Sunday, October 30, 2011

DTN News - U.S. DRONES NEWS: White House Confirms US Drones In Ethiopia

DTN News - U.S. DRONES NEWS: White House Confirms US Drones In Ethiopia
(NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - October 30, 2011: The White House says the United States has drones in Ethiopia and that the unmanned aircraft are there to conduct reconnaissance missions, not airstrikes.
Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Friday that the operation is part of the U.S. government's partnership with Ethiopia to promote stability in the Horn of Africa and combat terrorism.
U.S. military officials have confirmed the drones are flying into Somalia, where the government is battling the al-Qaida-Linked militant group al-Shabab.
The drones can be armed with missiles and satellite-guided bombs, but a military spokesman told VOA on Friday the missions are strictly for surveillance purposes.
Authorities say the remote-controlled aircraft are flying from an airfield in the southern Ethiopian city of Arba Minch.
The spokesman also said the drone operation is unrelated to Kenya's ongoing military offensive inside Somalia.
Kenyan troops moved into Somalia two weeks ago in pursuit of al-Shabab militants, who are suspected of kidnapping several foreigners on Kenyan territory.
On Friday, Kenyan and Somali forces captured the town of Burgabo in the Lower Juba region.
Kenyan troops have now moved within 200 kilometers of the port city of Kismayo, the third largest city in Somalia and an economic hub for al-Shabab.

Endurance (Courtesy - Wikipedia)

RQ-4 Global Hawk, a high-altitude reconnaissance UAV capable of 36 hours continuous flight time

Because UAVs are not burdened with the physiological limitations of human pilots, they can be designed for maximized on-station times. The maximum flight duration of unmanned, aerial vehicles varies widely. Internal-combustion-engine aircraft endurance depends strongly on the percentage of fuel burned as a fraction of total weight (the Breguet endurance equation), and so is largely independent of aircraft size. Solar-electric UAVs hold potential for unlimited flight, a concept originally championed by the AstroFlight Sunrise in 1974[61][62][63][64] and the much later Aerovironment Helios Prototype, which was destroyed in a 2003 crash.

Electric UAVs kept aloft indefinitely by laser power-beaming[65] technology represent another proposed solution to the endurance challenge. This approach is advocated by Jordin Kare and Thomas Nugent.

One of the major problems with UAVs is the lack of inflight refueling capability. Currently the US Air Force is promoting research that should end in an inflight UAV refueling capability. The first UAV-UAV refueling flights are expected sometime during the first half of 2012.[66]

One of the uses for a high endurance UAV would be to "stare" at the battlefield for a long period of time to produce a record of events that could then be played backwards to track where improvised explosive devices (IEDs) came from. Air Force Chief of Staff John P. Jumper started a program to create these persistent UAVs, but this was stopped once he was replaced.[67]

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is to sign a contract on building an UAV which should have an enormous endurance capability of about 5 years. The project is entitled "Vulture" and a September 15, 2010 news release indicated DARPA’s Vulture Program Enters Phase II.[68] The developers are certain neither on the design of the UAV nor on what fuel it should run to be able to stay in air without any maintenance for such a long period of time.[69]

Notable high endurance flights
UAVFlight timeDateNotes
QinetiQ Zephyr Solar Electric336 hours 22 minutes9–23 July 2010[70]
QinetiQ Zephyr Solar Electric82 hours 37 minutes28–31 July 2008[71]
Boeing Condor58 hours 11 minutes1989The aircraft is currently in the Hiller Aviation Museum, CA.


QinetiQ Zephyr Solar Electric54 hoursSeptember 2007[73][74]
IAI Heron52 hours ?[75][76]
AC Propulsion Solar Electric48 hours 11 minutesJune 3, 2005[77]
MQ-1 Predator40 hours 5 minutes ?[78]
GNAT-75040 hours1992[79][80]
TAM-538 hours 52 minutesAugust 11, 2003Smallest UAV to cross the Atlantic


Aerosonde38 hours 48 minutesMay 3, 2006[83]
Vanguard Defense Industries2 hours 55 minutes11 February 2011VTOL platform carrying a 18 lb payload.[84]
TAI Anka24 hours30 December 2010[85]

*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News



No comments: