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

TEK appointed to manufacture the M777 commanders seat

TEK Military Seating has been appointed as designer, manufacturer and supplier of the M777 Howitzer commander seats for the BAE Systems contract with the Indian MOD, which starts in 2019.

Autonomy for tomorrow's world

In a new cross-government collaboration, the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Department for International Development (DFID) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are working together on turning cutting-edge designs for drones and

UK engineering skills enhanced by Cranfield and BAE Systems

Cranfield University and BAE Systems have announced at the Farnborough International Airshow today the extension of an educational partnership that will further enhance the UK’s engineering skills.

Tonbridge School fly the flag in international rocketry final

Four students from Tonbridge School, Kent, were named as runners-up after they competed in an international fly-off in the Youth Rocketry Challenge against teams representing the USA, Japan and France at Farnborough International

Farnborough International Airshow sees orders surge worth $28bn to UK

- More than 1400 aircraft orders and commitments at Farnborough International Airshow 2018, as the global industry sees continuing high demand. - Aircraft and engine orders and commitments worth around $190bn to the global

Nasmyth Group to open training centre for its Academy apprentices

Nasmyth Group is delighted to announce the opening of its new Academy training centre for apprentices. The new facility will be based at Nasmyth Bulwell in Pinxton, Nottinghamshire, one of the Group’s 13 individual precision

RUBB_SK_1906190119
See us at
Aviation Africa 2019SMI GMSCBT3005081118FIL18 BT111017220718AdvancedEngin BT1406011118DVD18BT3105200918SMIFAVSBT151118