Mini uas ship-borne automatic net-capture recovery for civil applications.

Aeronautics and hawk aerospace will develop a system for net-capture recovery of mini unmanned aerial vehicles (uav) for civil applications such as search and rescue, environmental and fishery monitoring and anti smuggling operations.

The need - Precision landing on a ship: Maritime UAV operations for non-military applications such as search and rescue, environmental and fishery monitoring or anti smuggling operations are mostly required by coast guard, environmental protection, emergency, and law-enforcement organizations worldwide. These capabilities introduce a major challenge to UAV manufacturers all over the world, which until today did not succeed to provide a reliable and affordable UAV system which would operate from a small vessel, perform fully autonomous missions and have the capability to land on a vessel. Landing on a moving vessel or at night are even more challenging. Having this capability would enable large number of maritime operators worldwide to obtain and operate small, ship-borne, cost effective UAV systems. The main “problem” of such operations is the lack of a suitable, reliable, low-cost landing solution for UAVs onboard a ship. The Offered System: Our aim is to provide civil customers with a fully automatic recovery system to complete a fully autonomous mission capability and avoid using "UAV external pilots" which are both expensive and rare, as well as landing into the sea – an inconvenient, risky method which causes heavy damages and loss of UAVs. Being aware of the said technological gap, Aeronautics and Hawk Aerospace are currently planning a major development program aiming to provide a maritime mini unmanned aircraft system, based on Aeronautics' successful Orbiter Mini-UAV family and a landing solution that will be suitable, reliable, low-cost and user friendly, for UAV precision landing on a ship. The offered system will include two major subsystems: 1. A new mini avionics system integrated into the mini UAV, which will safely navigate the mini UAV into the capturing net. This system is combined of a hardware avionics box, a new redundant navigation technology and a dedicated software which will incorporate the new navigation and engagement logics. 2. An auto-inflatable capturing net system packed in a “life-raft” canister, which will be positioned on a small helicopter-deck or an equivalent surface on the ship's deck and will automatically inflate once the UAV is about to land on the vessel. This capturing net system will also be equipped with a navigation module and electro-optic reflectors in order to enable the UAV to home into the net. The net system will include a self-collapse mechanism. The technologies: * Differential GPS (DGPS) * Video Tracker Homing * Inflatable Net System R&D Plan: In order to achieve the desirable product result, using the right technologies as were mentioned, Aeronautics and Hawk Aerospace will perform two phases: system design and filed tests: The system design phase will include the following missions: 1. Differential GPS (DGPS) Avionics System: concept design, system engineering, navigation software - architecture and programming, navigation hardware - design and engineering, flight control, software architecture and programming, simulator software - design and programming and simulation laboratory of DGPS system. 2. Optical Tracker Homing System: concept design, system engineering, tracker software, Electro-Optical payload installation modification, flight control software - architecture and programming and simulator software - design, programming & simulations. 3. Inflatable Net System: net structure design (structure, materials, sea conditions, collapsing triggers), navigation, visibility and illuminating systems design and prototype manufacturing & testing. 4. Orbiter Test System Manufacturing & Integration: manufacturing of a test dedicated Orbiter system, installation of all avionics devices, a dedicated homing software and installation of ground segment components on the net system. 5. Orbiter Test System Integration: manufacturing of a test dedicated Orbiter system, installation of dedicated homing system and installation of ground components on the net system. The field tests phase will include the following missions: 1. Wind Tunnel Tests. 2. Land Tests with a Stationary Net System: a series of flight tests examining the system with a stationary net on both homing methods and system modifications. 3. Land Tests with a Mobile Net System: installation of a net system on a 40ft trailer, driver compartment protection and flight test series recovering into the truck mounted net. 4. Sea Tests - Landing into a Ship-Borne Net System: a series of flight tests which will be performed together with the AFM (The Armed Forces of Malta) (an end user, end user personnel training and UAV operation by the end user).
Project ID: 
6 280
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
2 100 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Aeronautical technology / Avionics
Market Area: 
Other Transportation

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.