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QinetiQ

Zephyr will extend the official world record by at least one order of magnitude

Zephyr, QinetiQ’s solar-powered, high-altitude long-endurance (HALE), Unmanned Air System (UAS) is currently in the air and setting a landmark unmanned flight duration record by demonstrating what is essentially perpetual flight. The official world record for the longest unmanned flight is 30 hours 24 minutes set by Northrop Grumman's RQ-4A Global Hawk in 2001. A previous smaller relative of the current Zephyr holds the unofficial record of 82 hours but this time QinetiQ has FIA officials on hand and has been flying the new 22.5m wingspan plane for the past week, and is closing on the 200 hour mark with another week (168 hours) planned. It needs to land safely to claim the record, but the feat has already demonstrated that the era of low-cost, persistent aerial surveillance has begun.  Read More

The Taranis UCAV is unveiled this week in the UK

A prototype of England’s Taranis Unmanned Combat Aircraft System (UCAS) that we first covered back in 2006 has been unveiled for the first time by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). Three and a half years in the making and the product of more than a million man-hours the concept demonstrator is designed to test the possibility of developing the first ever autonomous stealthy UCAV that would ultimately be capable of precisely striking targets at long range, even on another continent.  Read More

ESA's BepiColombo spacecraft

There's no air to breathe, it's 400 degrees Celsius and you are six long years away from home. Welcome to Mercury, the smallest and perhaps most mysterious planet in the Solar System. The European Space Agency (ESA) is aiming to increase our knowledge of the Sun's closest neighbor by launching its BepiColombo spacecraft to the planet Mercury in 2014. One of the key challenges faced by the mission is not just getting there, but also how to apply the brakes against the Sun’s gravitational pull when you do... and that's where QinetiQ's solar-electric ion propulsion system comes in. The company has just announced a £23m contract with EADS Astrium for the supply of its system for the BepiColombo mission.  Read More

A prototype of the 'stealth' blade developed by QinetiQ and Vestas is fitted onto a Vestas...

Plans for the installation of wind farms the world over are being delayed or abandoned due to objections from the aviation community or air defense interests. The problem is that when it comes to low flying aircraft or wind turbines, conventional radar has a bit of an identity crisis - not being able to tell the difference. Recent tests in the UK of "stealth" turbine technology could provide a solution.  Read More

QinetiQ's wearable sniper detector has been ruggedized for use in combat in Afghanistan an...

A wearable sniper detection system is to be used by troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan in the US Army’s first large-scale deployment of its type. The Soldier-Wearable Acoustic Targeting System (SWATS) can pinpoint the location of snipers after a single gunshot, audibly informing soldiers of the point of origin.  Read More

Dragon Runner Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV)

Both in the air and on the ground, unmanned robotic systems have been deployed to battlefields in growing numbers over the past decade and it's safe to predict that these numbers will only grow in coming years. The reason is simple - they keep human beings out of the firing line. The latest example to join QinetiQ North America's TALON family is the versatile Dragon Runner Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV) - a lightweight, portable modular robot which can be quickly configured for both reconnaissance and improvised explosive device (IED) disarmament.  Read More

QinetiQ's Zephyr breaks world record for longest unmanned flight

Qinetiq’s Zephyr solar powered high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has flown a world-beating three and a half day flight at the US Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. The solar powered plane flew for 82 hours 37 minutes, exceeding the current official world record for unmanned flight which stands at 30 hours 24 minutes set by Global Hawk in 2001 and Zephyr's previous longest flight of 54 hours achieved last year.  Read More

Multi-response MAARS ground robot

QinetiQ has delivered the first of its combat-ready Modular Advanced Armed Robotic System (MAARS) ground robots to the US military.  Read More

MoonLITE orbiter carrying four penetrators

February 20, 2008 A new report has outlined the possibility of US support for the planned UK-led MoonLITE mission, a project that aims to use a solar-powered spacecraft to fire four suitcase-sized “penetrators” at the surface of the moon at speeds of 300m/s. The penetrators would be deployed to the far side of the Moon, and one of the poles, where they would sink to depths of up to two metres beneath the moon’s surface, and analyse “Moonquakes”, study heat flows, and determine the chemical and physical structure of the Moon’s interior.  Read More

Simulated Arctic temperatures of -46°C

January 24, 2008 QinetiQ has put 12 types of MAN military logistic trucks through simulated hell and back as part of an 18-month evaluation contract. Over three separate six week phases, the 12 models of the new supply vehicles destined for the U.K. Ministry of Defense have been subjected to temperatures ranging from 49°C to -46°C, through dry, hot, wet and humid conditions that simulated desert, tropical and Arctic environments.  Read More

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