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URAVS User Group Survey: Phase 1


Federal Program to Provide Access to Unmanned Vehicle Systems

for Rural Mississippi Communities


Participate in the URAVS USER GROUP SURVEY

The Open Technology Center (OTC), a Mississippi-based non-profit organization, has received federal funding to assist government agencies in rural communities acquire and operate unmanned vehicle systems to support law enforcement, emergency management and critical infrastructure protection and maintenance objectives in these areas.

The Unmanned Remote / Autonomous Vehicle Systems (URAVS) program is sponsored by the Department of Defense's Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) and the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T).

Initial program activities will focus on communities within the 13 counties in south Mississippi which make up the State's Fourth Congressional District and will be conducted at OTC facilities located at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center (CSJFTC) new Hattiesburg, MS. Future activities will include agencies from across the state and ultimately across the nation.

The primary objective of Phase I activities is to identify specific benefits and challenges of using unmanned vehicle systems in rural communities. OTC has distributed a survey to participating public safety, public service and public administration representatives within the area. Data collected from survey results will establish a baseline of information regarding current use and future interest in using unmanned systems.

OTC will also host a series of informational workshops and technology demonstrations to provide government representatives with information regarding technology capabilities, privacy and policy issues, access to funding, training and maintenance support.

To participate in the program, please fill out the on-line user survey form found here: URAVS User Survey, or contact OTC PM listed below.

The Open Technology Center is a Mississippi-based non-profit research entity that serves to facilitate research, development and technology transfer between government and non-government entities. OTC's mission is to drive innovation, reduce costs, and increase technical efficiencies within government systems that support national defense and homeland security communities of interest.

For additional information contact: Clifton Addison, URAVS Program Manager – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – tel: 601.606.4336.

Small unmanned systems find growing security role

FederalTimes: Sept 29, 2014

These days drones get all the media attention, but in fact these unpiloted aircraft are just the tip of the unmanned iceberg.

In homeland security, unmanned technologies are sniffing out bombs, analyzing chemical spills, scouting undersea mines and serving as the advance eyes of first-responder teams.

They’re getting smaller, too, more lightweight and more maneuverable. That’s making it easier to bring unmanned technology onto the scene of an incident and to assess situations that might be too hazardous for a first responder to explore.

Digging deep

Take, for instance, the smuggling tunnels that have long vexed the border patrol. Crawling through a dark narrow pipe to investigate these tunnels is daunting and dangerous, and while robots have helped in the past, the newest versions take unmanned exploration to a new level.

“They are definitely lighter, approximately 18 pounds,” said Border Patrol Agent Bryan Flowers in Tucson. “They have gotten more compact and that makes them a lot more useful.”

National Guard training center to host open source UAV research

Government Computer News - January 06, 2014 - Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center will host a multi-agency research program designed to drive innovation and reduce costs of government unmanned vehicle technology.

The Open Source Unmanned Remote and Autonomous Vehicle Systems (OS-URAVS) program is a collaborative, public-private program to be based at Camp Shelby and administered in conjunction with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of Homeland Security, Defense Acquisition University and private-sector organizations, including the Open Source Software Institute (OSSI).

John Weathersby, executive director of OSSI, said the OS-URAVS program seeks to identify common open-source technologies and practices used within various agencies’ unmanned vehicle programs.

“The goal is to identify and document specific technical, economic and administrative benefits provided by open technology solutions and to share this information with government unmanned vehicle programs, commercial suppliers and open-source development communities,” he said.

As one of the nation's largest military mobilization bases, Camp Shelby maintains exclusive access to nearly 100 square miles of restricted air space and currently operates training and testing facilities for a variety of government agencies and defense contractors. The post is home to the Unmanned Aerial Systems Flight Center.

GCN article here

U.S. military UAVs migrate to Linux

Linux Gizmos (May 6, 2014): U.S. military UAVs migrate to Linux

Raytheon is switching its UAV control system from Solaris to Linux for U.S. military drones, starting with a Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout helicopter.

Earlier this month Raytheon entered into a $15.8 million contract with the U.S. Navy to upgrade Raytheon’s control systems for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), according to a May 2 Avionics Intelligence report. The overhaul, which involves a switch from Solaris to Linux, is designed to implement more modern controls to help ground-based personnel control UAVs.

Raytheon’s tuxified version of its Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Air Vehicle (VTUAV) Tactical Control System (TCS) will also implement “universal UAV control qualities.” As a result the TCS can be used in in all U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps UAVs that weigh at least 20 pounds. By providing an open standard, the common Linux-based platform is expected to reduce costs by limiting the types of UAV control systems that need to be built and maintained for each craft.

When the upgrade is completed in April 2016, the VTUAV TCS will first see action in Northrop Grumman’s 41-foot long MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter. The MQ-8C Fire Scout, which is itself a retrofitted Bell 407 commercial helicopter, is primarily used for reconnaissance, but can also be used for precision targeting support to assist other combat aircraft.