Eurocopter Tests Hybrid propulsion for Helicopters, to Enhance Safety on Emergency Landing
October 4, 2011: Eurocopter has successfully tested a hybrid helicopter that combines a turboshaft internal combustion engine with an electric motor. The supplemental electric system is used to enhance safety on emergency landing, by increasing maneuverability of the single-engine helicopter during an autorotation landing – which is performed by helicopters in the event of a main engine failure. Eurocopter integrated the hybrid system in a production version of the light, single-engine AS350. In the event of an engine failure, the electric motor provides power to the rotor, allowing a pilot to control the helicopter during the descent to a safe touchdown. Eurocopter considers offering this innovation with its series production helicopters.
September 27, 2011: The official roll-out of the RBS15 Mk3 Surface-to-Surface Missile for the German Navy took place at a ceremony of the Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement. Representatives of the Federal Ministry of Defence, the Federal Office of Technology and Procurement, the German Navy, Diehl Defence and SAAB Dynamics participated in the event at the naval base Kiel on September 22, 2011.
Diehl delivers the RBS15 Mk3 anti-ship missile as the main weapon system of the German Navy´s new K130 corvette. A special feature of this German-Swedish Missile is its additional capability enabling precise engagement of land targets. The launch customers include the German Navy as well as Poland which is equipping its ORKAN class speedboats with RBS15 Mk3 missiles. The delivery of the first missiles began in March 2011.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is laying the basis for the next step in thermal imaging – developing mass-produced thermal imaging sensors integrated into that will be integrated into thermal cameras the size of today’s button size cameras used on mobile phones. Using uncooled sensor technology, such cameras could be employed by every warfighter, bringing ‘the soldier is the sensor’ vision to reality.
The key for such capabilities are low cost production methods, capable of integrating miniature thermal cameras into handheld military hardware that will be compact and lightweight as mobile phones. Another challenge is providing efficient connectivity for all those devices to dynamically share these images into a dynamic and ultra-detailed ‘world image’.
DARPA awarded two low Cost Thermal Imager Manufacturing (LCTI-M) contracts worth $13 million, to Raytheon Vision Systems, and BAE Systems, for the development of production processes for such low-cost, miniature thermal cameras within two years. The goal is to bring the cost of such micro-camera, optics, manufacturing, and software to under $500 per unit. And the target weight of the device is 25 grams.
Raytheon’s development effort aims to reduce the cost of uncooled infrared sensors by 10 times, to enable widespread use of this technology in the modern battlefield. BAE Systems will develop the wafer-scale integrated thermal imager manufacturing capability to produce very low-cost and high-throughput thermal camera components. Also, the performer will facilitate technology transition of a very compact fully integrated thermal camera interfaced to a small handheld platform, such as a cell phone.