in Defence

Engineers unveil Adaptable UAVs

Posted 29 September 2017 · Add Comment

Engineers from BAE Systems together with students from Cranfield University, have revealed a new technology concept named Adaptable UAVs which can alternate between the two different flight modes in the same mission.



Above: Within the next few decades, armed forces could be using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with adaptable aircraft technologies that alternate between fixed-wing flight and rotary-wing flight.


When in rotary wing mode the UAVs can be launched and recovered from battlefields and docked on a special pole.

The Adaptable UAVs are a hybrid between fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, and would use adaptive flight control and advanced navigation and guidance software, which would allow the aircraft to benefit from the greater speed and range afforded to fixed-wing aircraft, before alternating to rotary-wing mode to hover and achieve vertical take-off and landing. This novel technology could allow UAVs to better adapt to evolving future battlefield situations and through working together in a swarm, tackle sophisticated air defences, as well as operating in complex and cluttered urban environments.

In the rotary wing mode of flight, the Adaptable UAVs can be easily and safely launched and recovered using a range of vehicles in dangerous environments that might be cluttered by personnel, other aircraft or vehicles. The pole constrains the lateral or sideways movement of the UAV when being launched or recovered so strong winds cannot dislodge them and avoids any damage to personnel nearby. This is particularly important when recovering a UAV to the aft of a ship or a land vehicle. The pole’s gyro-stabilised element also ensures that it remains upright independently of the host vehicle’s orientation, which may be rolling if on a ship, or in the case of a land vehicle driving up or down a slope at the time of the launch or recovery.

“The battlefield of the future will require novel solutions to meet emerging threats and to keep human operators safe wherever they may be’,” said Professor Nick Colosimo, BAE Systems’ Futurist and Technologist. “The Adaptable UAVs concept and related technologies are one of a number of concepts being explored through close collaboration between industry and students in academia.”

Professor Antonios Tsourdos, Head of the Centre for Autonomous and Cyber-Physical Systems at Cranfield University, said: “Working with BAE Systems on the Cranfield University MSc in Autonomous Vehicle Dynamics & Control has provided a great opportunity for the students and research staff to explore a range of novel concepts and technologies.”

Cranfield University is one of BAE Systems Strategic University Partners. Research staff and students have explored a range of UAV technologies including research into adaptive flight control and advanced navigation and guidance software.

BAE Systems has developed some of the world’s most innovative technologies and invests in research and development to generate future products and capabilities. The Company has a portfolio of patents and patent applications covering approximately 2000 inventions internationally.
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Azores Airlines takes delivery of its first A321neo

Azores Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo aircraft, to become first Portuguese A320neo Family operator.

Serco signs Copernicus data access contract with ESA

Serco's business in Italy has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to deliver a ground-breaking project to facilitate open and unlimited access to earth observation data and geospatial information collected as

All change at the top of Airbus

The Airbus Board of Directors has today announced executive changes as Tom Enders (59) has advised them he won't seek another term as CEO beyond his current mandate (which runs until the 2019 Annual Shareholders Meeting April 2019)and

ADS highlights industry need for transition agreement in early 2018

ADS said today that although confirmation that talks can start on transition and our future relationship with the EU is welcome progress, industry now needs to see urgent agreement reached on transition arrangements.

Astronaut Tim Peake opens UTC Portsmouth

Two years after blasting off to join the International Space Station, British astronaut Tim Peake formally opened the Roya Navy backed college which will produce the scientists and engineers of tomorrow.

CAA launching new airspace change process

In 2015 the CAA started reviewing its airspace change process and after nearly three years of detailed work and two public consultations, it is now launching its new process which will take effect from 2nd January 2018.

SMI NCWSK2011171217
See us at
SMI NCWBT3110020218S&P BT281117080318FIL18 BT111017220718Aviation Africa BT18418SMI FAVSABT2411120418