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Showing posts from September 16, 2012

Drones v. Mines

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Earlier this week, navies from over 30 nations began the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) 12.  As discussed here previously, unmanned naval systems increasingly play a role in reducing the risk to sailors engaged in mine clearance operations and IMCMEX provides a realistic testing opportunity for this equipment.  Before the operational part of the exercise got underway, participants had an opportunity to scope out some of the latest mine hunting technology in Manama, Bahrain.  Some multimedia highlights:


FIFTH Fleet IMCMEX Video featuring snippets of SeaFox, Kingfish, and a VideoRay ROV.  U.S. Navy video by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Blake Midnight/Released)



Navy Experiments with DIY Drones

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The Navy Warfare Development Command’s Navy Center for Innovation will demonstrate John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory's Cloak Blade Micro-Copter on September 24. The demonstration will be broadcast live at 2:00 pm eastern via the Defense Connect Online system at https://connect.dco.dod.mil/nwdcinnovationseries.

Cloak Blade is an "inherently stealthy" commercial octo-rotor UAV intended to operate at sea to provide ships with pop-up over the horizon situational awareness using first person streaming video. The UAV will investigate contacts of interest at 10-30 nautical miles range with two to four hour mission endurance and a ceiling of more than 3,000 feet. The UAV can be flown by AES-encrypted wireless or autonomous flight controls and can maneuver evasively to avoid small arms fire. The demonstration model is currently equipped with commercial off-the-shelf sensors including Hero HD and Sony 300 digital zoom video cameras providing real time full motion v…