Sponsored by The British Robotics Seed Fund
22 Apr 21. Schiebel CAMCOPTER S-100 Performs Maritime Surveillance for EMSA in Estonia. The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) is operating the CAMCOPTER S-100 for enhanced maritime surveillance in the Baltic Sea. The Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) service is delivered by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and is also extended to Finland.
The CAMCOPTER S-100 is currently supporting the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board, followed by the Finnish Border Guard later this year, in carrying out enhanced maritime surveillance in the Baltic Sea. The RPAS is being used to gain a better picture of what is happening at sea, particularly useful in this region, where busy shipping lanes and high cargo traffic make maritime safety and security a challenge.
Operational cooperation is possible among all the participating member states which, in addition to Estonia and Finland, also include Latvia and Sweden. The information collected on board the CAMCOPTER S-100 is shared simultaneously with these neighbouring countries, thereby helping them to create a common maritime picture and respond in close coordination with each other.
The S-100 executes these tasks equipped with a TRAKKA TC-300 Electro-Optical / Infra-Red (EO/IR) camera gimbal, an Overwatch Imaging PT-8 Oceanwatch, a Becker Avionics BD406 Emergency Beacon Locator and an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver.
Marge Kohtla, head of the maritime safety unit at the PPA, said: “The S-100 offers an excellent opportunity for monitoring the maritime area, serving as an addition to the existing maritime surveillance system, vessels of the PPA, smaller water craft, and aircraft.”
Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group, said: “We are proud to be working with EMSA to support its member states in conducting the vital task of maritime surveillance. The S-100 is a proven and reliable asset, which is being operated on all oceans.” (Source: UAS VISION)
19 Apr 21. NRL’s Hybrid Tiger UAV Soars at Demonstration. U.S. Naval Research Laboratory engineers recently demonstrated Hybrid Tiger, an electric unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with multi-day endurance flight capability, at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland.
The team integrated technologies developed in prior NRL power and energy programs into a single UAV to achieve multi-day endurance with a Group 2 UAV. Group 2 UAVs are typically in the 21-55 pound weight class and normally operate below 3,500 feet above ground level at speeds less than 250 knots.
This was the first time Hybrid Tiger flew through a complete 24-hour period, its longest flight to date.
“Extrapolating the flight endurance of Hybrid Tiger from the recent flight data suggests it can reach the program goal flight endurance,” said Richard Stroman, Ph.D., a mechanical engineer from the NRL Chemistry Division. “The results validated our extensive simulation efforts, because the flight endurance is almost exactly what was predicted by our simulation.”
Flight simulations suggested flight endurances predicted for summer conditions are realistic at lower latitudes and with greater solar energy.
“The flight was effectively a performance test in worst-case conditions: temperatures falling below zero degrees Celsius, winds gusting to 20 knots, and relatively little solar energy as we approached the solar solstice Dec. 21,” Stroman said. “Despite all of that, Hybrid Tiger performed well.”
New solar-integrated wings provided daytime power and supplement a redesigned power management system.
“This power management system hybridizes solar energy with other on-board energy sources including battery-electric and a hydrogen fuel cell in a light-weight form factor, suitable for airborne craft, as well as ground-based unmanned systems,”
said Stearns Heinzen, Ph.D., an aerospace engineer from NRL Tactical Electronic Warfare Division.
The program’s researchers are also developing energy-aware power management algorithms, which vary operational modes and generate a vehicle navigation strategy based on weather forecasts and locally observed opportunities for energy harvesting.
Autonomous soaring, for example, is used to gain altitude from thermal updrafts when they are available. Hybrid Tiger combines multiple power sources with different advantages to achieve extreme endurance. A high-pressure hydrogen fuel tank and fuel cell system provides nighttime power. High-efficiency photovoltaics provide power during daylight hours.
“Autonomous soaring and energy-aware guidance algorithms help maximize energy extraction and minimize energy loss,” Stroman said. “The use of hydrogen fuel not only enables long endurance; it also makes it possible to produce fuel locally.”
Hybrid Tiger was developed and demonstrated with Department of Defense needs in mind, yet its technologies are also valuable for non-defense scientific applications such as atmospheric research and commercial applications.
The NRL Alternative Energy Section and Vehicle Research Section researchers plan to demonstrate the maximum endurance of Hybrid Tiger later this spring, demonstrating a two plus day flight endurance with a payload while consuming no logistics fuel.
Hybrid Tiger was developed as a complete system that can be transitioned directly to industry; however, its technologies can also be used individually to improve the performance of other unmanned systems.
The Hybrid Tiger program is a 6.3 Advanced Technology Development project sponsored by the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Operational Energy Capability Improvement Fund and the Marine Corps Expeditionary Energy Office (E2O).
Its component technologies are available for license to companies with interest in commercial applications and collaborative partnership opportunities. For additional information, contact the NRL Office of Technology Transfer at (Source: UAS VISION/dvids)
15 Apr 21. Martin UAV wins US Navy’s Mi2 Technology Demonstration competition. Martin UAV and its V-Bat 128 vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) tail-sitting fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) beat L3Harris and its FVR-90 VTOL hybrid quadcopter in the US Navy’s (USN’s) Mi2 Technology Demonstration unmanned aircraft effort.
USN spokesperson Brittany Dickerson said on 15 April that the service intends to award a non-federal acquisition regulation (FAR)-based prototyping contract to Martin UAV in July and that contract negotiations are ongoing. This award is based on the results of a Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD)-sponsored Phase 2 live demonstration event that ended in December 2020 at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, the US Navy’s Innovation and Modernization Patuxent River (IMPAX) division announced on 12 April.
Dickerson said that Martin UAV will initially provide three complete systems, including the air vehicle and control system, as part of this OT prototype project. Ongoing negotiations, she said, will determine the final number of aircraft for delivery supporting command prototyping efforts.
NAWCAD AIRWorks estimated in a 24 July 2020 question and answer document that a potential OT prototyping effort following the technology demonstration would include delivery of six air vehicles, four ground-control stations (GCS), and peripherals and spares within five months of the prototyping OT award. The USN is procuring an innovative variant of the V-Bat for further prototype development that meets the service’s requirements. (Source: Jane’s)
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