EASA publishes its opinion on the Regulatory Framework for the Operation of UAS

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recently published this document –  ‘Opinion No 01/2018 – Introduction of Regulatory Framework for the Operation of UAS in the Open and Specific Categories.’ UVS International (UVSI),the leading international organisation dedicated to the promotion of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), has provided an initial summary of the document.. The new proposals have differences in comparison to the original draft, registration requirements being one in particular. The requirement is to register the Operator but the UAV only needs registration under certain circumstances. There will be reduced distances permitted (5m) if the equipment has a number […]

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RNLI and HM Coastguard Challenge Briefing

RNLI and HM Coastguard Challenge Briefing

RNLI held its Technology Demonstrator Challenge briefing at the RNLI Training College in Poole on Monday 27th November.   It was very well attended with approx. 100 attendees drawn from a very wide spectrum of companies, from micro SMEs to multinationals, including ARPAS-UK members.   The organisers of the challenge stressed that they were keen for consortia to come together to address the Challenges, drawn from that spectrum. The over-arching objective of the Challenge was to demonstrate technical ‘Art of the Possible’ against a portfolio of SAR Design Reference Missions, using any unmanned platform or system that operates above the surface (water […]

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Update on the AIRSTART Laser Communications Pod

Update on the AIRSTART Laser Communications Pod

Part of the AIRSTART Project is focused on secure and robust communications using a low Size Weight and Power (SWaP) laser communication system. The video below provides some insight into the complexity of the system. For more information on this Gooch & Housego innovation for the AIRSTART Project click here.

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RNLI CALL TO REGISTER INTEREST – Search and Rescue in the 3rd Dimension Technology Demonstrator Challenge

RNLI CALL TO REGISTER INTEREST – Search and Rescue in the 3rd Dimension Technology Demonstrator Challenge

AIRSTART Partner RNLI is inviting registrations of interest for participation in the ‘Search and Rescue in the 3rd Dimension’ Technology Demonstrator Challenge to be held in Spring 2018. The RNLI, HM Coastguard and wider UK Search and Rescue Community believe that unmanned air platforms may one day be routinely used in SAR operations. In collaboration with manned platforms, they will increase SAR efficiency and save more lives, whilst reducing risk to our people. This demonstrator challenge is an exciting opportunity to inform the UK SAR community’s future requirements and for you to use your systems in a realistic operating environment. […]

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First test of hybrid electric propulsion system successful

First test of hybrid electric propulsion system successful

A self-contained engine test rig constructed by Rotron Power was integrated with Cranfield University’s motor-generator. The initial testing at Cranfield was to ensure the engine and motor would work correctly with each other including coupling and decoupling of the motor-generator with the engine in a running state. The engine incorporates a centrifugal clutch and one-way gear and the motor-generator has an in-built decoupling device). All of this formed the hybrid electric propulsion system (HEPS). With the engine test rig returned to Rotron Power, a load absorption device in the form of a propeller was attached to the motor to generate […]

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Blue Bear conduct 2nd drone powerline inspection trials with Western Power Distribution

Blue Bear conduct 2nd drone powerline inspection trials with Western Power Distribution

Blue Bear and Western Power Distribution carried out their second live flight trials under Project AIRSTART. The recent live trials with Blue Bear and Western Power Distribution used a specially modified hexacopter Small Unmanned Air System (SUAS) to test the performance of a range of different onboard sensors, and to validate system behaviour within the electromagnetic field of the energised power lines. In addition to high resolution visual and thermal cameras, the onboard sensors also provided a relative navigation and collision avoidance capability to enable safe operation in the presence of vegetation and other obstructions. These tests helped to both […]

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First flight of laser based communications system

The first of a series of AIRSTART ‘pod’ flights took place at Thorney Island in May 2017 using a twin engined UAV supplied by Southampton University. The AIRSTART pod contains a receiver which performs fibre coupling of the laser, light amplification (EDFA-Erbium Doped Fibre Amplifier) and has a 5Gbps detector. Further flights took place in August and late September to test the ground receiver and record the performance of the laser data link. The next test flights  scheduled to take place at Thorney Island will be EVLOS (Extended Visual Line Of Sight), using the laser guidance system, initially flown with a chase […]

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Callen-Lenz Associates Completes Extensive BVLOS Trials

Callen-Lenz Associates Completes Extensive BVLOS Trials

Callen-Lenz Associates has now successfully completed its latest campaign of BVLOS trials covering in excess of 400 track km with individual flights up to 80km distance.  The trials used the SkyCircuits autopilot in a number of sub 7kg electric fixed-wing systems with an undisclosed BVLOS commercial customer, routinely flying up to 3000ft AMSL(above mean sea level).   Using CLA’s CONOPS (concept of operations), the BVLOS sorties were flown proving platform endurance and demonstrating long range datalink integrity and functionality.

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RNLI – The 3rd Dimension for Search & Rescue

RNLI – The 3rd Dimension for Search & Rescue

The RNLI report on the potential for unmanned air and other systems to enhance future Search and Rescue, “The 3rd Dimension for Search & Rescue” has been now published. This report summarises the outputs from the RNLI’s roadvmapping workshop. Roadmaps for the future exploitation of unmanned air systems for Search and Rescue (SAR) are presented with discussion and recommendations. These were developed from capturing the interactions between social and environmental drivers, the needs of the SAR Community and technology developments identified by a mix of Subject Matter Experts from operators, industry, academia and governing authorities. You can download the report […]

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