AVIONICS INTELLIGENCE REPORT, 14 Aug. 2012. Members of the Avionics Intelligence and Military & Aerospace Electronics staff, having just returned from AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America conference and exhibition in Las Vegas, continue to report the latest remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) news, trends, and technologies.
The mood of the unmanned community—from high-level executives and engineers to civil and defense end users—is high. All were excited about the promise the unmanned market segment holds worldwide—not only for new unmanned platforms, but also for the modernization and retrofit of existing vehicles.
The hottest news at the event centered on the payloads of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or remotely piloted aircraft, RPAs, as they are increasingly being called). An executive from Insitu, in describing the company’s relationship with Hood Technology and the ability to swap out four payloads in four days thanks to aircraft modularity, said the future “will be less about the [platform] and more about the payload.”
As could be expected, size, weight, and power—or SWaP—garnered considerable attention, with companies such as VectorNav showing compact embedded solutions such as the VN200, which delivers GPS, attitude, velocity, and inertial navigation capabilities in a roughly 1-inch by 1-inch form factor.
Software and training also commanded attention, especially in relation to UAV safety and security.
There’s much more to tell, and Avionics Intelligence editors will be doing just that at avionics-intelligence.com and in the weekly Avionics Intelligence e-newsletter.