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Author Topic: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow  (Read 80609 times)

Offline Matej

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Having in mind the success of Senior Citizen and T-60S threads, I am starting another "search for truth", now about Lockheed Tier 3 UAV. I realize that after seeing first Lockheed Polecat pictures...

What I know now about Tier 3:

The first real replacement of retired SR-71 Blackbird come from Northrop and E-Systems. They proposed a variation of B-2 bomber called RB-2 with redesigned weapon bay for reconnaissance equipment. McDonnel Douglas proposed a ballistic hypersonic waverider reentry vehicle. Lockheed dusted off its design for the Advanced Technology Bomber competition and began modifying it for the mission requirements being drafted by the Director of Central Intelligence. By the Spring of 1992 several agencies were funding the Lockheed work under the name Advanced Airborne Reconnaissance System and a contract seemed near. For the Tier 3 the Lockheed ATB was almost completely redesigned. Weapons bays were changed to better fit recon systems and their associated apertures, and a host of new populsion and low observables features were added. Prior efforts by the STOVL concept were worked into the propulsion system to give the Tier 3 dramatically improved low speed manueverability for extended sensor coverage and time over target. For the first time Lockheed incorporated "active stealth" features. Active stealth isn't jamming, but methods of deceiving or spoofing enemy sensors over a broad range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Instead of merely absorbing or redirecting radar as previous low observable aircraft had done, the Tier 3 was capable of intercepting the signal and sending back a "phase conjugate pulse" injected with noise - essentially cancelling out the enemy radar system and burying the signature of the Tier 3 in normal background noise.

Loral, Boeing and General Electric signed on as team members before work began on subscale demonstrator aircraft in the Summer of 1992. By 1993 a manned prototype aircraft had been completed and was in test on the restricted ranges of the Southwest. A manned version was used to reduce the risk involved - the prototype was at the time the most advanced stealth aircraft flying, and as a result was one of the most expensive aircraft ever built. Program managers insisted on having a man in the loop after learning from experience with other UAV programs that unmanned vehicles are prone to software bugs and tend to crash and burn (paradoxly it was the destiny of its follower Tier 3- Dark Star). A number of observers reported seeing large boomerrang-shaped aircraft, often flying at "near walking speed".

By mid-1994 the flight test program had progressed well and many milestones had been achieved- though the cost of the production version was much more than the customers were willing to pay. Many sources within the Air Force and intelligence community reffered to the Tier 3 as the most advanced aircraft ever produced- so advanced that if one was to crash over hostile territory the US would have to "bomb that country back into the stone age" to protect the technology used in the Tier 3. After much debate within the intelligence agaencies and recently formed DARO, the Tier 3 program was judged to be too expensive and high risk, and studies for replacements were begun.

The CIA Gnat 750 program was restructered and brought out of the black to provide an interim theatre recon capability in the form of several Gnats and the Predator, while requests for proposals for two new aircraft were let out to industry. The Tier 2+ which led to RQ-4 Global Hawk was to be a high-endurance UAV with little low observable to reduce cost and fill in for the gap in coverage capability left by the cancellation of the Tier 3. Loral's Western Development Labolatories competitor for the Tier 2+ contract was a cheaper version of the Tier 3, entered without the permission of the other Tier 3 team memebrs, causing an uproar in the black aircraft community (it was presented as the Frontier Systems W570 design). The Tier 3- was designed as a low observable aircraft with less range and endurance than the Tier 2+ and Tier 3, while still allowing commanders to have eyes over heavily defended airspace. The delayed first flight of the Tier 3- DarkStar UAV was primarily caused by the reuse of Tier 3 flight control and guidance software for the DarkStar- more changes in the Tier 3 code were required than originally thought.

Everything what I found so far is one CAD Frontier Systems W570 picture. Can you see Tier 3/Polecat similarities? Because I started to think:

1. Isnt it rebirth of Tier 3 prototype or
2. Was the general shape and some systems of Tier 3 used on Polecat?

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Offline Andreas Parsch

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Loral, Boeing and General Electric signed on as team members before work began on subscale demonstrator aircraft in the Summer of 1992. By 1993 a manned prototype aircraft had been completed and was in test on the restricted ranges of the Southwest. A manned version was used to reduce the risk involved - the prototype was at the time the most advanced stealth aircraft flying, and as a result was one of the most expensive aircraft ever built. Program managers insisted on having a man in the loop after learning from experience with other UAV programs that unmanned vehicles are prone to software bugs and tend to crash and burn (paradoxly it was the destiny of its follower Tier 3- Dark Star). A number of observers reported seeing large boomerrang-shaped aircraft, often flying at "near walking speed".

What is your source for the existence of the manned Tier 3 prototype? I can't remember to have read such a story (at least my notes about "somewhat less unreliable than usual"  ::) rumours about "black" aircraft don't include a manned Tier 3).

Quote
... so advanced that if one was to crash over hostile territory the US would have to "bomb that country back into the stone age" to protect the technology used in the Tier 3.

Whoa ... wouldn't it have been sufficient to bomb the crash site back into the stone age  ;D ?

Offline Matej

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Does anybody have this AIAA papers with info about W570?

Body Freedom Flutter of High Aspect Ratio Flying Wings  AIAA-2005-1947

The SensorCraft Configurations: A Non-Linear AeroServoElastic Challenge for Aviation  AIAA-2005-1943

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Offline Matej

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What is your source for the existence of the manned Tier 3 prototype? I can't remember to have read such a story (at least my notes about "somewhat less unreliable than usual"  ::) rumours about "black" aircraft don't include a manned Tier 3).

Not very reliable. Thats why I created this thread.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2006, 06:45:41 am by Matej »

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Offline Andreas Parsch

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Not very reliable. Thats why I created this thread.

I see. Could you nevertheless provide a rough overview of the source(s) for your Tier 3 history? Otherwise, all we have is a tale, with no means whatsoever to judge its viability. Thank you!

Offline Matej

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Yes, of course. Sometime around 2001, when I started to write about aircrafts, I found an article written by Dan Zinngrabe: http://members.macconnect.com/users/q/quellish/Tier/Tier.html I asked my friends for a long time and the result was an approximative Lockheeds ATB description (sized-up F-117, single sawtooth trailing edge, longer wingspan, less swept than F-117 but more compared to B-2, V tail extended backward....) but nothing more.

Two years later I wrote articles about UAV planes from Amber to Tier 3- DarkStar and that helped me to realize connections between Tier III, DarkStar and W570. When I was doing some graphics job not connected to aviation, I totaly accidentaly found posted W570 CAD picture as part of advertisement for one CAD drawing program (it is not online anymore, or at least I am unable to find it once again).

I also found, that Tier 3 can be the basis of TR-3 Black Manta fake rumours - tí er 3 and tier 3 sounds very simmilar. Lastly I remeber that somewhere was discussion about if this patent drawing represents Tier 3, but I dont think so.

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Offline Andreas Parsch

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Yes, of course. Sometime around 2001, when I started to write about aircrafts, I found an article written by Dan Zinngrabe: http://members.macconnect.com/users/q/quellish/Tier/Tier.html

Ok, thanks. While this is a serious article (as opposed to the rant of a conspiracy fan ;)), Dan also doesn't explicitly say where he got his more interesting data (e.g. the rather detailed specs for Tier 3, and the fact that a manned prototype was flown). His source links are all dead, but from their nature it's IMHO clear that they were not the primary source for these claims.

Quote
I asked my friends for a long time and the result was an approximative Lockheeds ATB description (sized-up F-117, single sawtooth trailing edge, longer wingspan, less swept than F-117 but more compared to B-2, V tail extended backward....) but nothing more.

Sounds like this one:
http://www.dreamlandresort.com/black_projects/senior_peg.html ?

Quote
I also found, that Tier 3 can be the basis of TR-3 Black Manta fake rumours - tí er 3 and tier 3 sounds very simmilar.
This is a popular theory to explain the "TR-3" label (and I tend to agree with it).

Quote
Lastly I remeber that somewhere was discussion about if this patent drawing represents Tier 3, but I dont think so.
Neither do I. And patents shouldn't be overrated anyway. You can patent almost anything, and a patent is no indication whatsoever for existing hardware.

Offline Meteorit

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From the Skunk-Works Digest mailing list:

Quote
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 13:13:14 -0600
From: "Allen Thomson" <thomsona@flash.net>
Subject: Origins of Dark Star

I was googling about and found something I posted on Usenet back in 1999.
As things continue to be slow in skunkland, perhaps someone would care
to comment on it, perhaps provide relevant information that has been found
in the past three years.

-Original Posting-

Buried on pp. 77-78 of the 24 May 1999 AWST is an article that might
bear on things skunkish and, who knows, even Area 51-ish.

   Long-Term Stealth Project Gets the Ax
   by David A. Fulghum
   Aviation Week & Space Technology
   May 24, 1999, pp. 77-78
   [EXCERPTS]

   In consolidating recent mergers, Boeing has committed itself to
   ruthlessly cutting programs that aren't going to make near-term
   profits. One victim is a stealthy, unmanned reconnaissance aircraft
   project, most of which is still classified...

   Initially, the 15-year long black program was designed to build a
   strategic reconnaissance aircraft that resembled the Dark-Star in
   shape and approached the B-2 bomber in size and cost, according to
   several Pentagon officials. The aircraft was to penetrate contested
   airspace... [,] carry a wide range of sensors and serve as a
   replacement for the long-lived U-2.

   High cost and the post-Cold War political environment led to a
   scaling down of the project and the subsequent design of several
   smaller, cheaper versions. Boeing teamed with Lockheed Martin during
   the redesign on what was known as the Tier 3 UAV. This project was
   abandoned in 1992. The stealth design was then shrunk a third time
   and built as the Tier 3- UAV, later called Dark Star. [Dark Star was
   suddenly canceled on 27 Jan 1999 by Pentagon acquisition chief
   Jacques Gansler.]

   Pentagon supporters of the Global Hawk and DarkStar long-endurance
   UAV programs said Gansler's recommendation came at the Air Force's
   urging. The idea is to kill the Dark Star now, cancel production of
   the Global Hawk in a year or two and then launch into a new program
   for a large stealthy UAV. It would have a 1-2-ton payload and the
   ability to operate covertly even when under observation by low-
   frequency radars.

-*-

Comment: The part about the B-2-sized UAV being intended as a
replacement for the U-2 (at least the post-1960s U-2) strikes me as
questionable. More likely, IMO, is that its primary task was to
perform reconnaissance over the Soviet Union in support of the B-2's
original raison d'etre: destruction of strategic relocatable
targets, aka mobile ICBMs and IRBMs.

Things pointing to this interpretation are:

- - the characterization of it as a "strategic reconnaissance
  aircraft"

- - the timeframe in which it must have been initiated (probably during
  Reagan's first term, maybe early in his second one, when
  strategic warfighting programs were being pushed)

- - the size, stealth and associated cost, all of which were much
  more compatible with the Cold-War strategic warfighting mission
  than with simple replacement of the U-2

- - the fact that the mobile-missile hunting mission of the B-2
  seriously needed something to provide broad-area, more or less
  continuous surveillance. Satellites and the SR-71 wouldn't have done
  it very well because of dwell and revisit problems; the big
  UAV would have been much better suited to the task.

There were several articles in AW&ST concerning Quarz and AARS in the 1990s. Unfortunately I don't remember the specific issues (read them in a library).

Andreas, can you tell me more about this picture (found once from your site)?

Offline Andreas Parsch

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From the Skunk-Works Digest mailing list:

Quote
   [...] Boeing teamed with Lockheed Martin during
   the redesign on what was known as the Tier 3 UAV. This project was
   abandoned in 1992.
A 1992 cancellation of Tier 3 somewhat contradicts the notion, that a manned Tier 3 prototype was flown in 1993.

Quote
Andreas, can you tell me more about this picture (found once from your site)?

Really, from my site  ??? ?!  Anyway, it's true that I have the same image in my files, and maybe I once posted it for download in some forum ;). I received it from a notoriously unreliable source, who said that it was an illustration of "Quartz" (or "Q" or "Tier 3")  from AW&ST.

Offline Matej

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Dan also doesn't explicitly say where he got his more interesting data.

At business university, we were always saying, that "ability to hide the sources of your information is the first step to success".  :D Especially when you are talking about something secret.

Sounds like this one:
http://www.dreamlandresort.com/black_projects/senior_peg.html ?

Yes, its Senior Peg, but I asked it three years before it was declassified.  ;)

Regarding to picture posted by Meteorit, I am 100% sure that I saw it before and have it in archive, but after seeing some 30 000+ images (!) I must conclude, that I am unable to find it once again. It was related to advanced sensor platform studied by one of US development agencies.

But this image together with some that I am posting are more in category - "I dont have nothing to ilustrate my article, so I will draw some".

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Offline Andreas Parsch

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2006, 06:47:39 am »
At business university, we were always saying, that "ability to hide the sources of your information is the first step to success".  :D Especially when you are talking about something secret.
Of course I don't say that the sources of classified information should be openly identified.

But you must either claim your info is first-hand (in which case you better post under a pseudonym ;) ) or give at least some sort of source identification (like, say, "a project engineer told me ..." or "I could read some documents ..."). Otherwise your story is indistinguishable from one you just made up on the spot. This may not appear to make a big difference immediately (after all, you could also make up the sources ;)), but it does help others a lot in judging the reliability of you and your sources afterwards. Let's say, you make three claims about Tier 3, and attribute them to a single source. Some time later, claim #1 is confirmed (e.g. by partial declassification). This immediately makes claims #2 and #3 more believable, because the source apparently knew what they were saying! On the other hand, if claim #1 is disproved, the other two are to be seriously doubted as well. In the past, I have experienced both ways (source turned "good" or "bad"), and I'm extremely reluctant to speculate about claims for which no source whatsoever is given.

Quote
Yes, its Senior Peg, but I asked it three years before it was declassified.  ;)

As far as I know, SENIOR PEG is still officially classified.

Offline Orionblamblam

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2006, 10:21:48 am »
Does anybody have this AIAA papers with info about W570?

Body Freedom Flutter of High Aspect Ratio Flying Wings  AIAA-2005-1947

Yes.

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Offline Meteorit

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2006, 10:37:36 am »
Really, from my site  ??? ?!  Anyway, it's true that I have the same image in my files, and maybe I once posted it for download in some forum ;). I received it from a notoriously unreliable source, who said that it was an illustration of "Quartz" (or "Q" or "Tier 3")  from AW&ST.

From the temp-directory, when I went there to get something else.  :) I was mainly interested of where it came from.
According to AW&ST, "Quartz" was the original vehicle that was scaled back to become AARS / Tier 3 in some sort of joined Boeing/Lockheed program, which in turn was scaled back to become Tier 3-. (And apparently then further scaled back to become the "secret UAV over Iraq", and then Polecat, and...)

Offline Dronte

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2006, 04:18:32 pm »
I don't believe that it contributes anything new but at least it serves like a curiosity: A small article dedicated to this topic in the Argentinean edition of Popular Mechanics. (April 1995)

Excuses for not contributing a translation but my English is very basic

Offline Matej

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2006, 05:03:38 am »
Excuses for not contributing a translation but my English is very basic

When you have text in electronic form, this should help: babelfish.altavista.com or www.translate.ru/eng

As far as I know, SENIOR PEG is still officially classified.

Really? I didnt know that. So the drawing only went from black to the light of AWST?

To Orionblamblam 1: Wow! Thanx!
To Orionblamblam 2: Wow! Thanx!

:) Now I can mark a lot of my pictures as "identified" (some of them are from flateric).

When we have them, so lets find a connections between them. I have relevant (first hand  ;)) info only about W570. Loral Western Development Laboratories and Frontier Systems proposed the W570 all-wing aircraft for Tier II+ competition. Skunk Works joined the competition as a subcontractor  to Raytheon, because it was not permitted to compete as a prime contractor, because - along with team-mate Boeing - it had been selected as a  sole-source supplier to produce the stealthy DarkStar UAV.

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Offline Matej

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2006, 05:05:40 am »
More...

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Offline quellish

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2007, 07:36:03 pm »
Yes, of course. Sometime around 2001, when I started to write about aircrafts, I found an article written by Dan Zinngrabe: http://members.macconnect.com/users/q/quellish/Tier/Tier.html

Ok, thanks. While this is a serious article (as opposed to the rant of a conspiracy fan ;)), Dan also doesn't explicitly say where he got his more interesting data (e.g. the rather detailed specs for Tier 3, and the fact that a manned prototype was flown). His source links are all dead, but from their nature it's IMHO clear that they were not the primary source for these claims.

Quote
I asked my friends for a long time and the result was an approximative Lockheeds ATB description (sized-up F-117, single sawtooth trailing edge, longer wingspan, less swept than F-117 but more compared to B-2, V tail extended backward....) but nothing more.

Sounds like this one:
http://www.dreamlandresort.com/black_projects/senior_peg.html ?

Quote
I also found, that Tier 3 can be the basis of TR-3 Black Manta fake rumours - tí er 3 and tier 3 sounds very simmilar.
This is a popular theory to explain the "TR-3" label (and I tend to agree with it).

Quote
Lastly I remeber that somewhere was discussion about if this patent drawing represents Tier 3, but I dont think so.
Neither do I. And patents shouldn't be overrated anyway. You can patent almost anything, and a patent is no indication whatsoever for existing hardware.


The article *is* over 10 years old now Andreas, and at the time there was very little out there on this subject worth linking to ;)
Still, take it as you will. The usual caveats about sources and methods apply.

Offline hesham

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2008, 04:03:27 am »
Hi,

I know hat we speak here about the manned aircraft,but for some interest
the heavy lift UAV;
http://www.flightglobal.com/PDFArchive/View/1995/1995%20-%202763.html?search=joint%20heavy%20lift%20aircraft

« Last Edit: January 29, 2008, 07:46:59 am by flateric »

Offline Matej

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2008, 01:52:10 pm »
Hesham's post merged with this topic.

After seeing that picture I am nearly sure, that this artists impression represents the Loral (Frontier Systems) W570.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2008, 01:59:44 am »
Original Skunk Works DarkStar leaflet
« Last Edit: February 11, 2008, 09:50:23 am by flateric »
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline SOC

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2008, 08:40:55 pm »
Sounds like this one:
http://www.dreamlandresort.com/black_projects/senior_peg.html ?

Yes, its Senior Peg, but I asked it three years before it was declassified.  ;)

That's most assuredly NOT SENIOR PEG, that is most likely the ATA-B variant of SENIOR TREND.  SENIOR PEG can be seen in one of the recent F-117A books that was published.  It looks a lot more like a B-2 with a butterfly tail than that illustration.

Offline AeroFranz

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2008, 11:03:52 am »
Does anybody have this AIAA papers with info about W570?

Body Freedom Flutter of High Aspect Ratio Flying Wings  AIAA-2005-1947


I apologize for replying to something posted so long ago, but it's kinda funny...Gregory directed me to this thread after I inquired about the Loral W570. I had never seen pictures online. I was curious because last week I drove one of our consultants to the airport. He also happens to be one of the authors of that AIAA paper. I will ping him and ask him if he has public domain pics he can share.

regards,
Francesco
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Offline quellish

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2008, 10:33:49 pm »
Does anybody have this AIAA papers with info about W570?

Body Freedom Flutter of High Aspect Ratio Flying Wings  AIAA-2005-1947


I apologize for replying to something posted so long ago, but it's kinda funny...Gregory directed me to this thread after I inquired about the Loral W570. I had never seen pictures online. I was curious because last week I drove one of our consultants to the airport. He also happens to be one of the authors of that AIAA paper. I will ping him and ask him if he has public domain pics he can share.

regards,
Francesco


Well, imagine this...
In the early 80s, DARPA's TEAL CAMEO produces requirements for developing high altitude long endurance UAVs. TEAL RAIN is one direction, intended to produce a non-stealthy long endurance platform for communications and reconnaissance, and this program pushed the limits of conventional powerplants to operate in this environment for long periods of time. From TEAL CAMEO's technology development came Boeing's Condor, intended to provide the Navy with a platform for detecting Backfire bombers approaching a carrier group. The mission was transferred to USAF after Boeing self-funded most of it, and dropped the ball.
TEAL CAMEO also defined a requirement for a high altitude long endurance penetrating UAV, to carry on much of the U-2's mission and more. USAF wanted nothing to do with this, but the intelligence community was very interested. Through fits and starts the program progressed until the 1990s. Flight hardware and software was produced, sensors were developed - all at great cost. This was "Quartz". The intelligence community was forced to transfer ownership of the project - which was quite far along - to the Air Force, which stuffed it into a program called Advanced Airborne Reconnaissance System. It lasted a year before it was shut down, though slowly.

At this point, several organizations reached the conclusion that the efforts of the intelligence community and DoD should come together. CIA's Gnat 750 became part of the program (Tier 1). The medium endurance UAV requirement that Condor satisfied was brought back (Tier 2). Tier 3 was a set of requirements based on Quartz/AARS, but barely scaled back. Quartz was not seriously considered for Tier 3 because of cost.
Later this was shifted some more, with the result being Tier 1, Tier 2+, and the unsolicited Tier 3-.

The WD570 was part of a Loral bid for Tier 3.



....or it could all be someone's imagination. :)

Offline fightingirish

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2008, 07:58:19 am »
Hi folks,

today I found a 12-year old USAF study of a larger version of the Darkstar, called the Strikestar.
It remembered me of reading a few years ago of an article in AirInternational, where a USAF U-2 pilot reported seeing an flying higher as himhelf during his sorties over Iraq during 2003.

Another source:
Aviation week - 6th July 2003 - A Classified Lockheed Martin Unmanned Reconnaissance Aircraft Was Used in Iraq - By David A. Fulghum

Edit: Somehow I can't post the study "Strikestar 2025" as a pdf.   >:(
Just google for 'Strikestar 2025' or 'vol3ch13.pdf'!
« Last Edit: July 05, 2008, 08:11:33 am by fightingirish »
Slán,
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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2008, 09:10:34 am »
fightingirish, please note that this is truly notional study having nothing with actual LMSW thoughts of DarkStar development.
Anyway, thanks.
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stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2008, 02:17:36 pm »
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline OM

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2008, 03:35:49 pm »
...Kids, hasn't it been pretty much accepted that "Tier-3" was someone mishearing "TR-3" when it was overheard in a conversation between two executives?

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2008, 04:12:26 pm »
...Kids, hasn't it been pretty much accepted that "Tier-3" was someone mishearing "TR-3" when it was overheard in a conversation between two executives?

Yes, but the other way round. Tier-3 was a real program and "TR-3" probably a misinterpretation.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2009, 12:51:06 pm »
Quartz/Tier III/AARS was a much larger vehicle with lower sweep. Lockheed and Boeing's SensorCraft (and NGB) designs owe a lot to it.
In fact, a lot like this:
http://content.ll-0.com/signal/signal_e_a000749775.JPG?i=030707113259
Pretty much exactly like this...
http://sitelife.aviationweek.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/6/5/d6ee2a05-4aac-4a37-a541-5e2bb7525a57.Large.jpg


And what exactly is "this"? I am very, very, very, very interested in this subject.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2009, 01:04:09 pm »
one of Northrop's SensorCraft concepts
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2009, 09:49:46 pm »
one of Northrop's SensorCraft concepts

Yup, my mistake. More accurately, exactly like this:
http://sitelife.aviationweek.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/11/9/2b149b42-f83f-4df3-b9a5-7d1d78883350.Large.jpg
http://sitelife.aviationweek.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/1/4af76863-4810-4f9f-a178-33933596875a.Large.jpg

Dust off an old desk model, put a sticker on as a cockpit, and you're ready to bid again!

Article here:
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/index.jsp?plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3a27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post%3acfe7ae59-0e54-40e3-a40a-55be78ed725c

The Boeing-Lockheed NGB *is* the Boeing-Lockheed Advanced Airborne Reconnaissance System, better known to people here as Quartz, later briefly reborn in the public eye as Tier III (*not* Tier III-). Well, for all intents and purposes. And Tier III was really just a requirement that the program(s) satisfied, rather than the program itself.

Slightly off topic, but one thing I am very interested in now is wether Boeing has the rights to W570 right now.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2009, 09:37:46 am »
Dust off an old desk model, put a sticker on as a cockpit, and you're ready to bid again!

OMG!!!  :o

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2009, 07:19:38 am »
Quellish -

As far as I know, what Boeing bought from Karem was the rights to unmanned versions of the OSR concept.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #33 on: March 19, 2009, 11:00:33 am »
Quellish -

As far as I know, what Boeing bought from Karem was the rights to unmanned versions of the OSR concept.

Karem's various companies over the years made it hard to figure out who got what in the end! It was not even clear if Frontier still owned W570, or wether a previous company had the rights to it.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2009, 02:28:29 pm »
LockMart might even have a piece of it, since Loral was the original partner.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2009, 06:56:29 am »
If the LockMart-Boeing NGB is based on Quartz, at what point did the vastly different Darkstar planform emerge?  It appears that Quartz went through three distinct stages in its evolution: AARS/Quartz, then a de-scoping into Tier III, and finally Tier III- (Darkstar.)

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2009, 02:26:06 pm »
If the LockMart-Boeing NGB is based on Quartz, at what point did the vastly different Darkstar planform emerge?  It appears that Quartz went through three distinct stages in its evolution: AARS/Quartz, then a de-scoping into Tier III, and finally Tier III- (Darkstar.)

Actually, Tier III- was pretty unrelated, it's family tree is different than that of QUARTZ. The original design came from another program and was adapted to the mission. One of LM's critical mistakes here was that they tried to recycle much of the software developed for QUARTZ and ATF into DARKSTAR. This was much more difficult than they originally estimated.
The software and VLO was about the only thing that DARKSTAR shared with QUARTZ. 
Some of the VLO capabilities developed for QUARTZ made their way into DARKSTAR. The ones that were not brought into DARKSTAR were either too expensive or too sensitive. DARKSTAR was optimized for specific mission parameters that QUARTZ did not share. Rather than being all aspect stealth, for example, DARKSTAR was intended to disappear from observers to it's sides, like TACIT BLUE.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2009, 05:04:45 pm »
Is it safe to assume that the Tier III planform was a smaller version of the original AARS design?  Bill Sweetman (FWIW) reports that AARS had ballooned to a design that was 250 feet from wingtip to wingtip once the requirements creep sank in.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #38 on: June 04, 2009, 05:55:21 pm »
Is it safe to assume that the Tier III planform was a smaller version of the original AARS design?  Bill Sweetman (FWIW) reports that AARS had ballooned to a design that was 250 feet from wingtip to wingtip once the requirements creep sank in.

AARS and QUARTZ are essentially the same, yes. Tier III was the first attempt to do QUARTZ without the expensive stuff. Less of the exotic signature reduction materials/avionics, lower ceiling, different payloads. Tier III did not live very long, the unit cost was still way too high.
QUARTZ, as far as I know, never got THAT large. The span was larger than the B-2 but not by much, it was still under 200'. The Navy had a program that produced something that big, but I do not know if it produced anything flying. Since that was also a Lockheed program it is possible that Sweetman was mixing the two up, even though they were very different projects.

Strangely, I am still not clear on wether AARS was a single aircraft or multiple. I have seen indications that at some point AARS included a high supersonic drone as well.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2009, 11:26:53 am »
Actually, Tier III- was pretty unrelated, it's family tree is different than that of QUARTZ. The original design came from another program....

Which is? I am still very interested  ;)

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #40 on: June 27, 2009, 12:29:45 pm »
Actually, Tier III- was pretty unrelated, it's family tree is different than that of QUARTZ. The original design came from another program....

Which is? I am still very interested  ;)

ASPA/ATB. Lockheed reached some of the same conclusions that Northrop did about how best to meet the requirements and designed a vehicle that was very close to the original Northrop ATB. The "Lockheed ATB" photos that are in the public domain right now are NOT that aircraft. Lockheed had two efforts going. ATA-B, which then was rolled into their original ATB designs, and a high aspect ratio flying wing with fewer facets. This is what eventually became QUARTZ a few years later with Boeing, and some of the different configuration studies have lived on in other programs. Some of Lockheed's SensorCraft work is directly derived from these studies (and others). For example, a SensorCraft high aspect ratio flying wing with a pyramid shaped nose was a QUARTZ configuration. My understanding is that Boeing actually had more input into the final QUARTZ configuration than Lockheed did.

ATA-B is the pole model cited as being the Lockheed ATB.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2009, 12:31:25 pm »
fightingirish, please note that this is truly notional study having nothing with actual LMSW thoughts of DarkStar development.
Anyway, thanks.

Huh, I finaly read it all and found this:

Quote
Skunkworks designers are continuing evolutionary improvements on the DarkStar platform. Their conceptual design in figure 5-2 provides a look at a twin engine platform capable of increased range, speed, and payload capacity that has the potential to function as a UAV strike platform. This design could serve as the basis for future StrikeStar developments.

From the keyword "their" I come to the conclusion, that the two engined DarkStar proposal is actual Lockheed design. However from other parts of the report I came to another conclusion, that this DarkStar development was only a concept or at best demonstration study, that can be used for the future development (that probably led to Polecat). Wrong? Right?

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #42 on: June 27, 2009, 12:35:01 pm »
Thanks for that. But my question was aimed primarily to DarkStar. Does its shape come from another/earlier program or was it all-new development?

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #43 on: June 27, 2009, 12:41:28 pm »
Thanks for that. But my question was aimed primarily to DarkStar. Does its shape come from another/earlier program or was it all-new development?

Ah. I do not know for sure, but I think it came from a QUARTZ configuration study, at least initially. It is possible that it has more heritage in another program though, like some of the Navy HALE programs from the 70s or 80s. Lockheed's very large Navy RPV (ENCHANTMENT) from the 80s had a similar straight wing, so it's possible.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #44 on: June 27, 2009, 09:40:00 pm »
ATA-B is the pole model cited as being the Lockheed ATB.

My inclination is to agree with this perspective on the two different designs that have both been been associated with the Lockheed "SENIOR PEG" program.  The design presented publicly by Jim Goodall which resembles the original Northrop ATB concept (plus facets and twin tails) is probably SENIOR PEG because it agrees with Ben Rich's description of the Lockheed ATB design.  It likely led to QUARTZ, and the same basic planform (minus facets and twin tails) is still evident in the LockMart-Boeing NGB design.

The pole model from the Landis F-117 book is at odds with Ben Rich's description, and shares many facet patterns (nose and wingtips for starters) with the F-117.  I'd suspect that this design was the Lockheed ATA-B, the bigger brother to the F-117 which was going to carry an F-111 sized payload.

Offline Mr London 24/7

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #45 on: April 30, 2010, 08:57:15 am »
In the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) doc 'Future Warfare 20XX Wargame Series: Lessons Learned Report' (http://www.csbaonline.org/4Publications/PubLibrary/R.20011201.FutureWarXX/R.20011201.FutureWarXX.pdf) there is the following reference:

Quote
...What is needed is a stealthy version of the Global Hawk. Fortunately, most of the R&D
required to field this type of system was conducted in the 1980s under the Advanced Airborne
Reconnaissance System (AARS)
program. (For an excellent overview of this program, see Ehrhard, “A Comparative Study of Weapon System Innovation: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the United States Armed Services,” pp. 136-158). Originally intended to find and track mobile launchers for Soviet intermediate- and intercontinental-range ballistic missiles, the AARS platform, code-named “Quartz,” was envisioned as an extremely stealthy UAV equipped with an array of high-resolution sensors and high-capacity satellite communications capabilities.60 With a wingspan of some 250 feet, it would have been able to fly at an altitude of about 80,000 feet for several days at a time. In outward appearance, it was more or less a substantially scaled-up version of the Darkstar UAV that was cancelled in 1999. A stealthy HALE UAV program based upon the AARS and Tier-III designs should be restarted soon

Whilst I can find other references to this document (inc from http://www.au.af.mil/au/aul/bibs/unmannedsys.htm), which was a PhD Thesis by Col. Thomas P Ehrhard whilst at Johns Hopkins apparently circa 2000, I haven't been able to find an actual .pdf of it online. Anyone seen it?

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #46 on: April 30, 2010, 11:59:57 am »
The picture released by Jim Goodall and posted at dreamlandresort appears to be an F-111 class aircraft and is nearly identical to the F-117 (at least in plan form) except for the large V-tail hanging on a boom out the back of the aircraft.  That aircraft is a as much of a "flying wing" as the F-117 is.

In Ben Rich's Skunk Works book he describes Lockheed's ATB/B-2 design as being a flying wing with a small tail.  The pole model in the Tony Landis book meets those descriptions. (See Pages 310-11.)  A few pages back (Pages 303-305), Rich describes a competing proposal to General Dynamics FB-111H proposal which had a range of 3,600 nautical miles and a payload of 10,000 lbs.  I strongly suspect that the aircraft depicted on dreamlandresort is that aircraft/"ATA-B".


My inclination is to agree with this perspective on the two different designs that have both been been associated with the Lockheed "SENIOR PEG" program.  The design presented publicly by Jim Goodall which resembles the original Northrop ATB concept (plus facets and twin tails) is probably SENIOR PEG because it agrees with Ben Rich's description of the Lockheed ATB design.  It likely led to QUARTZ, and the same basic planform (minus facets and twin tails) is still evident in the LockMart-Boeing NGB design.

The pole model from the Landis F-117 book is at odds with Ben Rich's description, and shares many facet patterns (nose and wingtips for starters) with the F-117.  I'd suspect that this design was the Lockheed ATA-B, the bigger brother to the F-117 which was going to carry an F-111 sized payload.
Richard

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Whilst I can find other references to this document (inc from http://www.au.af.mil/au/aul/bibs/unmannedsys.htm), which was a PhD Thesis by Col. Thomas P Ehrhard whilst at Johns Hopkins apparently circa 2000, I haven't been able to find an actual .pdf of it online. Anyone seen it?

I've been looking for it as well, but no luck so far.

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Thomas Paul Ehrhard, "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the United States Armed Services: A Comparative Study of Weapon System Innovation." Ph.D. dissertation, Political Science, Johns Hopkins, 2001. AAT 3006390

I think i'll have to contact the University direct and see if their historical archives have it and pay up for a copy. A most quoted piece of work and an invaluable research tool / historical paper to have a hard copy of.

Offline Mr London 24/7

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Indeed, most interested to see if it really is an "excellent overview of this program", since so little of AARS has reached the public domain so far...

Erhard's bio: http://www.af.mil/information/bios/bio.asp?bioID=12934

Offline Mr London 24/7

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And another intriguing ref in "The U.S. Air Force Remotely Piloted Aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Strategic Vision" (http://www.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-060322-009.pdf):

Quote
The most comprehensive unclassified history of RPA and UAV testing and employment through 1999 is Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the United States Armed Services: A Comparative Study of Weapon System Innovation, by Colonel Thomas P. Ehrhard. Colonel Ehrhard submitted this definitive work as his PhD dissertation at Johns Hopkins University in 2000. This section of The Strategic Vision is derived primarily from his work.


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stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

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Quote
Frontier Systems was the company that Abe Karem and key members of Leading Systems founded after Amber. Loral provided the overall program management and sensor integration management. One of the development efforts they had working on was a 26,000 lb flying wing concept for theater missile defense, called the W570A. (A slightly smaller version for ISR and communications relay missions for export and civilian use, was called the Arrow.) Reportedly, $10M was invested in its development. A scaled down version of the W570, the 3500 lb Shadow flying wing, was studied under the Tier II+ Phase I, and built in April 1996 as a high altitude endurance flight test bed and high altitude UAV trainer.

Air Vehicle Specifications – Developmental Systems
Shephard’s Unmanned Vehicles Handbook 2007
The Shephard Press, 1996
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 03:34:34 am by flateric »
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

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Like RQ-170 , isn't it ?

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Cool, never seen this pic. thanks Gregoriy ;)
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thanks to Mike Hirschberg for the first hand
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

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WOW!

Regarding the 1400+ page study: is anybody nearby? http://tinyurl.com/262edcv

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« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 02:02:53 pm by blackstar »

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WOW!

Regarding the 1400+ page study: is anybody nearby? http://tinyurl.com/262edcv

Most Ph.D. theses can be obtained through Inter-Library Loan in the United States.

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This may be of interest...

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This may be of interest...
Tease.

Offline Mr London 24/7

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Well, there are some pages availiable for Preview from JHU, but only from the start of the Thesis:

http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?did=728475031&Fmt=14&VType=PQD&VInst=PROD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1273181818&clientId=79356

Anyway, I've purchased a copy and am waiting for a .PDF download link it appears... assuming there's no copyright issue I will post AARS/Tier III info if I actually get it...




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Well, it really explains a lot, just in brief for tonight: Pete Aldridge was responsible for the start of the AARS Program, and the main source who provided info on AARS in the Thesis is a David Keir (who is slated as being the final AARS Program Manager), and who later became a Deputy Director of the NRO?

I'm not familiar with the name and have no time to search right now. I will try and summarise as best I can on Friday evening UK time. There really is a lot which will be of interest to members in here I believe, a couple of brief references may even cause some controversy.... how about a Tier IV?  ;)

It is marked as Copyright Thomas Erhard: I'll have to take advice on that, in what form can I best share it?

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Well, it really explains a lot, just in brief for tonight: Pete Aldridge was responsible for the start of the AARS Program, and the main source who provided info on AARS in the Thesis is a David Keir (who is slated as being the final AARS Program Manager), and who later became a Deputy Director of the NRO?

I'm not familiar with the name and have no time to search right now. I will try and summarise as best I can on Friday evening UK time. There really is a lot which will be of interest to members in here I believe, a couple of brief references may even cause some controversy.... how about a Tier IV?  ;)

It is marked as Copyright Thomas Erhard: I'll have to take advice on that, in what form can I best share it?

Unfortuantely that probably means it can't be shared :(
Does it go into the relationships between TEAL CAMEO, QUARTZ, AARS, Tier III, and ENCHANTMENT? Or does it only cover AARS and its evolution into the DARO/DARPA Tier UAVs?

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It is marked as Copyright Thomas Erhard: I'll have to take advice on that, in what form can I best share it?

At best you could publicly post portions of the book under the doctrine of "fair use."  Although you're not supposed to, there's nothing to prevent you from sharing an entire scan with an individual as long as you're not profiting or hurting the author's ability to profit from the work (and in the case of a Ph.D. dissertation, you're not really doing that).  And you can always indicate what the book actually says.

But you cannot scan the whole thing and post it without violating copyright.

Offline Mr London 24/7

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Thanks for the sensible advice Gents.

It does indeed mention all of those things Quellish (and other earlier RPV/UAV programs, with the possible exception of ENCHANTMENT), although its 700-odd (rather than 1400) pages and I've only skipped through it so far. I did see a reference to TEAL CAMEO implying it to be more than I knew it to be, which was one of the first surprises. I think there is also reference to 'Special Platform', but I need to read further to see if this is the 'Air Force Special Platform'. I believe your pages from 2000 (http://homepage.mac.com/quellish/bd2/aircraft/afsp/) are still the best reference to this enigma.

A couple of the potential controveries include the briefest reference to a manned supersonic SR-71 follow on possibly being part of the AARS Program (for NRO). A reference to a 'TR-3' as being a study of a seperate, lower-tech (and importantly: cheaper) manned vehicle AFTER 'Tier-III' was dying. A mooted number of 7 or 8 for an intended AARS/Quartz production run of the largest wing design (250 feet @ roughly a Billion each as we already knew). A reference to the Air Force wishing a flying prototype of this vehicle to be manned or 'optionally manned' due to concerns over UAV reliability. Unfortunately I don't think there are any diagrams of the design's for any of the potential AARS vehicles.

I'm at work right now but intend to get everything together tonight and quote it in sections (but not reproduce it). Unfortunately the .pdf is a scan of the original so the text isn't recognised for searching. So I'll have to be thorough in going through it. I'd certainly recommend a purchase for serious or semi-serious research, it only cost me $37.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 01:05:02 am by mr_london_247 »

Offline quellish

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I contacted Hopkins and (CSIS?) where he is now last year looking for a copy, but never got replies :(

Thanks for the sensible advice Gents.

It does indeed mention all of those things Quellish (and other earlier RPV/UAV programs, with the possible exception of ENCHANTMENT), although its 700-odd (rather than 1400) pages and I've only skipped through it so far. I did see a reference to TEAL CAMEO implying it to be more than I knew it to be, which was one of the first surprises. I think there is also reference to 'Special Platform', but I need to read further to see if this is the 'Air Force Special Platform'. I believe your pages from 2000 (http://homepage.mac.com/quellish/bd2/aircraft/afsp/) are still the best reference to this enigma.

AFSP has become a good example of bad classification rules :)
The public side of TEAL CAMEO was Condor, but that was not nearly the whole story. TEAL CAMEO was, apparently, the *whole* DARPA HALE UAV during the 1980s. People may remember concept art of large, solar powered and microwave powered aircraft from that era - much like today's Vulture. Those studies were part of TEAL CAMEO. There were several specific missions identified, one of which evolved into Tier 3.
Another mission was for the Navy. The Navy was interested in a large, persistent platform for detecting Backfire bombers approaching a carrier battle group. Boeing ended up developing Condor with it's own funds and some support from DARPA, the Navy ended up being interested in the work but not the vehicle. It is not clear to me yet wether ENCHANTMENT was a Lockheed TEAL CAMEO effort, or something separate.
TEAL RAIN developed propulsion technology, and TEAL AMBER was the Amber UAVs. 

A couple of the potential controveries include the briefest reference to a manned supersonic SR-71 follow on possibly being part of the AARS Program (for NRO). A reference to a 'TR-3' as being a study of a seperate, lower-tech (and importantly: cheaper) manned vehicle AFTER 'Tier-III' was dying. A mooted number of 7 or 8 for an intended AARS/Quartz production run of the largest wing design (250 feet @ roughly a Billion each as we already knew). A reference to the Air Force wishing a flying prototype of this vehicle to be manned or 'optionally manned' due to concerns over UAV reliability. Unfortunately I don't think there are any diagrams of the design's for any of the potential AARS vehicles.

At least at a high level, this seems to be right on the money.
AARS was a "system of systems" program at least at one point, and included both manned and unmanned components ;)
There was also planning for a Tier 4, which was to be a Global Hawk class vehicle but much more stealthy. TR had a Global Hawk variant, and Loral *was* pushing a W570 design. Flateric's post of a W570 variant makes me wonder if Tier 4 really went away.

I'm at work right now but intend to get everything together tonight and quote it in sections (but not reproduce it). Unfortunately the .pdf is a scan of the original so the text isn't recognised for searching. So I'll have to be thorough in going through it. I'd certainly recommend a purchase for serious or semi-serious research, it only cost me $37.

Hopefully I'll be able to get a copy soon!

Offline Mr London 24/7

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Post #1 of 2: The AARS .

(Post #2 will be Tier III).

Everything below is quoting from the Thesis as precisely as I can where it refers to AARS, I've put References made in the main body text in itallics here:

Quote
(Ref 301, pg 138) There is some anecdotal evidence the the Air Force began working on a stealthy loitering system in the late 1970's (perhaps as an extension of COMPASS COPE), but no supporting documentary evidence was found. Donald C. Latham, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control and Communications, and Intelligence from 1981-1988 thought AARS may have dated back to the late 1970's. Donald C. Latham, interview, 9 April 1999.

(pg 139).... Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge, Jr. began the preliminary design explorations on such a UAV soon after taking office in August 1981 (Ref 304). That UAV program became AARS. As John McLucas said, "Pete Aldridge brought aircraft back [into the NRO]. He obviously didn't think, as I did, that we should divest NRO of airborne assets". (Ref 305)

(Ref 304, pg 139) Aldridge was in a position to manage both NRO and USAF "black" projects in his position as NRO Director and Undersecretary (later Secretary) of the Air Force...

(Ref 305, pg 139) McLucas interview. It is entirely possible that, in addition to AARS, the USAF/NRO/CIA airborne reconaissance investments included at least one supersonic, manned SR-71 replacement project.

(pg 139/140).... and after several studies investigating the concept, the Air Force accepted design proposals from seven US aerospace companies for the big, covert surveillance UAV (Ref 306).

(Ref 306, pg 140) A 1995 report on the stealthy DarkStar UAV, a direct descendant of AARS, said "Most of the design was developed in technology work conducted over the last decade or more." Michael A. Dornheim, "Mission of Tier 3- Reflected in Design." Aviation Week & Space Technology 19 June 1995.

[mr_london_247: discussion of the initial intended AARS mission takes place here: to specifically loiter and track SS-24 & SS-25 rail and road-mobile missiles]

(Ref 307, pg 140) SDI spawned a number of UAV projects that overlapped AARS. SDI contractors proposed long-dwell UAVs as a possible platform for carrying the airborne optical adjunct (AOA) for tracking warheads in flight. Early designs for AOA UAVs were very high altitude, large (240 foot wingspan) airplanes with long loiter capability. A fleet of 20 air vehicles was projected to cost $10 Billion. Frederick Seitz. et al., "Report of the Technical Panel on Missile Defense in the 1990's," Washington, DC: George C. Marshall Institute....

(pg 141).... in the end the Air Force/NRO/CIA consortium opted for a leap-ahead system and awarded competitive UAV contracts to aerospace giants Lockheed and Boeing, probably in late 1984 or early 1985.

(Ref 306, pg 141).... It is possible that AARS had a much higher standard of stealth than either the F-117 or B2....

(pg 142).... As one CIA engineer said in an anonymous interview, this project was "the cat's pyjamas," and "the single most fun project I ever worked on" becuase it stretched every conceivable technology area. The Soviet mobile missile threat loomed large and the Reagan administration kept the black money flowing. The big UAV had different codenames that still remain secret, but the characteristically bland cover name for it was the Advanced Airborne Reconaissance System (AARS). (Ref 312).

(Ref 312, pg 142) Aerospace reporter John Boatman was told by unnamed government officials that the name for the AARS started with the letter "Q." the letter insiders used as the shorthand name for the program. Boatman's report remains the best single open-source account of the AARS program although it made no splash at the time. John Boatman, "USA Planned Stealthy UAV to Replace SR-71," Jane's Defence Weekly 17 December 1994: 1. AARS may have been associated with the codename TEAL CAMEO, reportedly a highly secret program to replace the U-2. "Eyes in the Sky," Newsweek 17 November 1986.

(pg 144) .... AARS was, indeed, planned to be the ultimate surveillance UAV, one of the most ambitious Cold War aircraft programs ever. In an exclusive interview for this study, the last AARS program manager emerged from the shadows.... David Kier, now the deputy director of the NRO, disclosed that the large, stealthy high altitude reconassiance bird resembles a substantially scaled-up version of DARPA's DarkStar.... Kier acknowledged that AARS had a long history dating to the early 1980s, "maybe even the 1970s,".... "There was one do-all platform that was very, very expensive, then another scaled-down version that only did a few things," he said. In fact, a Lockheed engineer disclosed in 1995 that over 50 shapes were analyzed for AARS, with the eventual shape, the very odd "flying clam," always showing better stealth characteristics for the high altitude loiter mission.

(pg 145) When Congress directed unified management of conventional Department of Defense (DOD) UAV projects in late 1987, they also ordered centralized control of secret, "national" airborne reconaissance projects through a new agency called the Airborne Reconnaissance Support Program (ARSP) in the National Reconnaissance Office. ARSP was essentially a resurrection of the NRO's "Program D," which had been disbanded in 1974.

(Ref 323 pg 145).... Kier's dates [circa 1987] are confirmed by reports of the Air Force's interest in an SR-71 replacement at that time. The Air Force was apparently looking at various manned platforms for that mission - this article mentions the manned Lockheed Aurora project as one possible competitor. Studying the various competitors for AARS probably ate up valuable time, ultimately making it more vulnerable when the post-Cold War budget cuts came in 1992. Jane Callen. "Air Force Battle Brews Over Using Unmanned Vehicles for Coveted Spy Mission," Inside the Pentagon 9 June 1989.

(pg 147).... ARSP considered three UAVs for the SR-71 replacement role, two DARPA UAVs called AMBER and CONDOR, and a "Lockheed candidate," which was undoubtedly AARS. As previously mentioned, the underlying reason for the Air Force's interest in the AARS program was the mobile missile threat, but it also helped them justify how the very expensive and controversial B-2 stealth bomber might hold those missiles at risk. The B-2 could not find those missiles by itself and satellites did not provide constant surveillance.

(Ref 331, pg 148).... "Kier's Bird," as some called it, lacked a quality called "time-to-station," or sheer intercontinental speed in the event of a crisis. A military official interviewed in 1994 said another very fast alternative to AARS was dropped in the 1980s, possibly the enigmatic Aurora. Boatman, "USA Planned Stealthy UAV".

(pg 149).... Kier said the large version of AARS, which according to some reports had a wingspan of 250 feet, cost less than a B-2, but more than $1 billion a copy. Reportedly, the production plan called for only eight vehicles at a cost of $10 billion, each of the vehicles capable of an amazing 40 hours on station after flying to the area of interest. Air Force officials were so leery of the UAV's autonomous flight concept (no pilot had moment-to-moment control) that they reportedly insisted the flying prototype carry a pilot in order to handle in-flight anomalies, and that the final design include a modular, two-place cockpit insert to make it optionally piloted.

(pg 151).... Kier mentioned that several other concepts for manned alternatives to AARS popped up in the early 1990s, including a minimalist design called the TR-3 that he derisively called a "Cessna 172 compared to a 747 [AARS]." (Ref 341)

(Ref 341 pg 151) A likely candidate for a program fitting Kier's description was a moderately stealthy (all-composite) high altitude German airframe called Egrett.... Egrett was an optionally piloted 55,000 foot loitering aircraft that went by the codename SENIOR GUARDIAN....

(pg 152).... the State Department dealt AARS a mortal blow. In the latter half of 1991 they ruled that AARS would not get overflight clearance until hostilities were imminent (Ref 344)

(Ref 344 pg 152) anonymous source.

(pg 152).... AARS was kept alive by other agencies until finally terminated by intelligence community executives in mid-December 1992....
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 08:33:48 am by mr_london_247 »

Offline quellish

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Got my copy today, and thankfully I'm blessed with a high reading rate ;)

Most of the information is about the program rather than the vehicle(s), and so it may not be of interest to everyone on the forum. The closest it comes to describing the "final" vehicle configuration for QUARTZ is the "flying clam" scaled up DarkStar. He does mention, however, that Lockheed alone went through over 50 iterations (as mr_london_247 quotes in his post).
Several of those you have seen in various forms here :)

There are a couple of important things that were missed though. AARS is often used to describe the QUARTZ and/or Tier III vehicle (or requirement!), but AARS was just like the "Tier" UAVs - a system of systems. AARS grew from TEAL CAMEO, which unfortunately is only mentioned in a footnote in the paper. TEAL CAMEO was a DARPA effort to develop HALE UAVs (HAPP(?) RPVs at the time). DARPA found that the Navy had a mission for such a platform, and the intelligence community did as well. Long story short, DARPA ended up funding Boeing's Condor for the Navy mission (which the Navy was not in love with), and the intelligence community and STRATCOM ran with AARS.
One of the missions AARS was to handle was the Strategic Relocatable Targets mission. This is mentioned quite a bit in the paper, and during the 80s and 90s there was a LOT of investment in that area. Test and training ranges, simulation facilities, everything. Some of this was to support a slow, long loiter vehicle, some not. The B-2 was always intended to take data from offboard platforms in order to find moble missiles. Other assets would narrow the haystack a B-2 would use its SAR to search for targets.
Some analysts have proposed that LACROSSE would be used for this, which may be true for rail based missiles, but did not quite work for road mobile missiles.
One point brought up in the paper was that QUARTZ would have to be prepositioned before a crisis to be effective. In SIOP terms, this would mean that QUARTZ aircraft would have to be moved close to the USSR before the start of hostilities in order to get in ahead of the B-2 and find targets. Needless to say, there were some flaws with this plan. At least in the late 1980s, there was a high speed component to AARS that was to dash in ahead of the B-2s.

So AARS comprised:
HALE UAV: QUARTZ (Called, interchangably, AARS, QUARTZ, and Tier III, though Tier III was a different design for the same requirements)
High Speed Long Range: There was a term for this, which I have since forgotten. AWST mentioned it a few times in the late 90s. In the late 70s an air launched boost glide vehicle was looked at for essentially the same mission but discarded.
Endurance UAV: AMBER/Gnat

While AARS was in its death throes during 1992-1993, CIA, NRO, STRATCOM, USAF, and SDIO all had their fingers in the pie. Not a recipe for success!

Offline seruriermarshal

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While AARS was in its death throes during 1992-1993, CIA, NRO, STRATCOM, USAF, and SDIO all had their fingers in the pie. Not a recipe for success!

So they used RQ-170 as AARS ?

Offline Matej

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The last effort really inspired me to do everything what I can (on the theme that is from a few, that I am the most interested in). I did.

Shadow/Arrow/W570
Engine: One 700 lb st Williams F112 turbofan. / - / Twin 2,300 lb st Willaims-Rolls FJ44-2E turbofans
Wingspan: 19.81 / 35.13 / 48.79 m
Wing area: - / 65.03 / 125.42 m
Total length: 3.10 / 5.51/ 7.67 m
Total height: 1.83 / 1.98 / 2.74 m
Empty weight: 907 / 1,588 / 3,402 kg
Max. payload: 91 / 454 / 4,536 kg
Max. take-off weight: 1,588 / 10,886 / 20,412 kg
Max level speed: Mach 0,7
Max cruise speed: Mach 0,5 - 0,65
Service celling: 50,000 / 70,000 / 70,000 ft
Range: - / 18 000 / 18 000 nm
Max endurance: 12 / 60 / 60 h

Source of the technical data: http://www.uavcenter.com/english/wwuavs/north_america/eLR.asp

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Offline Mr London 24/7

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Got my copy today, and thankfully I'm blessed with a high reading rate ;)

Oh dear!, I'm sorry - I was tired and had a few things on...  :-[

So AARS comprised:
HALE UAV: QUARTZ (Called, interchangably, AARS, QUARTZ, and Tier III, though Tier III was a different design for the same requirements)

Ah but thats just it isn't it: QUARTZ was one of the AARS vehicles but Tier III was quite a seperate and slightly later proposal under another study. That's what I've personally taken away from this doc. David Kier tried again to sell the same planform, but a bit smaller, slightly less capable, and most importantly: cheaper. I don't think I was clear on that previously, I was more or less viewing AARS as a single vehicle: the QUARTZ, and an AF version in my mind as probably the same vehicle but renamed: Tier III.

High Speed Long Range: There was a term for this, which I have since forgotten. AWST mentioned it a few times in the late 90s. In the late 70s an air launched boost glide vehicle was looked at for essentially the same mission but discarded.

My dear Quellish, surely we must know more on this? ;)

Offline Mr London 24/7

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So they used RQ-170 as AARS ?

This is an interesting point, as in a way the AARS mission exists again today: but now to find and track say a Toyota Hilux moving across the border from Iraq into Iran, or perhaps even an individual around Peshawar when you may not have the permission of the Pak authorities? (I'm thinking of the desire by the Pentagon to have 'Staring' and GORGON STARE type abilities appearing in recent .pdf's).

RQ-170 *appears* to be fairly new, but perhaps was rapidly developed at relatively low cost (by BIG SAFARI or RCO?), uses as much off-the-shelf as possible, and appears less sophisticated for those reasons.

Offline Matej

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I know, I know, its Abovetopsecret but....  http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread328636/pg1

Quote
THE CURRENT PROGRAMS HAD their start in a competition between Lockheed and Boeing for the National Reconnaissance Office's advanced airborne reconnaissance system (AARS). With intercontinental range and a 200-ft. wingspan that approached the size of a B-2 bomber, the UAVs would have cost an estimated $500 million each. Lockheed's offering in the competition with Boeing was code-named "Quartz." Quartz won, and Lockheed's Skunk Works and Boeing then competed for work share with the former winning sensors and fuselage and the latter taking on wings and flight controls.
Quartz was never completed, but a fuselage and one wing were built for testing, Air Force officials said. It was designed with alternative payload pods. One was a pilot's capsule so the aircraft could be flown by a crew, probably for long-range ferry flights and testing. The other was a reconnaissance pod for more dangerous unmanned reconnaissance missions.
But as the Cold War wound down and defense budgets started to shrink, defense planners continually demanded redesign of the program until the price of the AARS had been reduced to $200 million per copy. To reduce costs, stealth, sensor and materials technology had been inserted from General Dynamics/McDonnell-Douglas' A-12 Navy strike aircraft program which was canceled in January 1991.
But even with a 60% reduction in cost, the program was considered too rich for a post-Cold War world. According to congressional figures, about $1 billion had been spent on the project by late 1992 when it, along with most of the military's tactical reconnaissance programs, was finally canceled. A scaled-down, $150-million-a-copy version of Quartz, now named the Tier 3 UAV, was designed to loiter over a battlefield for days. But the services still didn't think they could afford the aircraft.
Finally, the program was divided into two parts. Projected aircraft price goals were set at $10 million each and development was begun in the unclassified world as Darpa's big-payload Tier 2+ and stealthy Tier 3- UAV programs.

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Offline Skyblazer

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Sounds pretty convincing to me. I wish there was a definite source though, to give it some authenticity.

Offline Mr London 24/7

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Post #2 of 2: The Tier III .

Everything below is quoting from the Thesis as precisely as I can where it refers to Tier III:

Quote
(pg 153) The new administration conducted a “Bottom-Up Review” of military programs in 1993.... John Deutch came up with yet another nomenclature for rationalizing UAV development with the “Tier” system.

(pg 154/155) Although AARS had been cancelled in late 1992, Deutch considered a smaller, less capable AARS as Tier III, for it was the only platform that fully satisfied the JROC mission need statement of 1990. David Keir, who stayed with the program after its cancellation, revised his pitch for the big bird.... Tier III could be a survivable theatre asset.... Unlike satellites, Tier III would not have “national” intelligence tasking that got in the way.... Tier III provided a “staring eye”..... Kier developed several scaled-down versions.... Even these reportedly varied from $150 to $400 million per copy at which price the military reportedly might buy only four or five “silver bullet” models (Ref 349).... Since his bird had not yet entered flight testing, Keir fought an uphill battle. Although a 1993 Defence Science Board summer study commissioned by Deutch was directed to consider the big UAV, insiders say it was a foregone conclusion it would not be funded in its Tier III format (Ref 350)

(Ref 349 pg 155) For a 4 aircraft buy, production costs would be $600 million to $1.6 billion. These models were apparently scaled down to about 150 foot wingspan versions with limited sensor payloads....

(Ref 350 pg 155) …. The characterization of the summer study as being loaded against Tier III comes from two anonymous interviews, neither individual having vested interest in the Tier III program....


[mr_london_247: discussion of the political ramifications of trying to cancel Tier III here]

(pg 156).... Tier III did not go away gently. Congressman Norm Dicks from Washington State and other concerned lawmakers put serious pressure on DoD officials to keep the program alive....Even before Kier transformed the program into Tier III, ARSP officials teamed Boeing with Lockheed on the AARS program just as Boeing's grandiose Condor UAV program was terminated after development by DARPA (Ref 352).... Dicks and other interested lawmakers pushed hard for the revival of AARS as Tier III....  An official close to the situation remembered, “We felt all along Tier III was a non-starter, but there was lots of scrambling to accommodate congressional pressure”.... That scrambling resulted in yet another shrunken incarnation of AARS in order to placate Dicks.

(Ref 352 pg 156) Boeing was one of the companies who vied for the AARS contract in the early 1980's and had worked on their own version of AARS up to the point of their consolidation with Lockheed around 1990. Condor was essentially a technology demonstrator for Boeing's composite wing and body construction techniques, digital flight control and mission planning aspects of their AARS design....

(pg 157) Rather than reject Tier III outright.... Deutch and his advanced technology chief Larry Lynn.... opted to split the Tier III requirement in two, using the remaining AARS development money as a launching pad. They proposed a competition to for a non-stealthy high altitude, long-loiter aircraft called “Tier II plus”.... [Global Hawk].... and a severely chopped-down version of Tier III called “Tier III minus”.... [DarkStar] (Ref 354).... The sole-source contract for “Tier III minus” went to the Lockheed Skunk Works and Boeing team, who were not to compete for Tier II plus. Both programs.... with a stringent cost goal of 10 million per air vehicle.

(Ref 354 pg 157) Tier III was still a very secret project, probably still under the control of ARSP and the strict BYEMAN compartmented classification system of the NRO. The open use of the nomenclature “Tier II plus” and “Tier III minus” begged the question: What was Tier III?

(pg 157/158/159) …. AARS backers immediately attempted to drive the program back to the preferred Tier III format. A campaign waged by congressional and industry advocates focused on eliminating the non-stealthy Tier II plus program and folding it into one program unofficially called “Tier IV”. They wanted an open competition for Tier IV, one that the Boeing/Lockheed team felt confident of winning.... A DARPA official supporting the split program and obviously referring to AARS, said, “It has been shown over the last decade that a highly stealthy long endurance UAV with multi-mission requirements is not affordable.” Despite the pressure, Deutch and Lynn prevailed in keeping Tier II plus and Tier III minus.... The $100 million sole-source contract for Tier III minus served as a consolidation prize to mollify the powerful Dick coalition.... The transfer of Tier III minus management from the NRO to DARPA meant the days of the black, open ended UAV development that characterized the Cold War were over.

(pg 553) The requirement for stealthy, long-dwell reconnaissance is still on the books, and acting Secretary of the Air Force F. Whitten Peters, in a statement not weeks after DarkStar's cancellation [1999], stated that a classified Air Force project could “fill the niche” proposed for DarkStar.

Offline quellish

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So they used RQ-170 as AARS ?

Nope, so far the two seem to be unrelated.

Ah but thats just it isn't it: QUARTZ was one of the AARS vehicles but Tier III was quite a seperate and slightly later proposal under another study. That's what I've personally taken away from this doc. David Kier tried again to sell the same planform, but a bit smaller, slightly less capable, and most importantly: cheaper. I don't think I was clear on that previously, I was more or less viewing AARS as a single vehicle: the QUARTZ, and an AF version in my mind as probably the same vehicle but renamed: Tier III.

My previous post was responding/clarifying some things in the paper, rather than responding to your post ;)
Correct, and I think this may have lead to the author's confusion in some areas. As far as I have been able to tell, Tier III was the "flying clam" configuration of DarkStar, but QUARTZ was not (at all). Tier III was scaled down to Tier III-, but was not much like QUARTZ at all. Reading the paper, I think that the author may have taken interviews that were more about the Tier III vehicle than QUARTZ and confused the two.

The requirements were pretty much the same for all those vehicles though. High altitude, long persistence, very low signature. The actual numbers changed over time to things that were more realistic. DarkStar covered a much more narrow range of threat radar frequencies than QUARTZ did. The thinking was that if it was going to be up there for a long time, it would potentially be exposed to a very wide range of emitters.

My dear Quellish, surely we must know more on this? ;)

Not very much. High speed, intercontinental range. Supersonic cruise but it's not clear if it was manned or not.

Offline seruriermarshal

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This is an interesting point, as in a way the AARS mission exists again today: but now to find and track say a Toyota Hilux moving across the border from Iraq into Iran, or perhaps even an individual around Peshawar when you may not have the permission of the Pak authorities? (I'm thinking of the desire by the Pentagon to have 'Staring' and GORGON STARE type abilities appearing in recent .pdf's).

RQ-170 *appears* to be fairly new, but perhaps was rapidly developed at relatively low cost (by BIG SAFARI or RCO?), uses as much off-the-shelf as possible, and appears less sophisticated for those reasons.

Thanks , BIG SAFARI had their finger in the pie too ?

Quote
Posted on: Yesterday at 10:45:50 pmPosted by: quellish 
Insert
Nope, so far the two seem to be unrelated.


then or RQ-170 used as a replace of Tier III ? there have China , Russia , Pak , Iran .

Offline quellish

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then or RQ-170 used as a replace of Tier III ? there have China , Russia , Pak , Iran .

So far the the 170 does not appear to fufill the Tier III requirements. It's more like something between Predator and Global Hawk - medium altitude, long endurance, LO but not broadband VLO.

Offline seruriermarshal

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then or RQ-170 used as a replace of Tier III ? there have China , Russia , Pak , Iran .

So far the the 170 does not appear to fufill the Tier III requirements. It's more like something between Predator and Global Hawk - medium altitude, long endurance, LO but not broadband VLO.

Thanks , Seems like Tier II , Tier II+ ?

:)

Offline Matej

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Amazing Thesis! Another highlights:

Quote
Page 144:
The odd shape of AARS and DarkStar was derived from its unique radar reflectivity characteristics and mission. Unlike the B-2, this particular design minimizes returns from the side, allowing the aircraft to loiter at right angles to a threat. It probably produces some radar returns to the front and back (mainly due to the huge straight wing), but mission planning could minimize the time spent in that orientation to enemy radar systems.

Page 151:
Manned alternatives to AARS emerged. One proposal would put a sophisticated target aquisition system on the B-2 stealth bomber - the so-called RB-2 configuration. The proposal had value as a terminal tracking system, but the RB-2 lacked a method of off-board cueing to direct it to a search area.

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Offline quellish

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Page 151:
Manned alternatives to AARS emerged. One proposal would put a sophisticated target aquisition system on the B-2 stealth bomber - the so-called RB-2 configuration. The proposal had value as a terminal tracking system, but the RB-2 lacked a method of off-board cueing to direct it to a search area.

LACROSSE was able to identify *large* search areas for SRTs. Areas the size of states. The hard problem here was narrowing that down to an area a B-2 could search in a short period of time. You either need a high speed tool to quickly cover a lot of ground, or a lot of forewarning and a persistent platform. An RB-2 and the large AARS aircraft would have had some of the same shortcomings for this mission, which was one of the things apparently driving the long range high speed component of AARS.

Offline Matej

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #82 on: July 05, 2010, 12:05:23 pm »
Popular Mechanics Feburary 1996

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Offline Skyblazer

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #83 on: July 05, 2010, 04:16:08 pm »
Nice illustration... but the W570 is a Loral design, not a Lockheed one...

Offline Matej

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #84 on: July 06, 2010, 10:24:17 am »
I changed the topic title to cover the content.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #85 on: July 06, 2010, 10:46:56 am »
BIG SAFARI had their finger in the pie too ?

What or who is Big Safari?

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #86 on: July 06, 2010, 10:55:06 am »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Safari

Quote
Big Safari is a United States Air Force program which provides management, direction, and control of the acquisition, modification, and logistics support for special purpose weapons systems. The program itself receives some direction from NASIC[1]. It is headquartered in Greenville, Texas and has facilities at Hanscom AFB and Wright-Patterson AFB. The program operates, among other aircraft, the RC-135 and EC-130 aircraft as well as unmanned aerial vehicles. The Air Force has referred to Big Safari as a "rapid procurement force," which tests the fielding of new weapons systems, sensors, and platforms. By some accounts [2], the program has been operating since the late-1950s, when the BQM-34 Firefly drone was procured and evaluated. This effort led to the first operational unmanned reconnaissance vehicle, the redesignated Ryan Aeronautical AQM-34 Lightning Bug.

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Offline quellish

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #87 on: July 06, 2010, 01:35:52 pm »
BIG SAFARI had their finger in the pie too ?

What or who is Big Safari?

From R-2 Exhibit for PE 0305207F COBRA BALL May 2009:

"These activities are managed by the Air Force through the 645th Aeronautical System Group (645th AESG, a.k.a. BIG SAFARI Program Office), 303rd
Reconnaissance System Wing, Aeronautical Systems Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright Patterson AFB, OH. BIG SAFARI manages engineering, ground
and support system modifications, integration, flight testing, product assurance, acceptance testing, logistics, and training activities."
"The world-wide challenge of keeping pace against technologically agile targets used by both nation and non-nation-state adversaries and the rapid evolution of COTS
technologies demands a responsive and adaptive acquisition strategy for fielding 'baseline capabilities' that are logistically supportable at all locations. The BIG
SAFARI program office uses an incremental 'baseline' strategy to mitigate risk, find affordable solutions and field needed capabilities. Obsolescence and diminishing
manufacturing sources (DMS) are addressed with each baseline upgrade as well as annually as part of the sustainment responsibilities. Activities also include studies
and analysis to support both current program planning and execution and future program planning."

And from R-2 Exhibit PE 0305221F: Network Centric Collaborative Targeting Feb 2010:
"The NCCT capability is maintained and baseline / incremental upgrades plus any quick reaction capabilities (QRC) developments are acquired through the 645th
Aeronautical System Group (BIG SAFARI Program Office) in accordance with the BIG SAFARI Program Management Directive (PMD) and the BIG SAFARI Class
Justification and Approval (J&A) document for acquisition of supplies and services using other than full and open competition criteria. The supplies and services
procured by the 645th AESG under their J&A to satisfy National Security (FAR 6.302-6) or Unusual and Compelling Urgency (FAR 6.302-2) requirements are supported
by the BIG SAFARI Life Cycle Management Plan (LCMP) across the full spectrum of system life cycle management from developmental engineering to system
retirement ("craddle to grave" support). Due to the rapidly changing threat environment encountered during our prolonged commitment to Overseas Contingency
Operations (OCO), the acquisition program manager has the authority to redirect funding as necessary to meet current stated and emerging Combatant Commander
requirements.
645th Aeronautical Systems Group (645 AESG) at Wright Patterson AFB OH, manages the Cost Plus Fixed Fee contract used to develop the NCCT Core Technology.
645th AESG will provide NCCT software and common hardware to systems and platforms designated to field this ISR capability. Individual program management
offices may contract directly with their prime contractors or through the 645th AESG for integration of this ISR capability on their respective systems and platforms"

Think of BIG SAFARI as a super duper management/procurement office. There is another, similar management organization that handles the programs of the classified flight test squadron at Groom Lake.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #88 on: July 20, 2010, 09:50:11 am »
Not sure of connection (i.e. one of many designs or 'the' design), but this photo of a model was listed as AARS.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #89 on: July 20, 2010, 10:16:51 am »
From'Signal Connections' magazine, another Sensorcraft picture with wrap around sensors.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #90 on: July 20, 2010, 11:48:34 am »
Not sure of connection (i.e. one of many designs or 'the' design), but this photo of a model was listed as AARS.


That's a Boeing/Lockheed NGB concept, there should be more photos earlier in this thread. This configuration evolved from AARS/QUARTZ - they are essentially the same thing.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #91 on: July 21, 2010, 11:38:27 am »
Not sure of connection (i.e. one of many designs or 'the' design), but this photo of a model was listed as AARS.


As quellish said. I only add that it is from my web: http://www.hitechweb.genezis.eu/UAV02.htm


BTW do you know how disappointing it is that when I seach for the info of some project and the only one that I am able to find is my own web page?  :-\  :D It happened to me many times.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2010, 11:40:32 am by Matej »

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #92 on: July 21, 2010, 11:42:00 am »
From'Signal Connections' magazine, another Sensorcraft picture with wrap around sensors.

This is NG design.

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Offline Meteorit

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #93 on: August 06, 2010, 04:59:07 am »
So AARS comprised:
...
High Speed Long Range: There was a term for this, which I have since forgotten. AWST mentioned it a few times in the late 90s. In the late 70s an air launched boost glide vehicle was looked at for essentially the same mission but discarded.

I know I'm a bit late, but do you (or anyone) have anything more on this late 1970s vehicle? It sounds like Isinglass revisited some ten years later?

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #94 on: September 21, 2010, 03:57:16 am »
Dual cycle turboshaft/turbojet engines and propellers? YAY!

Quote
The requirement for a 24-hour endurance and low-observability tested the limits of aerospace technology of the day. In 1983 Lockheed and Boeing were selected to develop concepts for the Quartz program. Lockheed's initial design was a giant aircraft with a 267-foot wingspan propelled by two turboshaft engines driving massive 47-foot propellers. The engines were actually dual-cycle turboshaft/turbojet engines, with the engines operating as jets and the two-bladed props locked in horizontal for takeoff and landing. Once at cruise altitude, the engines shifted into turboshaft mode to drive the large props.

Source: International Air Power Review, Volume 15. AIRtime Publishing, 2005, "Focus Aircraft: HALE/MALE Unmanned Air Vehicles Part 1: History of the Endurance UAV" by Bill Sweetman, p63-69.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #95 on: September 21, 2010, 05:59:43 am »
Cant resist  :) Thoughts?
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 02:13:10 pm by Matej »

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Offline AeroFranz

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #96 on: September 21, 2010, 06:59:43 am »
Cute  ;)

I would put more structure around those shafts, a la B-35. A more segmented trailing edge, similar to the B-2, would let you bring the props closer to the fuselage and avoid long shafts. Just a thought  :)

EDIT: On second thought, the props are in the exhaust of the gas generator, which may not be desirable. A more sensible layout would be a tractor, but that's hard to do with a medium-sweep flying wing. You would have to unsweep the wing quite a bit. There are some technical reports on NASA's NTRS on "convertible" engines, which involve TF-34s. They were originally considered for compound helicopters.

I think the advantage of the convertible engine is that it lets you optimize the propeller geometry for the high altitude case (low air density, big diameter, slow turning) without having to compromise for the takeoff/climb segments.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 07:07:18 am by AeroFranz »
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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #97 on: September 21, 2010, 07:04:08 am »
Cant resist  :) Thoughts?

Nailed it! Antigravity? Pfft, propellers are where it's at ;)

I assume it's running a nice voltage on the leading edge?

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #98 on: September 21, 2010, 08:09:38 am »
It didn't look like that. It was not an LO design.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #99 on: September 21, 2010, 08:33:01 am »
What a pity  :-\ But I am a bit curious - how can the aircraft, designed to penetrate and stay for the days in the heavily defended airspace be not LO? In other words, was there any requirement in the AARS that defined conventional (meaning non-stealthy) HALE UAV?

Now as my pure speculation - hypothetically if I want to combine the jet engine and the pusher propeller in a superstealth design, I should use RIVET installation (developed by Lockheed).

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Offline AeroFranz

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #100 on: September 21, 2010, 10:16:56 am »
I don't think you can make a stealthy prop - not one that actually does a good job at producing thrust. But maybe Lockmart engineers know something we don't  ;D.

As for RIVET, I don't mean to diss Raymer (hell, i bought two of his books), but I never thought that was one of his proudest moments. He proposed it for a V/STOL platform, because it allowed him to put the engine in the back and the exhaust on the cg. Clever, but complication seldom pays, especially in V/STOL design (the Harrier is the triumph of simplicity in that regard).
On an efficiency-conscious, long endurance surveillance platform, you can hardly accept the penalties of increased weight and volume (more ducting, more wetted area) and increased SFC (poor pressure recovery at the fan face).
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 10:19:04 am by AeroFranz »
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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #101 on: September 21, 2010, 01:17:44 pm »
The prop-to-fan design was a non-stealthy predecessor to Quartz. The quote above got mangled somewhere between the author's modem and this forum.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #102 on: September 21, 2010, 02:12:06 pm »
Enchantment related or something significantly different?

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Offline quellish

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #103 on: September 21, 2010, 02:23:05 pm »
Cant resist  :) Thoughts?

In the early 80s Lockheed had several long endurance RPVs on the drawing boards. At the time the acronym used was something like "HAPP" rather than today's "HALE" (HALE has been in use since the 70s though).
One project was ENCHANTMENT, a rectangular Navy RPV with ginormous wingspan (300' IIRC) - this was to serve the same mission that CONDOR was made for. As far as I know, the large prop AARS/TEAL CAMEO/TEAL RAIN vehicle mentioned in this thread was also large and rectangular, though I have never heard definitively wether it was a flying wing like HALSOL, etc. or not.

The vehicle Matej has drawn is very close to the 92-93 design for AARS/QUARTZ, minus the props :) The aspect ratio may have been lower, but the general configuration should be right on other than the beaver tail.

Offline Matej

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #104 on: September 21, 2010, 02:40:12 pm »
I used the 60 degrees leading edge swept from the Lockheed's ATB proposal.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #105 on: November 04, 2010, 02:58:03 am »
Small summarization (of everything): http://www.hitechweb.genezis.eu/UAV02.htm

Note: because of the length of the text, probably you will need to to push the refresh button on your browser a few times to get the google translation till the end of the page.

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Offline Skyblazer

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #106 on: November 04, 2010, 03:16:27 am »
Small summarization (of everything): http://www.hitechweb.genezis.eu/UAV02.htm

Note: because of the length of the text, probably you will need to to push the refresh button on your browser a few times to get the google translation till the end of the page.

Awesome page, Matej! But Google Translation doesn't do Sloven language properly from the French interface. However if I click on your "English" button then scroll to select "French" and click, it works pretty well...

Why select French, and not stick to English? Because I find latin languages translate much better into other latin languages...  ;)

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #107 on: April 06, 2012, 10:40:53 pm »
Funny that nobody ever talks about the payloads ;)

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #108 on: April 06, 2012, 11:54:54 pm »
And this is the teaser for... ?  :)

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Offline circle-5

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #109 on: May 11, 2012, 04:30:42 pm »
Does anybody know what this is?  I've never seen it before.  Not even sure if I'm in the right topic...

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #110 on: May 12, 2012, 12:34:19 am »
I have no idea but to me it does not look very stealthy against standard 1 - 5 GHz radars.

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Offline circle-5

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #111 on: May 12, 2012, 01:02:58 am »
I have no idea but to me it does not look very stealthy against standard 1 - 5 GHz radars.

No, especially not the air intake.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #112 on: May 12, 2012, 03:43:05 am »
looks like something from Firebee era...but I may be plain wrong
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stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #113 on: May 12, 2012, 05:13:47 am »
Does anybody know what this is?  I've never seen it before.  Not even sure if I'm in the right topic...


If you look closely you can see a square leading edge. I'd say it's a really small kitbash model - or the air force has finally begun issuing their own line of Batman's Batarangs.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #114 on: May 12, 2012, 10:12:59 am »
The leading edges are normal. What you're probably seeing is my poor setup in Photoshop edge detail, when I removed the background.

The model's provenance is US military. Other models in that group included a Douglas MOL, a Titan IIIA and a Hughes kinetic energy (SDI) weapon, all original manufacturer models. In addition, the model is a solid resin casting, nearly two feet across, which requires mold fabrication, as opposed to the "kitbash" you describe.

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #115 on: May 12, 2012, 10:49:53 am »
The leading edges are normal. What you're probably seeing is my poor setup in Photoshop edge detail, when I removed the background.

The model's provenance is US military. Other models in that group included a Douglas MOL, a Titan IIIA and a Hughes kinetic energy (SDI) weapon, all original manufacturer models. In addition, the model is a solid resin casting, nearly two feet across, which requires mold fabrication, as opposed to the "kitbash" you describe.
You can ship me the model and I'll do a really good photospread of it..... :)

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #116 on: May 12, 2012, 12:45:57 pm »
Do we know the dimensions or the scale? This will be kind of wild speculation, but what about air launched HALE?

For sure it does not fit to AARS/Tier III specifications. The only similarity that I can see is the Loral/Frontier Systems style aft fuselage with exhaust, but it can be seen on other aircrafts too. For example Global Hawk has the similar one, so this is not a right way to identify it.

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Offline circle-5

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #117 on: May 12, 2012, 01:54:44 pm »
Do we know the dimensions or the scale? This will be kind of wild speculation, but what about air launched HALE?

I wish knew the scale. Whenever a model like this gets separated from its stand, it becomes very difficult to identify. I have others that have puzzled me for years.  This is obviously some kind of long-range, single-engine, high altitude UAV, not particularly stealthy and of American origin. If nobody knows, I might just put a Batman logo on it anyway...

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #118 on: May 12, 2012, 02:39:12 pm »
Do we know the dimensions or the scale? This will be kind of wild speculation, but what about air launched HALE?

I wish knew the scale. Whenever a model like this gets separated from its stand, it becomes very difficult to identify. I have others that have puzzled me for years.  This is obviously some kind of long-range, single-engine, high altitude UAV, not particularly stealthy and of American origin. If nobody knows, I might just put a Batman logo on it anyway...
I am quite confused, the members here usually go COMPLETELY apesh*t for something new like this. Could be they are actually out getting some sun on their pasty skin. Maybe somebody will have something constructive by Monday....

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #119 on: May 12, 2012, 05:01:41 pm »
I think it looks very cool. I'm trying to figure out what the bumps in the wingtips are for; Aerodynamic control or to place sensors in?

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #120 on: May 13, 2012, 05:03:11 am »
I think sensor placement is as good a guess as any, physical separation of identical or complementary sensor packages can provide some advantages.... well that's David Attenbrough tells me about the hammerhead shark  ;D (although at > 70,000 ft, the degree of "depth perception" this sensor separation may provide could be limited at best).
 
All speculation without knowledge of the operating altitude of the concept that gave birth to this model, assuming it even was a concept?
 
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 05:27:12 am by Catalytic »

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Offline sublight is back

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #122 on: May 09, 2013, 07:30:40 pm »
Does anybody know what this is?  I've never seen it before.  Not even sure if I'm in the right topic...

Still no takers on this one??? Somebody always has a good explanation around here....

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #123 on: May 13, 2013, 02:44:17 am »
Having an indication of the source document for that picture might be a good start...  ::)

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Re: AARS, Lockheed QUARTZ, Tier III, Frontier Systems W570, Arrow, Shadow
« Reply #124 on: May 13, 2013, 04:45:09 am »
As with most things posted by Circle-5, its a photo of an original manufacturers model, likely one of his own collection or a photo he took of someone else's model. Presumably there's no documentation or information on the model itself.
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