Electrically powered quadcopters typically fly 15-20 minutes but Singapore-based Horizon Energy Systems’s (HES) CEO Taras Wankewycz is hoping that his team of fuel cell scientists and engineers will change all that.
Horizon Energy Systems’s hydrogen-powered hycopter can already fly for two hours, and Mr Wankewycz is hopeful of four hours by year’s end.
The HES team is aiming to have the hycopter ready for testing by year’s end and in market after that. Australia is very much in their sights.
“It’s very possible that we’ll sell our first units to a pretty large operator in Australia for things like railroad and road inspection,” Mr Wankewycz said.
Mr Wankewycz is also an executive director of HES’s parent firm Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, which began working in the general hydrogen fuel cell space 12 years ago, and cut his teeth working for Eastman Chemical.
“We started with educational science kits way back then, and we kept perfecting the technology,” he said.
One early invention, a 6-inch long toy car called the H-racer, was featured by Time Magazine in its list of best inventions in 2006. “I think our company sold close to a million fuel cells because of our science education initiatives.”
Horizon’s first hydrogen-powered aircraft made its inaugural flight the same year. It has been producing fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), typically used in defence and aerospace, with hydrogen fuel cells for five years. Consumer hydrogen fuel cells with USB ports designed to power smartphones and other devices sell on Amazon.com in the US for about $US100.
Horizon is not alone in this venture with automakers and the US Army keenly developing them. But it’s the challenge of quadcopters that inspires Mr Wankewycz and he said his firm hands down makes the lightest fuel cells in the world. Read more.
Courtesy: UAS Vision
Unmanned Systems Australia is happy to announce the sponsorship of Kwabena Ansah, a honours student with the Research School of Physics and Engineering at the Australian National University in Canberra. Kwabena has been working on a master thesis project regarding the development of a delivery mechanism for commercial delivery drones. Unmanned Systems Australia previous work with Google’s Project Wing inspired Kwabena to design a similar system for commercial applications for use in Australia. Recently Kwabena conducted a poster presentation in Canberra about his thesis project, where he had to explain and answer questions about the project being undertaken with Unmanned Systems Australia and received positive feedback on his progress.
We wish Kwabena all the best of luck for the remainder of his studies.
Vienna / Nowra, 16 June 2015 – Schiebel´s CAMCOPTER® S-100 Unmanned Air System (UAS) has in a series of flights between 2 and 12 June 2015 successfully demonstrated its multi- sensor capability to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and other Australian Government Departments.
The demanding trials took place near Nowra, on the South East Coast of Australia, and encompassed multiple scenarios, performed during both the day and night. The primary goal was to provide RAN with a comprehensive understanding of how an advanced rotary wing UAS could be effectively used to support maritime and littoral Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) tasks.
The three key mission payloads; the Finmeccanica – Selex ES SAGE ESM and PicoSAR radar and the L-3 Wescam MX-10 were operated in realistic maritime security scenarios in the littoral and open ocean.
Hans Georg Schiebel Chairman of Schiebel said „This multi-sensor capability of the S-100 is a key element, showing the comprehensive flexibility of our proven system. We feel honored that we were invited by RAN to this demonstration.”
Selex ES highlighted how the combination of the CAMCOPTER® S-100 with their SAGE ESM and PicoSAR radar can extend the surveillance horizon of naval vessels and enhance situational awareness. The data provided by the ESM and radar sensors is
crucial to understanding the maritime environment, which was proven in demanding conditions throughout the demonstration.
The CAMCOPTER® S-100 is the only UAS in its class that is able to carry multiple sensors combined, enabling customers to gather images with an EO/IR camera, to detect and to identify electronic signatures with a ESM antenna and to use a Synthetic Aperture
Radar (SAR) in real-time with only one system.
Additionally the demonstration allowed RAN personnel to study the pre-flight, operation and post-flight procedures of the CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAS.
Source: Schiebel Press Release.