A new fixed-wing UAS platform with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities and a hybrid propulsion system has been developed by Plymouth Rock Technologies Inc.
The PRT XV-S drone, which can launch fully-autonomously from an area as small as 100 square feet and operate for up to four hours, has recently passed more than 20 hours of flight testing.
Featuring long-range data communications, the XV range is the first non-military commercial UAS in its class of both line of sight (LOS) and beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) UAS platforms to offer fully autonomous flight capabilities.
The ability to both take-off and land vertically removes the requirement for a large runway or additional launch catapult and recovery nets, which are usually required by many fixed-wing drones.
The platform will have a 360-degree 4K high-definition recording capability option, positioning the XV-S for use by law enforcement, border patrol and search and rescue. The platform will also deliver a cost-effective and less labor intensive alternative for rapid response military surveillance, on land and at sea.
“The technology used within this platform is at the leading edge of UAS technologies,” stated Carl Cagliarini, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer. “With a fully autonomous BVLOS capability, the XV-S has an operational round trip flight time of up to four hours. This would allow a search capability of over 1500 square miles. Another key operational benefit is that the XV-S can be easily landed on a small naval vessel, refueled and redeployed in minutes. From coast guard and mountain rescue, through to border patrol and surveillance operations, our XV-S offers a new capability that is unrivalled as a commercial offering,” concluded Cagliarini.
“The key to success in the UAS space is simplicity, capability and affordability,” stated Dana Wheeler, Co-Founder & CEO of PRT. “During the California fire season, under state of emergency, the U.S. Air Force are often requested to mobilize their MQ-9 military drones to assist with situational overview. This is a very costly and complex way of keeping an eye on a well-established and understood issue. We believe that our rapidly deployable UAS platform will be a highly sought-after tool across multiple US Agencies. We are already addressing inquiries from overseas for monitoring of fishery violations and also humanitarian missions. We will be placing our XV-S UAS on the U.S. Government GSA Schedule so that procurement of this system is streamlined for US Government agencies that wish to order them,” concluded Wheeler.