The Project

Commercial small UAS are becoming increasingly widely used in our society and as industrial tools. However, one issue is seriously limiting their use and the industry’s economic growth: the ability to safely and routinely operate and gather information outside of line of sight of the operator. Routine use of UAS in applications such as search & rescue, physical network inspection, environmental monitoring and a host of areas will only be realised if they can safely operate over longer distances.

Airspace Integration Technology

Dramatically improving safety of UAS operations which will enable the use of commercial UAS in crowded and/or regulated airspace. Development of a new generation of airspace integration technology, including flexible redundancy functionality within a new generation autopilot/avionics package.

Secure and Robust Communications

Using lasers providing high-speed data (e.g. high resolution video) and situational awareness as well as pinpointing the exact location of the UAV to allow BVLOS operations. Development of eye-safe, secure and robust laser-based communication systems, including an optical control unit and design that is compact & lightweight, with very accurate measurements required for coarse pointing error and accurate navigation data for fine pointing.

Propulsion Systems

Providing high efficiency power plants for UAS operations to extend the operational time and payload of UAS, decreasing costs and increasing productivity. Development of a hybrid electric propulsion system that is recharged by an internal combustion engine.

Smart Perception

Enabling safe UAS operations around infrastructure without relying on GPS, facilitating operations in a variety of environments and hence a variety of tasks. Development of a real-time sensing and mapping solutions to allow safe navigation relative to infrastructure.