Sponsored by The British Robotics Seed Fund
03 Sep 19. Steadicopter’s Next Gen Black Eagle 50 at DSEI 2019. Steadicopter, a manufacturer of Rotary Unmanned Aerial Systems (RUAS), will present its next generation Black Eagle 50 advanced lightweight unmanned robotic helicopter at DSEI. New capabilities include an inertial navigation system with no dependence on GPS, as well as support for naval missions.
Steadicopter’s Black Eagle 50 unmanned helicopter has been upgraded with several additional new features and is tailored for naval missions with its robust mechanical and electronic capabilities that support flight in maritime environmental conditions. The company also recently signed a cooperative agreement with Israel Shipyards for the marketing of the Black Eagle as part of the defense, intelligence and surveillance systems installed on its OPV Family.
The Black Eagle 50 features a special inertial navigation system capability, based on input from the system’s inertial and other sensors. Through a unique and smart navigation algorithm, this input enables the continuation of the flight and the mission, without relying on GPS. This allows the Black Eagle 50 a significant advantage in GPS-denied areas.
According to Noam Lidor, Sales & Marketing Director at Steadicopter, “In recent months, we have invested considerable resources in improving and equipping our unmanned helicopter in order to adapt it to a wide range of missions both on land and at sea. We have also developed cooperation with a number of Israeli companies ‒ each a leader in its field ‒ so that we can equip our helicopter with the highest quality and most advanced payloads.”
The Black Eagle 50 is a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) robotic observation system. It is an ideal solution for tactical maritime and land Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions. A data link connects the aircraft with the ground controller, enabling the transmission of live video and data between the two. The system has a steady hovering endurance of up to 3 hours and flight endurance of up to 4 hours. At only 27kg, the Black Eagle 50 is extremely lightweight and compact, with a maximum take-off weight of 35Kg, and payload capacity of 5Kg. It has a communication range of up to 150km, depending on the client’s requirements, and a service ceiling of up to 10,000ft. Its total length is just 2540mm, while its maximum air speed is 70 knots (126Km/h) with a cruising speed of 45 knots (81Km/h). (Source: UAS VISION)
02 Sep 19. Tellumat Defence & Security will participate on the South African Pavilion at this year’s Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) conference and exhibition. The South African Pavilion is coordinated by the South African Department of Trade and Industry and the Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association (AMD).
Tellumat’s ASTUS UAS
Among the products Tellumat will promote is the ASTUS Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). Launched at the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition in September 2018, ASTUS is a medium-size, medium-range tactical surveillance UAS, suitable for lengthy day / night missions requiring real-time surveillance data collection and delivery, such as border and coastal security, environmental protection and peacekeeping missions. It can also be used in the cost-effective training of UAS crews for beyond-line-of-sight operations of larger UASs.
The aircraft has a wingspan of 5.2 metres and a maximum take-off weight of 92kg. It is powered by a 210-cc fuel-injected 2-stroke motor providing 8 hours of optimal flight time at 5,000 feet above sea level, although noting this cruising altitude can be significantly varied if required.Low latency payload control and monitoring is available via the ground control station (GCS). The modular and portable GCS can be networked to allow control of ASTUS by more than one pilot and more than one payload operator geographically who could be separated across very large mission areas. Quick to deploy and easy to operate in a wide range of missions, the system has a minimum crew requirement of just four, comprising a pilot, payload operator, safety pilot and aircraft technician. The ASTUS UAS is provided with all the necessary support equipment, operational spares and base spares to allow for extended operations without external support. ASTUS addresses the market need for high-end UAS performance in a compact, cost-effective package, accommodating various types of payloads.
Data Links and IFF
Tellumat will also be promoting its family of ground-to-air and air-to-ground command and control video / data links, as well as its identification friend or foe (IFF) interrogators and transponders, together with unique-per-country national secure mode solutions.
Tellumat’s diverse offering and broad skill set provide a solid platform for partnerships that promote mutual self-reliance and strengthen government ties between countries, says Brian Ferguson, Key Accounts Manager for Tellumat’s Defence & Security division.
Tellumat has a full range of engagement options, from simple agreements of sale through to training on installation and maintenance, integrated logistic support, manufacturing and development collaboration. Its long-standing track record of working in global markets makes it the ideal partner to any end-user or systems integrator attending DSEI to seek innovative technology partnerships, he adds.
“DSEI sees a coming together of industry players from all regions of the world. We look forward to not only meeting new people, but to networking and seeking out opportunities for South African based value-added partnerships with foreign multinationals.”
Tellumat has supplied systems and solutions to system integrators and end-users in the international aerospace and defence markets since 1963 as Plessey South Africa which then became Tellumat in 1998.
Visit Tellumat on the South African Pavilion at DSEI 2019, Stands N3-100 and N3-140.
02 Sep 19. Blue Bear completes another UK first in 5G. Blue Bear recently completed its first long range control test flight over 5G at Blue Bear’s Twinwoods flight test centre in Bedford. The Blue Bear team, part of the 5G Rural Integrated Test-Bed (5GRIT) project, flew an Agristart UAV under control of an operator 50km away. A local safety pilot was always in Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS) and supervised the take-off and landing. Once airborne, control was handed over to the remote operator based at Kingston University. The remote operator was connected to the internet via WiFi into Kingston University’s local network, and then via the internet to Blue Bear’s 5G network.
This further demonstrates that the control of a drone can be technically from anywhere in the world over multiple types of communications link. In 2018, Blue Bear demonstrated one of its drones flying at its Bedford headquarters, whilst being controlled by an operator in India using a cloud-based system for requesting and permitting the operation of a drone.
Ian Williams-Wynn, Blue Bear’s Managing Director said, “this is another exciting UK first for Blue Bear, and the success of these demonstrations, combined with Blue Bear’s drone swarming technology and autonomy is another step towards operations centres being able to control large fleets of remotely located drones.”
Gavin Goudie, Blue Bear’s Operations Director said “use of robust and secure communications technologies is key to the development of Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) drone operations, these tests have shown the potential of 5G for this requirement and demonstrated the capability of transferring significant volumes of data in real time”
23 Aug 19. Drone Evolution launches its new, milspec drone tethering system at DSEI 2019. The system allows any drone/camera combination to fly for six hours at a height of up to 200m, whilst transmitting data securely via a fibre-optic milspec cable. The military system is 24V, running off a military vehicle battery, and is controlled via a portable ground station which fits neatly into a 40mm ammo can.
The Dragon Tethered Drone (civil) version of this system has been proven over the past year and interest from the defence establishment has driven the development of the military prototype version. Development work is underway to enable beyond line of sight capability in the future.
Toby Townrow, Communications Director at Drone Evolution, said: “Development of our secure tethering system has been a natural progression for us and the interest we have had, both in UK and abroad, tells us that there is an urgent need for this equipment as drones are used more in security and defence roles.
“We are delighted to take Drone Evolution to its next level both in business and technology. I am particularly looking forward to a hush hush development we have been working on and will be announcing during DSEI.”
The British Robotics Seed Fund is the first SEIS-qualifying investment fund specialising in UK-based robotics businesses. The focus of the fund is to deliver superior returns to investors by making targeted investments in a mixed basket of the most innovative and disruptive businesses that are exploiting the new generation of robotics technologies in defence and other sector applications.
Automation and robotisation are beginning to drive significant productivity improvements in the global economy heralding a new industrial revolution. The fund allows investors to benefit from this exciting opportunity, whilst also delivering the extremely attractive tax reliefs offered by the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). For many private investors, the amount of specialist knowledge required to assess investments in robotics is not practical and hence investing through a fund structure makes good sense.
The fund appoints expert mentors to work with each investee company to further maximise the chance of success for investors. Further details are available on request.