of catching 900-pound craft, the system was able to recover 1,100-pound targets.
"We've demonstrated a reliable capture mechanism that can go anywhere a 20-foot container can go—the DARPA-worthy challenge we had to overcome to make SideArm's envisioned capabilities possible," program manager Graham Drozeski said in a press release. "We are pleased with the progress we've made enabling a wide variety of sea- and land-based platforms with persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and strike capabilities."
SideArm is being designed to fit into a 20-foot shipping container for easy transport with various platforms, including trucks and military aircraft. According to DARPA, a team of two people can set up or stow away the system in minutes.
While in operation, the system recovers unmanned aerial vehicles using a single rail to hook on the back of the aircraft, and directing it down the structure. DARPA says the system provides a slower, safer and more controlled recovery.
"SideArm aims to replicate carriers' capability to quickly and safely accelerate and decelerate planes through a portable, low-cost kit that is mission-flexible, independent from local infrastructure, and compatible with existing and future tactical unmanned aircraft," Drozeski added.
The system is being developed as part of the Tern program, a joint effort between DARPA and the U.S. Navy. In the future, U.S. defense researchers will identify potential transition partners, and experiment with other UAS platforms.
UAV News - Suppliers and Technology
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|