UAV Propulsion, Autopilots, Servo, Parachute and Gimbal Solutions

UAV Propulsion Tech
UAV Propulsion Tech

UAV Propulsion Tech is a US company that markets German, Canadian, Swedish and Australian technology into the US Unmanned Aerial Vehicle market.

Companies represented include Volz (Servos), Hirth (Propulsion Systems including Starter/Generators), Orbital (Heavy Fuel Engines), MicroPilot (Autopilots), DST Control (gyro-stabilized EO/IR gimbals) and Skygraphics (Rescue/Recovery Chutes). These solutions include consumer off the shelf (COTs) and custom: propulsion, autopilot, servo/actuator, gimbals, and rescue/recovery parachute solutions. These products are proven solutions that are flying on several high end global UAV platforms.

DST Control

Gyro stabilized EO/IR gimbal systems and lightweight thermal imagers for UAVs

Located in Linköping, Sweden, DST CONTROL supplies light-weight, high performance gyro-stabilized electro-optical systems with both EO and IR capabilities, and small light-weight thermal imagers.

DST Control UAV Gimbals

OTUS Gyro-stabilized Sensor Systems

OTUS gyro-stabilized electro-optical micro-gimbals are optimized for use in small & medium sized unmanned vehicles and small manned aircraft, featuring a day-light camera and/or an un-cooled infrared camera combined with a laser range finder. OTUS is one of the smallest and lightest gimbals on the market, yet provides performance & functions typically only found in much larger units.

The two axis OTUS U135, L170 and L205 gimbals reach a new level of stabilization performance thanks to purpose-built high-bandwidth torque motors implementing active vibration attenuation. The all new four axis OTUS U-250 gimbal achieves even greater stabilization due to a combination of purpose-built high-bandwidth torque motors and geared motors.

DST Control UAV Gimbals

All electronics required for the advanced digital control fits within the unit shell of each gimbal. The user only has to connect an external power supply, a video monitor and a joystick, to have the system up and running. A three dimensional micro-mechanical IMU and a laser range finder mounted directly on the optical bench, allows for advanced features like geo-location and geo-positioning, provided an external heading source is connected to the gimbal. Each gimbal features a powerful digital servo controller, which is even capable of providing enough computational power to drive optional features like vehicle control and navigation.

OTUS provides unique optional functions such as geo-localization, automatic video tracking and video recording, with everything integrated within the gimbal. The OTUS gimbals have no export restrictions, nor ITAR. As a trusted & established supplier of components and know-how for the unmanned vehicle industry for the last 20 years, DST has been involved in several national and international unmanned aerial vehicle projects.

SAITIS Thermal Imagers

UAV Thermal Imagers

SAITIS-640 is an uncooled microbolometer LWIR camera (amorphous silicon, spectral band 8-14 μm) with 640×480 pixels resolution. Unique features for the SAITIS-640 is its low weight and size (from 27mm x 27mm x 26mm) but also the minimum power requirements (1W).  The SAITIS-640 can be equipped with a wide range of optics and has maximum exportability even in full frame rate.

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Hirth

2-stroke Propulsion Systems; Starter/Generator

Hirth UAV Engines

Located in Benningen, Germany, Hirth is a leading supplier of reliable 2-stroke engines for sport aviation, ultra-light, hover craft, water pumps and UAV applications.

In business for over 80 years, the considerable experience Hirth has gained producing engines for the sport aviation market has made them a key choice for customers looking for COTS or custom UAV engine solutions.

Hirth supplies engines for a wide range of UAV platforms, including the Northrop Grumman BAT, Denel Seeker II, Rheinmetall KZO, EMT Luna, CybAero APID60, Indra Pelicano, DroneTech AV-1 Albatross, Ruag Ranger, Robot Aviation Aerobot, IDS SD-150 Hero, and Saab Skeldar.

Hirth’s engines utilize a wide range of advanced technologies to ensure they meet the demanding requirements of UAV applications.

These technologies include advanced fuel injection (iPower); integration of lightweight/efficient starter/generators; advanced engine management systems; gear and belt drive reduction systems; and advanced engine mount solutions.

Closely working with its supply base, Hirth can supply complete turnkey propulsion modules including engine mount, generator and propeller.

Advantages of Hirth’s 2-stroke aircraft engines:

  • ISO 9001 registered engineering/production facility.
  • Broad 2-stroke application experience with air cooled and water cooled engines developed for air, land and sea applications.
  • Nikasil cylinders, hyper eutectic pistons and chrom moly crankshafts for improved durability to achieve higher TBO’s.
  • Sport aviation and defense unmanned aerial vehicle experience.
  • COTS, modified COTS and clean sheet engine solution options.
  • Located in the heart of Stuttgart so Hirth has access to high tech suppliers that support the German auto industry.
  • Manufacturer/designer of complete propulsion systems including: starter/generator, reduction drive, propeller, engine mount, throttle servo, silencer, system break-in & qualification.
  • Over 1 million 2-stroke engines produced.
  • Special helicopter propulsion solutions.

Hirth COTS UAV Engines

More: Hirth 2-Stroke Engines

Orbital

Technology for Heavy Fuel Engines

Orbital UAV Engines

Orbital, based in Perth, Western Australia, has a unique air-assisted direct injection system used to reduce exhaust emissions and proven to provide significant benefits over other direct injection technologies. Over 800,000 engines currently use this technology within the consumer market, ranging from 2-stroke outboard engines and personal watercraft to OEM automotive evaluation, so the base hardware and control systems are proven and very reliable.

Orbital’s air-assist technology is also used within defense outboard and UAV applications to enable operation on heavy fuels such as Jet A, JP5 and JP8. Orbital can develop a custom engine solution for UAV applications to meet package, weight, reliability and fuel consumption requirements, and has the design, prototype, validation and production capabilities to take your engine from concept to production.

Orbital FlexDI UAV Technology

UAV Engine Details

ScanEagle UAV Engine

Key Benefits of Orbital FlexDI Technology for UAVs:

  • Multi-fuel capability with same hardware: gasoline, JP5, JP8, Jet A.
  • Cold start capability down to -35C without the use of heaters.
  • ~30% reduction in fuel consumption at cruise conditions because DI enables lean stratified operation – typical brake specific fuel consumption at cruise of 330g/kWh (0.543lb/hph).
  • Lower fuel consumption that 2-stroke carbureted/EFI or gas turbine engines.
  • Lower vibration signature and lower weight than compression ignition (diesel) solutions

More: Orbital Heavy Fuel Engines

Volz Actuators

High Performance Servo Actuators

UAV Servos

VOLZ produces high-performance servo actuators for industrial and aerospace applications, with several COTS solutions and the ability to develop custom solutions.

VOLZ are flying on several global UAV platforms including the Lockheed Martin Fury 1500, Northrop Grumman BAT, AAI Corp Aerosonde Mk4.7, Aeronautics Orbiter, EADS Cassidian DO-DT target drones, and Schiebel Camcopter S-100.

Actuators are available with number of high-end optional features including brushless motors, contactless sensor, position feedback and clutch mechanisms, providing a high-reliability solution. Submersible solutions are also available, proven to 100m/300ft or 10bar/145psi. All hardware has traceability which can be difficult to obtain from high volume hobby RC servos. Volz also has a redundant variant of the DA26 servo available in 2015.

Key Features of VOLZ Actuators:

  • CNC machined aluminum actuator case.
  • IP67 standard for water/dust intrusion protection.
  • Multi-purpose lug mounts for variable servo fixation.
  • Integrated microprocessor controlled PC boards.
  • Fully programmable by the customer.
  • Redundant servo solutions (DA26 available now, DA30 available late 2015)

More: VOLZ ACTUATORS

Skygraphics

Rescue/Recovery Parachutes for UAVS

Protect UAV Parachutes

Skygraphics provides rescue/recovery parachute solutions for UAVs. The ‘Protect UAV’ parachute system is typically lighter and smaller than other systems on the market, and features a cord cutter solution that releases the parachute once the air vehicle has landed to minimize damage due to high wind. ProtectUAV also can offer the “Nano” multicopter solution in various sizes for MTOW’s up to 25kg.

Key Advantages of the Skygraphics Protect UAV Parachute System:

Protect UAV Parachute

  • High speed-range for initial phase of deployment: 60 bis 220km/h tested, extension feasible.
  • Moderate G-load throughout total deployment-range due to configurable slider system: standard <6g.
  • Quick stabilization after deployment.
  • Low tendency of oscillation.UAV Parachutes
  • Extreme low weight and dimensions resulting in low effect on payload: standard 1.5-2.0kg with 4-6.5 liter volume.
  • Standard sizes for MTOW of 45 to 100kg, extension of MTOW easily feasible.
  • Scalable to individual requirements via custom-built computational configuration tool.
  • Re-useable: 10+ deployments possible.
  • Development and production in accordance to aeronautical engineering regulations.Protect UAV Nano Parachute
  • Verification of required parameters through special measuring equipment and video documentation during airdrop-tests.
  • Low adaptation and development efforts while in design phase to consider specific requirements

Watch the video:

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MicroPilot

Autopilots for helicopters, fixed wing and multi-rotor UAVs

Micropilot UAV Autopilots

MicroPilot is located in Stony Mountain, Canada (just outside of Winipeg) and has been in business since 1994 supplying high end autopilots for the global UAV market. MicroPilot currently services over 850 clients in over 70 countries representing both small and large UAV manufacturers (commercial and defense) and research organizations.  MicroPilot offers a family of lightweight UAV autopilots that fly fixed-wing, transitional, helicopter, and multi-rotor UAVs.

Some of MicroPilot’s autopilots’ popular features include:

  • Airspeed and altitude hold
  • Turn coordination
  • GPS navigation
  • Vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL)
  • Autonomous operation from launch to recovery

Seamless Upgrade

MicroPilot has a range of autopilots from the single-use autopilot (MP2x28xp) all the way up to the powerful VTOL autopilot (MP2128HELI), providing a seamless upgrade path. No other autopilot manufacturer offers this high degree of adaptable technology and range of autopilot options. Once Micropilot’s customers learn how to work with one of MicroPilot’s autopilots, they are equipped to use them all. This makes MicroPilot the single-vendor solution for autopilot hardware, software, and accessory needs. MicroPilot’s line of autopilots allows its customers to grow and adapt at a fraction of the cost offered by many other autopilot competitors. This allows MicroPilot’s customers to get in the air faster without having to fund their own team to develop their own custom autopilot.

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