The Air Force has nominated the "Desert Hawk"
unmanned aerial vehicle for the National Aeronautic Association's
Robert J. Collier Trophy. The Desert Hawk was developed by the
Electronic Systems Center's Force Protection System Program Office
at Hanscom AFB, (MA).
The program, also known as the Force Protection Airborne
Surveillance System, was selected over three other programs by Air
Force Materiel Command officials. AFMC sent it on to the Air Force
level, where it was selected as the Air Force entry.
The Collier Trophy, established in 1911, is awarded annually for
the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.
Recipients include Orville Wright, Neil Armstrong and Chuck
The Desert Hawk is a seven-pound unmanned aerial
vehicle, which can capture color video or infrared imagery.
Launched with a bungee system, the UAV does not require a pilot for
Autonomously executing its flight plan, the UAV feeds data back
to the operator at a mobile ground station, said Maj. Mike Giger,
FPASS program manager. If necessary, the operator can change the
flight plan with the click of a mouse, directing the aircraft to
change its flight path or circle over a certain area for a period
Security forces can use the Desert Hawk to collect information
if a situation arises, without having to send people into a
possibly hostile situation, said Giger.
"The Desert Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle epitomizes the Collier
criteria of performance, efficiency and safety," said Col. Howard
Borst, Force Protection System Program Office director.
The winner of the 2002 Collier Trophy will be selected later
[Thanks to 1st Lt. Andre Kok, Electronic Systems Center Public