Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sentient’s ViDAR system gives unmanned aircraft a ‘find’ function for the first time

Sentient Vision Systems has signed an exclusive global distribution agreement with Insitu for the ViDAR (Visual Detection and Ranging) software to be incorporated within the company's unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Insitu will incorporate the ViDAR payload into its fleet of unmanned systems, beginning with its ScanEagle unmanned aircraft. The ViDAR software is built into the ScanEagle payload by Hood Technologies.

ViDAR is a wide area autonomous detection system for electro-optic imagery in the maritime domain enabling coverage over 80 times the ocean’s surface compared with existing electro-optic sensors. ViDAR transforms the utility of tactical UAS’s by giving them a ‘find’ function for the first time. Operators typically must rely on larger, more expensive aircraft to detect objects in the ocean; ViDAR provides the find capability in a smaller, more cost-effective payload.

“The inability to find objects on the ocean’s surface has placed a huge limitation on the utility of tactical UAS.” said Simon Olsen, Sentient’s Director of Business Development, Strategy and Partnerships. “Fast boats, rubber rafts or even a person in the water – ViDAR finds them all – and does so at a fraction of the size and cost of existing technologies.”

Sentient’s ViDAR software autonomously detects any object on the surface of the ocean, providing the ground control station with an image and location coordinate of each object detected in real time. In demonstrations, ViDAR has autonomously detected a fishing vessel at 14 nautical miles, a fast boat at more than 9 nm and even the spout of a whale at 1.5 nm from the aircraft.

Air Canada's first African route lands in Casablanca

The arrival of flight AC1936 at Casablanca's Mohammed V International Airport on Saturday marked the successful launch of non-stop service between Montreal and Casablanca, Air Canada's first African route and the only scheduled non-stop service to North Africa by a North American carrier. Flights between Montreal and the famed Moroccan city will be operated until Oct. 29 by Air Canada Rouge with a 282-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. Service is scheduled to resume on May 1, 2017. Air Canada Rouge is the airlines leisure carrier.

On June 16, Air Canada will inaugurate new international services from Montreal to Lyon. Air Canada will also launch new international services between Toronto-London-Gatwick, Toronto-Prague, Toronto-Budapest, Toronto-Glasgow, Toronto-Warsaw, Toronto-Seoul, Vancouver-Brisbane and Vancouver-Dublin.

Air Canada also announced new seasonal Air Canada Rouge service from Toronto to London-Gatwick, Prague, Budapest, Glasgow and Warsaw, Montreal-Casablanca and Vancouver-Dublin.

Southwest Airlines celebrates inaugural service at Long Beach Airport

Southwest Airlines Co., the carrier offering more seats than any other carrier each day to, from, and within California, embarked upon a new chapter in a faithful 35-year partnership with California travelers Sunday. Southwest celebrates inaugural service at Long Beach Airport, the carrier's 98th city served, now offering service in all five major commercial airports in the L.A. Basin with four flights a day to and from the Bay Area nonstop between Long Beach and Oakland.

"Southwest's arrival in Long Beach brings much needed competition not just with our unique value and unparalleled customer service, but with unmatched access to the rest of the country through our Oakland gateway," said Paul Cullen, Southwest Airlines' Vice President of Corporate Planning and Financial Planning and Analysis, at a morning news conference. "The initial schedule for Long Beach offers long reach with easy connections to 19 cities through our four flights a day to Oakland."

Beginning Sunday, Southwest offers a peak summer schedule of nearly 60 flights a day in each direction between Oakland and Southern California's five airports in the greater L.A. region, plus San Diego. Last week, Southwest filed an application for route authority to add new daily international service later this year from LAX to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos in Mexico, alongside daily service to Costa Rica which began in April. Southwest also flies internationally from John Wayne Airport in Orange County to Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos.