Lockheed Martin completes successful counter-drone operation

Lockheed Martin ATHENA
Lockheed Martin has demonstrated its laser weapon system for the U.S. Air Force at a government test range at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The ATHENA system successfully engaged and shot down multiple fixed wing and rotary drones. The Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) operated in a fully-netted engagement environment with a government command and control (C2) system and radar sensor. The radar track was provided to airmen who operated ATHENA via cues from the C2, then ATHENA's beam director slewed, acquired, tracked and defeated the drone with a high-energy laser. Validating this type of full kill-chain performance has been a
read more

xCraft Enterprises welcomes aviation ‘legend’ to board

Image 2 Burt Rutan; J D Claridge
xCraft Enterprises, a manufacturer of purpose-designed drone systems which gained fame with a deal on ABC’s Shark Tank, has announced the appointment of Burt Rutan to its board. In welcoming Rutan, the business described him as a “legendary aviation and space pioneer.” Rutan will provide expertise in the design, prototyping and production of xCraft flying robots for commercial, industrial and defense applications. CEO and co-founder of the company, JD Claridge, said: “We are honored to welcome Mr. Rutan to the xCraft Team. He will be an incredible asset in advancing our autonomous flight technology and assisting to expand our product
read more

Terra Drone conducts 160m chimney inspection at thermal power plant

Terra Drone Corporation has successfully demonstrated its non-destructive testing (NDT) capabilities by inspecting a 160-meter chimney at a thermal power plant in Japan. The chimney inspection was conducted using ultrasonic testing (UT) drone developed by Terra Drone group company Terra Inspectioneering. A major component of the chimney inspection was to measure the thickness of the steel plate in a chimney windshield or flue. Conventionally, this would have been done manually by shutting down the facilities, putting up temporary scaffolding, and having human inspectors climb dizzying heights – in this case, 160 meters. However, by using Terra Inspectioneering’s UT drone, the
read more

John Deere and Volocopter present first large agriculture-adapted drone

John Deere and Volocopter are presenting the first large drone adapted for agricultural use at AGRITECHNICA. A demonstrator model of the VoloDrone equipped with a John Deere crop protection sprayer, which is ready for its first field flight, can be seen in the Future Technology Zone at the show. Offering a potential payload of 200kg, the VoloDrone is able to cover an enormous area, especially under difficult operating conditions. The drone is the result of a collaboration between John Deere, who bring knowledge of farmers’ needs, and the Urban Air Mobility pioneer Volocopter, whose flying taxis form the technological basis
read more

Heliguy installs ‘sophisticated’ drone defence system at Gatwick

Heliguy has provided Gatwick Airport with a sophisticated drone defence system, which now forms part of the airport’s overall counter UAV capability to protect itself from rogue attacks. The UK’s second busiest airport has been prompted to take action following the so called reported drone sightings in December. The North East-based firm has recently installed the counter-drone technology, as part of a broader, comprehensive solution which protects the airport from a wide range of unmanned aircraft. For drone detection and defence Heliguy tworks with a breadth of technology partners to offer a layered solution. This includes Altitude Angel and Operational
read more