Sponsored by The British Robotics Seed Fund
24 Sep 21. Poland’s WB Group Unveils Swarming UAV System. Poland’s WB Group is pushing its new W2MPIR swarming unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system, which it says is designed to defeat an adversary’s layered air defences. The system comprises the company’s FlyEye and FT-5 Łoś (Moose) tactical reconnaissance UAVs, as well as Warmate 1 (3.0) and Warmate 2 loitering munitions. These are controlled by the Topaz integrated combat management system (ICMS). WB Group is also offering its encrypted low-emission Silent Radio Network suite – derived from the Perad radios suppled by subsidiary Radmor – to support communications between W2MPIR nodes.
“The main advantage of the W2MPIR system is the combination of Silent Radio Network communication system and Topaz [ICMS] unmanned aircraft systems [that are] capable of reconnaissance, electronic intelligence, and jamming [including the] FT-5 and FlyEye in co-operation with loitering munitions systems Warmate and Warmate 2,” Remigiusz Wilk, head of communications at WB Group, told Janes on 15 September.
“WB Group’s UAS features artificial intelligence [AI] to support navigation, stack, and attack capabilities,” added Wilk.
The FT-5 and FlyEye UAVs function as the reconnaissance and secure radio relay platforms for battalion-size command-and-control (C2) networks, forming the backbone of a localised navigation system. The use of the low-emission Silent Radio Network protocols reduces the likelihood of detection. (Source: UAS VISION/Janes)
22 Sep 21. UK CAA approves expansion of drone test area in Snowdonia, Wales. Snowdonia Aerospace, the UK test centre for next-generation aerospace and future flight systems such as drones, urban and regional air mobility vehicles, electric aircraft, balloons, airships and near-space testing vehicles, has extended the flight area to include a new permanent Danger Area around Llanbedr Airfield. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approval follows completion of a formal 24-month CAP1616 airspace change process.
The airspace provides a mix inshore, offshore, coastal lowland and mountain operational test environments and a corridor connecting to a further 7000 square km of additional airspace over Cardigan Bay for extended range, endurance, high altitude, and near-space testing.
None of the areas of the proposed DA areas will be permanently active and will only be activated by Notice to Aviators (NOTAV) when novel aerospace flying activities are scheduled to take place. Activation via NOTAV will be provided 24 hours in advance, the DA will only be active for the minimum time necessary, and Snowdonia Aerospace will provide a Flight Information Service (FIS) and Danger Area Activity Information Service (DAAIS). Airfield contact details will be included in the NOTAV.
Snowdonia Aerospace Centre is investing in an Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system, is testing a micro detect-and-avoid (DAA) radar for small drones, and is developing beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) drone services to support communities across Wales under the UK Research & Innovation Future Flight Challenge. For more information visit: www.snowdoniaaerospacecentre.co.uk (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
21 Sep 21. Babcock receives approval to run enhanced drone missions. Babcock the aerospace, defence and security company is now the only operator in Spain with permission to fly commercial drones, weighing more than 25kg, beyond line of sight.
In practical terms this means Babcock can now fly its own design, the LUA drone, in rural areas, night or day, carrying emergency support payloads of up to five kilograms each trip. Thanks to the Spanish Aviation Safety Agency (AESA)’s cross-border arrangements, Babcock’s permissions extend beyond the Spanish borders and into other European countries where enhanced drone flights could make a world of difference to first responder emergency services or those at risk on the ground.
Capable of flying autonomy of up to four hours, Babcock’s LUA drones can be deployed in less than ten minutes and are ideally suited to complex emergency missions, and in particular those that require the urgent transportation of medical materials, such as medicines, blood, and cardio-protection systems.
This approval is the culmination of exceptional work by our team of Research and Development (R&D) engineers in Babcock Spain who have developed LUA within the framework of a Civil UAVs Initiative programme promoted by our client, the Galician government’s innovation agency, GAIN.
Jose Luis Saiz, R&D Director Babcock Spain said “With AESA permission now in place we are keen to see how our LUA drone adds a new dimension to our emergency medical response in rural or hard to reach areas, or during floods and extreme weather. Babcock will continue to work closely with AESA to ensure the safety of these complex operations.”
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.