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Lockheed UAV / DARPA Research Thread « Military « Industry Applications
 
Thu, 12 May 2011, 12:35pm #1
eestorblog
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The purpose of this thread is to locate useful open source information regarding Lockheed's UAV goals, interests etc.

The purpose of researching this to to gain possible insight into why DARPA as late as December 2010 was investigating EEStor by contacting AFRL. The DARPA researcher says Lockheed wanted it as part of their predator UAV...

YPo pointed out that Predator is made by General Atomics. Correct. But Lockheed is apparently a subcontractor on that program.

Thread rules: discuss the significance of the DARPA FOIA's in the other thread.I would prefer people simply post information related to Lockheed UAV's...to see what DARPA may have been evaluating from them around December 2010. Maybe it's nothing. We don't know though because DARPA isn't very good at responding to FOIA requests.

Here are some links of interest to this discussion. Feel free to pull out snippets you find interesting.

Good overview of DARPA Vulture Program. It suggests Vulture is currently in Phase 2.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/DARPAs-Vult...

DARPA’s goals for Vulture are not trivial: 5 years on station with a 450kg/ 1,000lb payload, 5kW of onboard power, and sufficient loiter speed to stay on station for 99% of the time against winds encountered at 60,000-90,000 feet.

The engineering challenges ahead are formidable, as one would expect for a DARPA project. The power system in particular must be extremely reliable, and the aircraft’s materials will require advances of their own. The winning designs will be exposed to far more warming and cooling than satellites, and more ultraviolet radiation which will affect the aircraft’s materials. The design is also likely to require very large wings, both to help keep it aloft and to accommodate the number of solar cells required. Conditions at altitude can challenge the durability of those wings, especially with hydrogen storage tanks attached. Aerovironment’s Helios (1998-2003) demonstrated this the hard way in its 2003 crash.

The Phase 2 risk reduction development and testing phase (2009 – mid-2012) go-ahead would build and testing a subscale demonstrators capable of flying for 3 months, and would end with an uninterrupted 3-month system flight demonstration. Exit criteria will include:

Execute a technology maturation roadmap that systemically reduces performance and reliability risks;
Provide risk reduction through laboratory/field demonstrations of key major subsystems ability to achieve reliability/mission success objectives;
Establish a Preliminary Design for the Objective System;
Develop a detailed Full-Scale Demonstrator design that can be recovered and re-launched;
Document and demonstrate flight airworthiness, and conduct a minimum of 30 days continuous flight demonstration, to include structural/ aeroelastic data and validation of software development design codes;
Deliver/update proposed military utility analysis, CONOPS (CONcept of OPerationS), and a provide 5 year mission life cycle cost of the Objective System based on Phase II analysis and validations;
Deliver/update the detailed development approach and Technology Maturation Plan necessary to achieve an operational system at the culmination of Phase II.

Also, if you are wondering why DARPA is asking AFRL about something related to a UAV, here is your answer:
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/DARPAs-Vult...


For the Vulture project, DARPA is supported by a government team including the US Air Force Research Laboratory and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

http://www.fas.org/irp/program/collect/predator...

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/12/07...

http://defensesystems.com/articles/2011/05/11/a...

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.js.../awst/2011/05/09/AW_05_09_2011_p22-319061.xml&headline=ISR's%20Big%20Win%20Could%20Shield%20It%20From%20Cuts&channel=defense

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.js.../awst/2011/05/09/AW_05_09_2011_p22-319061.xml&headline=ISR's%20Big%20Win%20Could%20Shield%20It%20From%20Cuts&channel=defense

The Pentagon is not confirming what type of ISR equipment was used in the May 1 [Bin Laden] raid or the operation leading up to it, but speculation has centered on Lockheed Martin’s RQ-170 Sentinel, a stealthy UAV that gathers intelligence and now has a full-motion video capability, and a low-observable variant of the H-60 Black Hawk.

Air Force:

http://www.af.mil/information/factsheets/factsh...

http://defense-update.com/wp/20110125_rq-170_se...

http://www.militaryaerospace.com/index/display/...

http://chaffandflare.blogspot.com/2011/04/penet...

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3513150&...

Last edited Thu, 12 May 2011, 12:42pm by eestorblog


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Thu, 12 May 2011, 12:44pm #2
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http://www.newschannel5.com/story/14614092/repo...


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Thu, 12 May 2011, 12:50pm #3
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DARPA Sources:

http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/TTO/Programs/Vult...

Includes darpa contact person.

Looks like I was right above. Vulture is in Phase 2. Sept 2010 announcement. Looks like the lead is BOEING

http://www.darpa.mil/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.asp...


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Thu, 12 May 2011, 12:50pm #4
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http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/142718...

http://wn.com/Lockheed_Various_unmanned_aircraft


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Thu, 12 May 2011, 12:52pm #5
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Looks like Boeing and Lockheed have worked on UAV's together before.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_RQ...

Very interesting.


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Thu, 12 May 2011, 12:55pm #6
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Interesting cross industry collaboration:

http://www.ndia.org/Divisions/Divisions/C4ISR/D...


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Thu, 12 May 2011, 12:57pm #7
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http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/graham-warwic...

Frank Mauro would probably be a Lockheed POC in relation to DARPA on this matter according to that link.


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Thu, 12 May 2011, 1:00pm #8
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General Atomics is based in San Diego. They had a huge job fair last month and where hiring by the hundreds. Gov't is totally supporting drones. If the EESU works u can bet the drone will use it.


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Thu, 12 May 2011, 1:03pm #9
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OK, someone should summarize the insights from the above. It's clear Lockheed has a history of developing UAV technology using DARPA funding. The DARPA program focused on UAV's that we know of is called Vulture. Vulture is in Phase 2. Vulture is supported by AFRL and NASA.

An interesting question to ask now is was Lockheed proposing EEStor technology as part of their Phase 2 Vulture program proposal? Why would DARPA's PM, Daniel Newman, ask his research staff Tim Ritz to learn more about EEStor from AFRL--obviously he did a google search, saw mention of it on Wikipedia pointing to AFRL's DEW group. But why did Newman think EEStor significant enough to even follow up...what did Lockheed say to DARPA to make this a worthwhile research task?

Is Frank Mauro positioning EEStor into a funding request to DARPA?

Whatever the motivations, it appears EEStor is still not ready...if Thubby's conversation with Ritz is at all enlightening.


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Thu, 12 May 2011, 6:07pm #10
eestorblog
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Did anyone read any of the links besides me?


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Thu, 12 May 2011, 6:15pm #11
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In Chat, B said DW was telling everybody everything was working. So why would he not be ready for funding?

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Thu, 12 May 2011, 7:27pm #12
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Eestor doesn't need DARPA funding...Lockheed does though. Counterintuitive isn't it?


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Thu, 12 May 2011, 7:54pm #13
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_RQ...

This is Lockheed's bird. The Sentinel. Wonder why they are inquiring about Predators..


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Thu, 12 May 2011, 8:53pm #14
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B what do you mean eestor is not ready?

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Thu, 12 May 2011, 8:57pm #15
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awesome... if you are into war equipment.

Wouldn't it be incredibly ironic if...?

no, I won't say it.


“Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled.”- Michael Crichton

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Thu, 12 May 2011, 11:17pm #16
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eestorblog wrote:

Eestor doesn't need DARPA funding...Lockheed does though. Counterintuitive isn't it?

Nope, sounds like LM's MO. Why pay for anything when the government will pay you cost-plus to do it.


They're not building pet rocks in there.
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Fri, 13 May 2011, 7:45am #17
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That Eletric Aircraft 2011-2021 report looks interesting, too bad its $4,000.


"Now what they are proposing to do is wild. And there's lots of reasons in which some of these things could fail to be commercialized. I'm not saying whether it's worked or not and if we've announced it or not,"

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