Да все их делают, и американцы и израильтяне.
Главное - у кого первого на вооружение станет, вот это будет реальное достижение
Главное - у кого первого на вооружение станет, вот это будет реальное достижение
DARPA - это, конечно, да, но мало ли, сотрудничество какое. Я нашел это штучку в кратком каталоге современных беспилотников - приложение к февральскому Flight International. Кстати, насчет времени в воздухе - там же есть краткая ремарка, что именно этот самолетик держит рекорд пребывания в воздухе! Что должно быть порядка двух суток, а никак не 20 мин. Только что-то подозрительно для такой козявки А солнечных батарей на ней не видно...Что так долго выяснять пришлось-то, там же большими буквами написано, WASP MAV, DARPA.
Jumper* is hammering home new distinctions among types of unmanned aircraft, the prelude to an attempt to get some of them operating in national airspace for ease of movement in large numbers. The new category is remotely- piloted aircraft, like the missile-firing Predator, for which a person on the ground, in a manned aircraft or on a ship is involved constantly in the airplane's operations. Such hands-on control makes the aircraft better able to survive attack and provides for human judgment in operations, Jumper says. Anyone responsible for dropping weapons will be required to have the same qualifications as a pilot or forward air controller, "just as if the person was in that air machine." The term unmanned or unattended air vehicle will remain with Global Hawk and other aircraft that fly programmed missions. New, very stealthy unmanned aircraft that orbit over enemy territory for a long time, carrying weapons that can be accessed directly by small teams on the ground, likely will give rise to yet another category, Jumper predicts.
*Gen. John P. Jumper is Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force
Sharing the Sky
Government and industry believe the time may be right
to allow UAVs to venture into national airspace
DAVID A. FULGHUM/WASHINGTON
Unmanned aircraft left an indelible mark on three recent conflicts, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, and they are already a staple in operations over Iraq; but, to trigger explosive growth in sales and use, they must find missions in expanding market areas such as homeland defense and communications.
Pentagon officials say establishing rules for the flight of unmanned aircraft in national airspace is critical because soon the military will be using them in the hundreds.
To do so, or even to be deployed swiftly to an overseas hot spot, UAVs must be able to fly in national and international airspace. Many small tactical UAVs will never need such access, and Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk already flies high enough to avoid commercial airliners. However, government and aerospace industry officials contend there needs to be a niche in national airspace for high-end, advanced performance, remotely piloted UAVs that can see and avoid other airborne traffic.
Pentagon officials have worked for the last couple of years to win over the FAA. Now they think they have engendered enough confidence and goodwill for unmanned aircraft that NASA can begin test flights this summer to prove that UAVs can share the air seamlessly with manned aircraft.
As part of the Pentagon's new UAV road map, to be released soon, NASA, the FAA, Defense Dept. and seven builders of unmanned aircraft will join forces and establish an alliance to support the effort ( AW&ST Feb. 17, p. 35).
"There's no solid agreement yet, but we're working to bring them all into the alliance and establish a partnership this year," said a long-time Air Force UAV official. "Pentagon leadership has had a problem with getting its UAVs into national airspace, and now Congress is beating on them to show how it can be done before they start spending a lot of money on them."
NASA Dryden and the Pentagon are expected to announce an agreement soon to conduct expansion flights this summer as the next important step in qualifying UAVs to fly in national airspace. NASA researchers will use the General Atomics' Altair UAV.
Such tests are being advocated by Unite, a new organization of seven UAV companies--Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Scaled Composites, AeroVironment, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Aurora Flight Sciences. Unite supports a national UAV program, with NASA, called Access Five that is dedicated to removing all barriers to the operation of specialized, unmanned aircraft in national airspace within five years. Initially, the concept is to be limited to long- endurance UAVs that usually operate above 40,000 ft. Access Five is also working with offices representing the Defense Dept. and the military to ensure specialized needs are addressed.
"I would like to see the Unite folks, NASA and the Defense Dept. demonstrate technologies that get you through the seven or so issues that need to be dealt with for [UAV] access to national airspace," said Neil R. Planzer, director of the Defense Dept. policy board on federal aviation. He called for NASA, in a nonpartisan role, to demonstrate different see and avoid [systems], pilot and unmanned aircraft certification improvement, the ability to operate in congested environments, telemetry, bandwidth, lost communications and FAA procedures. Moreover, "at some point, the FAA is going to have to write a concept of operations for UAVs," he said.
The most prolific UAV builder agrees there have to be firm boundaries for unmanned aircraft.
"You can't shove all the UAVs into national airspace," said Thomas Cassidy, CEO of General Atomics. "Our philosophy is that if you are going to send an unmanned airplane to do a manned airplane mission, you have to have a pilot in the loop. We've got to get focused on that. Our pilot talks to other pilots, talks to the FAA, talks to AWACS through the data link, just like he is in the airplane. [For added safety,] you can operate in national airspace without having to fly on the airways or over [major cities like] New York and Dallas.
"I'm trying to get these [remotely piloted] airplanes taken out of the UAV category and re-designated as remotely piloted aircraft," Cassidy said. General Atomics' UAVs have already operated on six continents, often from airports where the unmanned craft were sequenced into the traffic pattern with commercial airliners and military aircraft.
Other members of Unite believe opportunities emerging from the NASA-sponsored Access Five program will affect a far larger segment of the UAV population than initially envisioned.
"We're doing what the FAA asked us to do first, which is to attack the high-altitude, long-endurance problem and then move down in altitude," said an organizing member of Unite. "We intend broadening the alliance from Helios, Predator and Global Hawk to include UCAVs and high-altitude airships as they mature, as well as research and development aircraft.
Once NASA, the UAV industry, Defense Dept. and FAA are part of the Access Five alliance, plans are to start discussions with the Homeland Security Dept. to influence and develop future UAV policy for the nation.
"This effort could produce significant technology, policy and regulatory programs in which NASA's interest would lie in investigating the needed technologies," the Unite official said. "NASA's key investments would be in such areas as developing detect, see and avoid systems that make UAVs compatible with, or transparent to, the flight of manned aircraft."
Planzer believes the problem is still fairly basic. "I'm mildly optimistic that there would be access into the NAS [national airspace] for certain types of UAVs," he said. In the context of the Defense Dept., "What is necessary to operate military UAVs in the NAS for transportation? I'm not looking at how they will be used, but how to move them from Point A to Point B."
"I think we're a long way from operating in class B airspace over large populated areas," Planzer said. "Initially you would have to demonstrate your ability to operate in the system, probably starting with a small, well-defined space. I might transit low-density areas like from Indian Springs [USAF's UAV base in Nevada] to a test area. We would stay off certain routes and out of congested areas. We would demonstrate this over six months or a year. Like an experimental aircraft, you would build on that experience."
Planzer sees the UAV work as building a data, regulatory and experience base from which to meet even more sophisticated operations by faster, higher flying, unmanned combat aircraft.
"If UCAVs prove valuable to the military, they will want not tens but hundreds of them," he said. "You don't want to try to figure out how to operate them after they get here. You want to have the pieces in place when they are delivered. Those are the things we want to get ready for. Our vision should be beyond current issues."