Moog Provides Precision Motion Control for DARPA Gremlins UAV

By Mike Ball / 14 Jan 2022

DARPA Gremlins UAV

Moog has confirmed that the company’s hardware has played a critical role in the recent successful launch and retrieval of an X-61A Gremlins Air Vehicle (GAV) during a flight test at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. The Gremlins Program, managed by DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, aims to demonstrate aerial launch and recovery of multiple low-cost, reusable UAS (unmanned aerial systems).

The Gremlins demonstration system flew three GAVs to conduct four individual flight sorties for a combined 6.7 hours of flight, including the 1.4-hour airborne recovery mission.

Moog’s electromechanical actuation systems provide precision motion control for several elements of the Gremlins demonstration system, including GAV tail fin control, GAV wing deploy, and fin control for the attitude-controlled “Bullet” which is a key element in the recovery system. These actuation systems have been developed in a highly collaborative environment with Dynetics to achieve the rapid integration and flight test schedule that is expected for DARPA programs.

The motion control solutions leverage previously flight-qualified elements and commercial off the shelf (COTS) components, thus achieving a unique balance between reliability and cost. The electromechanical actuation system design allows for multiple sorties, enabling Dynetics to meet the critical goal of 24-hour refurbishment for return to flight.

Mike Brunner, Moog Missile Systems Director, commented: “Our development of application-specific systems over the last several decades has resulted in an extensive portfolio of flight-proven solutions. In order to support the rapidly evolving needs of our warfighter, whenever possible we are shifting from the longer timelines associated with the traditional development of unique solutions, and instead, as an embedded teammate, work to fully leverage our proven solutions to bring low risk capabilities to our customers at a much faster pace.”

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Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact