Sponsored By Oxley Developments
08 Mar 19. Event 38 Adds uAvionix ADS-B Integration. Event 38 Unmanned Systems announced that it has entered into a collaborative agreement with uAvionix to resell and integrate uAvionix ADS-B products with Event 38 aircraft. Unmanned aerial systems and manned aircraft equipped with uAvionix ADS-B transceivers can track each other electronically while in flight. ADS-B transceivers like the Ping2020, which is small enough for Event 38 drones, receive and transmit information about air traffic such as location, altitude, and speed. The Ping series can detect ADS-B messages from aircraft up to 100 miles away.
When a uAvionix ADS-B transceiver is integrated with an Event 38 aircraft, operators can see the locations of manned air traffic overlaid directly on their ground station display. This capability improves both operator and pilot situational awareness, so operations near manned aircraft can be performed with an added level of safety. This risk mitigation tool may also increase the chance of being approved for Part 107 waivers such as high altitude and BLOS operations, depending on the location and airspace of the operation.
With this added ADS-B capability, Event 38 aircraft continue to lead the industry in long range mapping aircraft for EVLOS and BLOS operations.
“Our prediction is that the FAA will require ADS-B as part of its eventual integration of unmanned aircraft into the NAS,” says Jeff Taylor, President, Event 38. “By partnering with uAvionix to offer this capability, we hope to make it easier for our customers to obtain Part 107 waivers now and to build flight heritage for future changes in regulation.”
Event 38 will carry all of uAvionix’s products for unmanned aircraft, including Ping2020, Ping1090, Ping200S(r) Transponders, and PingUSB. These products will be available on all Event 38 long endurance aircraft starting with the E384-Heavy and E400. (Source: UAS VISION)
08 Mar 19. Williams Advanced Engineering has published a White Paper to showcase its proprietary, patent-pending innovations in carbon composites and the benefits they offer to the automotive industry and beyond. The company has developed a pair of innovative technologies that promise a step-change in the affordability of composite materials. Known as 223™ and Racetrak™, these technologies offer comparable performance to existing composites solutions, but with a range of additional benefits, and at a cost that brings them within reach of mainstream applications. These are not simply manufacturing innovations: they are end-to-end, whole-life solutions that address every aspect of the manufacture, use and recycling of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) and the way in which its remarkable properties can enable new approaches to vehicle design and manufacture.
“Racetrak™ and 223™ are just two examples of a new generation of technologies, developed and commercialised by Williams Advanced Engineering,” says Chief Technology Specialist, Lightweight Structures Iain Bomphray, the Williams Advanced Engineering innovator behind these two breakthroughs. “With this approach, we have the potential to develop new, growing areas of business that will also make significant contributions to the industries in which we work.”
CFRP is a material of huge promise. Its exceptionally high strength-to-weight ratio, impressive stiffness and excellent fatigue and environmental resistance make it an attractive choice for a wide variety of industries and applications. This is particularly pertinent to the automotive industry, where lightweighting is seen as one of the primary tools needed to meet increasingly stringent fuel economy and emissions targets, as well as support the range required from electric vehicles. However, the advantages of CFRP extend across many sectors, from railway carriages to wind turbines. Despite these compelling benefits, and recent process advances from the automotive and aerospace industries, a number of factors have held back the mass adoption of CFRP. Chief among these is cost, with traditional composite production methods involving expensive materials and lengthy process times. They also incur a relatively high scrap rate (typically around 30 per cent), compounded by the challenges of recovering the carbon from pre-impregnated off-cuts, and of finding value from the material at the end of the product life. These challenges have seen the application of CRFP largely confined to niche applications. In the automotive sector, for instance, a body-in-white structure produced with traditional composite techniques is typically around 60 per cent lighter than one manufactured in steel, yet around 20 times the cost. This has limited its application to vehicles that are low volume / high cost, or where the vehicle manufacturer subsidises the process as part of their learning around new technologies. The innovations from Williams Advanced Engineering aim to address these challenges to unlock the benefits of CFRP.
“We are focussing our expertise on energy management, aerodynamics, thermodynamics and lightweighting. As tools for efficiency improvement, these are all highly synergistic, so considering them as an integrated system allows us to increase significantly the total benefits,” explains Williams Advanced Engineering Technical Director Paul McNamara. “While we have undoubtedly learnt a great deal from success in Formula 1 and Formula E, they are high-profile examples of what we do. Behind closed doors, we are solving challenging problems for world-class companies across a wide range of sectors and working with some of the most highly-regarded manufacturers on next-generation, low carbon technologies.”
08 Mar 19. Intelligent Energy New Product Provides up to 1.6kW. The commercial UAV industry is set to benefit from the latest addition to Intelligent Energy’s product range. The fuel cell engineering company’s new Power Path Module (PPM) enables customers to double the power output from its UAV Fuel Cell Power Modules (FCPMs).
The Power Path Module (PPM) is a small unit which has been designed to facilitate ‘plug and play’, linking two of Intelligent Energy’s FCPMs in series. It enables customers to fly larger UAVs with heavier payloads. With the PPM connecting the FCPMs in series, two 650W modules will provide 1.3kW of continuous power and two 800W modules will provide 1.6kW.
The PPM, which has been designed in accordance with CE and FCC certification requirements, is being launched at Japan Drone, Chiba-City, near Tokyo (13-15 March) and is an additional product now available in the company’s range for UAVs. Its launch highlights Intelligent Energy’s commitment to providing a solution enabling commercial UAVs to fly significantly longer than those powered by traditional batteries.
Lee Juby, Chief Sales Officer at Intelligent Energy, said: “We already have the lightest and most power dense fuel cells available on the market and we continue to innovate to ensure we are leading the way in fuel cell power for commercial UAVs. This small PPM unit will enable our customers to use our modules on larger UAVs, carry a heavier payload and it can easily be affixed to a UAV. As well as launching the PPM at Japan Drone, we will also be showcasing it next month at AUVSI Xponential in Chicago.” (Source: UAS VISION)
08 Mar 19. USAF MQ-4 Global Hawk Controlled from UAE. One of the assets flying missions from Al Dhafra Air Base, is the MQ-4 Global Hawk. This remotely piloted aircraft previously required coordination with other bases to control it while in the air. Now by utilizing technology this process can be conducted locally. ADAB can control this aircraft even when it’s away from the base or as the name of this technology implies, “Beyond Line of Sight”.
“The BLOS plays a major role because it allows us to fly the jet farther than any Launch and Recovery Element could ever before, utilizing Satellite communication as its main link rather than a Line Of Sight link,”
said Senior Airman Seth Oatridge, 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron ground communication technician.
With a 24/7 mission requiring a bird to always be in the sky, MQ-4 pilots and maintainers can plan, launch and execute missions locally without relying on other bases.
“With everything being handled in house from all maintenance to the satellite communication work, it has drastically reduced the time it took us to ‘Scramble the Hawks’,” said Oatridge.
The members responsible for keeping this technology operation are the Hawk Aircraft Maintenance Unit ground communication technicians. The BLOS was implemented here in September 2018 and this crew of satellite communication troops and cyber systems operations work to make sure everything is operational.
“Anything that goes wrong with the equipment, we fix it,” said Senior Airman Michael Ha, 380th EAMXS grounds communication technician. “Our main mission here is to provide that communication to our ground troops and the BLOS allows this. Without us, they wouldn’t be able to keep the links up and communicate with ground troops leading to a mission failure.”
Thanks to the combined efforts between the Hawk AMU maintainers and the pilots of the 99th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, they can now locally conduct various missions without having to reach back stateside for support. (Source: UAS VISION)
06 Mar 19. Martin-Baker develops advanced sequencer for ejection seats. Martin-Baker has developed new technologies, including an advanced sequencer and a new parachute, for both its US16E ejection seat found on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and its new Mk18 seat.
Steve Roberts, Martin-Baker head of business development, told Jane’s on 1 March that the new, internally-developed sequencer, which provides optimised timings for parachute deployment and alignment, features five modes of operation, more than the one or two modes found on legacy seats. Roberts said the sequencer is a piece of avionics mounted on the seat that, during ejection, measures acceleration to get velocity and measures pressure and temperature to determine altitude. The sequencer also optimises timing during ejection to minimise chest, head, and neck loads.
The sequencer determines the proper time to deploy a parachute at optimal safety through a complex set of math models, metrics, and measurements. Roberts said for the envelope of 0-600 knots and 0-50,000 feet, there are physiological metrics that determine what a load should be at a certain speed and altitude. Martin-Bakeralso learns through testing what the peak parachute g -force should be imposed on an occupant.
Roberts said Martin-Baker used 125 ejection tests to measure the g -force and time delay for different speeds and pilot sizes for the US16E and put that into a very large math model. The model, he said, optimises timings for parachute realignment and inflation, as well as terrain clearance. This is important, Roberts said, because a parachute deployed late in the ejection sequence will cause a pilot to hit the ground and die, while a parachute deployed too early will injure the pilot because of high g loads. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
04 Mar 19. US Army and Lockheed Martin partner to develop rapid prototyping methods. The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and Lockheed Martin have signed a five-year co-operative agreement to develop new prototyping methods using bioproduction and self-assembly to create the building blocks of novel materials that have applications for defence optical technology and protective coatings. Under the Self-Assembly of Nanostructures for Tunable Materials initiative – funded by the army with USD10m – the service, academia, and industry scientists and engineers will study a range of capabilities to incorporate the bioproduction of new materials for the defence industry. “Cells efficiently create all sorts of materials, like a spider’s silk or a butterfly’s iridescent wings,” the Melissa Rhoads, a Lockheed Martin senior research manager and the project lead, said in a press release. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
04 Mar 19. Thales and Telstra Team on Low Altitude Airspace Management.
Thales and Telstra combine their expertise with a view to building a robust, safe and secure ecosystem that will enable the management of low altitude airspace for manned and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Thales and Telstra have jointly prototyped a data and communication solution to prepare the way for the integration of manned and unmanned traffic in Australian skies. The massive increase in commercial UAVs, commonly known as drones, will require a totally new way to manage airspace. Digital technology brings opportunities to manage the complexity of integrating drones in our airspace to enable safe access for their users.
Thales, the global leader in air traffic management and Telstra, Australia’s best mobile network provider, have combined their expertise with a view to building a robust, safe and secure ecosystem to manage low altitude airspace for manned and unmanned vehicles, such as helicopters, drones and autonomous flying taxis.
The ambition is to create a robust digital communications network infrastructure using Telstra’s expertise, to underpin the navigation and surveillance ecosystem needed to safely manage low altitude airspace.
Thales and Telstra’s prototype air traffic control platform, called Low Altitude Airspace Management (LAAM) is capable of integrating manned and unmanned traffic, and will include automated drone flight approvals and dynamic airspace management. This collaboration will foster the development and growth of new products, services and innovations.
Thales is a global leader in air traffic management with systems deployed in over 140 locations globally. Through its ECOsystem digital platform, Thales is developing the most advanced collaborative airspace management tool for commercial UAVs.
“With the huge increase in drones in the airspace, flights per day will go from thousands to millions. The challenges are enormous, as are the opportunities. In Australia drone use will drive efficiency and financial benefits to a large proportion of Australian businesses. Thales is partnering with Telstra to contribute to the creation of a seamless sky where we help our customers integrate unmanned aircraft into controlled airspace as well as supporting drone users to perform their missions in an orderly, safe and timely manner. “- Chris Jenkins, Chief Executive, Thales Australia
Telstra is playing a strategic role in the development of a future safe and secure drone-based economy through its leadership position in network and data technologies.
“There are extraordinary opportunities for the widespread take-up of unmanned aerial vehicles in Australia. To unlock this potential, we are investigating how we can leverage our 4G and 5G technology and IoT capabilities to enable robust communications, navigation and monitoring of UAVs. The work we’ve been doing with Thales to build a prototype, which is underpinned by continuous investment in our networks, proves that it is possible for unmanned and manned aerial vehicles to collaborate effectively and safely”. – Andrew Scott, Head of Technology, Telstra Labs. (Source: UAS VISION)
01 Mar 19. New automatic direction-finding antenna enables rogue transmissions to be pinpointed quickly and accurately. Now available from Link Microtek is a new automatic direction-finding (DF) antenna that allows the source of unauthorised or interfering transmissions to be located rapidly and accurately, even in urban areas where signal reflections can make this a challenging task.
Recent drone activity at Gatwick and Heathrow airports has served to highlight the disruption that can be caused when illicit transmissions continue unchecked, and the new ADFA 1 antenna could be used as part of a solution to help security and communications professionals deal with such situations as quickly as possible. The device is also ideal for telecommunication or defence applications.
Manufactured by Narda Safety Test Solutions, the ADFA 1 antenna covers the frequency range 200MHz to 2.7GHz and is designed for use with the company’s SignalShark portable real-time spectrum analyser. There is no need for a laptop computer. By means of a strong magnetic mount, the antenna can be attached to the roof of any normal vehicle to enable a series of random bearings to be taken in the suspected area.
Each bearing cycle achieves a typical accuracy of 1 degree and takes just 1.2 milliseconds, thereby ensuring reliable measurements even for pulsed signals or transmissions of very short duration. The results can be displayed by SignalShark numerically or with live visualisation of the transmitter location in the form of a heat map. In addition, the ADFA 1 determines the elevation angle of the signal bearing, allowing the location of the source to be narrowed down to an individual floor level.
Users of the new antenna can also observe the broadband spectrum at the same time as determining the signal bearing, which enables them to continue tracking a source that suddenly changes channel. At the heart of the ADFA 1 is an array of nine antenna elements around an omnidirectional reference element, optimally arranged to achieve reliable measurement results. The antenna works on the principle of measuring the phase difference between the nine elements and the central reference. As well as the vehicle mounting kit, there is an optional tripod with quick-release coupling and level indicators, which allows easy set-up of the antenna for DF measurements to trace interference from a semi-fixed location, as is commonly required in military applications. Housed in a radome measuring 480 (D) x 219 (H) mm, the ADFA 1 antenna weighs just 5.6kg and is sealed to IP55 standard to prevent the ingress of moisture and dust. It has an operating temperature range of -40 to 65degC and when mounted on a vehicle roof can withstand wind speeds of up to 130km/h.
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA and enjoys representation worldwide. The company’s products include night vision and LED lighting, data capture systems and electronic components. Oxley has pioneered the development of night vision compatible lighting. It offers a total package incorporating optical filters, equipment modification, cockpit and external lighting along with fleet wide upgrade services including engineering, installation, support, maintenance and training. The company’s long experience of manufacturing night vision lighting and LED indicators, coupled with advances in LED technology, has enabled it to develop LED solutions to replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting in existing applications as well as becoming the lighting option of choice in new applications such as portable military hospitals, UAV control stations and communication shelters.