CAMCOPTER® S-100 – SUCCESSFUL FLIGHTS WITH “DETECT AND AVOID” SYSTEM
Vienna / Den Helder, 09 February 2016 – Schiebel and the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), the Netherlands Coastguard and the Royal Netherlands Air Force conducted a series of successful flights with a newly developed airborne Detect
and Avoid System at the airport of Den Helder in December 2015.
The AIRICA (ATM Innovative RPAS Integration for Coastguard Applications) project marks a major step forward in the process of safe integration of RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems) into all classes of airspace.
During a special demonstration held at De Kooy Airfield in Den Helder, Schiebel provided it´s unmanned helicopter, the CAMCOPTER® S-100, onto which the NLR developed AirScout Detect and Avoid System was installed. The Netherlands Coastguard provided a Dornier Do-228 as “intruder” and the Royal Netherlands Air Force contributed with an Alouette helicopter as “intruder”, and provided the Air Traffic Control services.
Several scenarios were successfully executed where the CAMCOPTER® S-100 “unexpectedly” encountered an intruder aircraft. The system then determined in real time the corrective action to ensure the necessary separation from the intruder aircraft.
The AIRICA project is funded through the European SESAR programme (part of the Single European Sky initiative) and the key focus – integration of an RPAS into the airspace for Netherlands Coast Guard´s applications – was effectively demonstrated
during the flights.
Edwin van der Pol, Head of Operations Kustwacht: ”In the future we hope to use unmanned systems for our search and rescue operations. These trials are important to achieve regulations for bringing RPAS into non-segregated airspace.”
Chris Day, Head of Capability Engineering at Schiebel: “This demonstration is another positive step towards unmanned air systems gaining access to a broader range of airspace.”
Promoting the development of cargo drones will be the focus of next year’s operational energy capability improvement fund, according to a Defense Department official.
“The [fiscal year 2016] theme for OECIF is unmanned aerial vehicles,” said Steve Mapes, deputy director for expeditionary operations in the office of the assistant secretary of defense for energy plans and programs. “What we’re talking about is unmanned aerial vehicles for resupply.”OECIF provides seed money to programs that could potentially improve the energy usage of deployed forces or deliver long-term cost savings.
By using UAVs to transport cargo “you can take those trucks [that would normally have to be used to transport supplies] off the road or you can navigate or circumvent bodies of water without having to send actual forces or troops or ships” to deliver materiel, Mapes said Aug. 25 at a National Defense Industrial Association power conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.
OECIF investments in 2016 would be “targeted specially toward the Pacific,” which presents unique logistical hurdles because of its vast size, Mapes said.
“Tyranny of distance right now is hands down one of the most challenging things we have to deal with, particularly in the [U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility],” he said. “We rely heavily on host nation agreements. We rely heavily on our joint partners to move equipment and assets from point A to point B. But one of our major defense challenges is just distance.”
As a solution, he envisioned launching supply drones off ships. “We’re talking cargo aircraft that can navigate from a ship-based platform [and] … allow us to navigate that distance without bringing that ship right up to the coast,” he said.
Search and rescue charity Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) will keep flying Schiebel‘s unmanned helicopters to save lives thanks to the Austrian company’s decision to offer two months of use for free.
Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER® S-100 is helping MOAS locate crammed boats of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the MOAS operation.
“Schiebel has been supportive from the very beginning, helping MOAS become the first civilian organisation to use these military-grade drones for a great humanitarian purpose. Besides giving us a subsidized rate from the start, Schiebel has now generously offered two months of free use, a donation worth more than €600,000,” said MOAS director Martin Xuereb”.
MOAS has already saved more than 8,000 men, women and children since August 2014.
Schiebel’s state-of-the-art CAMCOPTER® S-100 systems have contributed significantly to this year’s missions, assisting MOAS on practically every rescue.
MOAS conducts professional search and rescue aboard a 40-metre vessel, M.Y. Phoenix, while MSF (Doctors Without Borders) provides post-rescue care to the migrants sheltered on board.
Thousands of migrants have drowned while crossing the world’s deadliest border but MOAS and other private and state-owned rescue operations have significantly reduced the death toll since May this year.
MOAS founder Christopher Catrambone thanked chairman Hans Georg Schiebel for his huge contribution.
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.
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.
A key Pentagon adviser is warning Australia that its next submarine fleet purchase may be obsolete as a result of game-changing technology breakthroughs in drone warfare.
Despite the intense political debate over procurement of submarines in Australia, former US military naval adviser and submarine expert Bryan Clark said he had not been contacted by Government officials here.
The Federal Government is planning to build a fleet of 12 new submarines, thought to be worth tens of billions of dollars.
Mr Clark told Lateline the next class of submarines would arrive in the 2020s, and said he did not know whether the Government was looking at the new detection technologies being developed.
“It is something that should impact the design of the next class of [Australian] submarines,” he said.
“I’ve certainly been in contact with the US government in terms of what it might imply for how the next generation of US submarines needs to evolve.”
In the future we may find submarines … may have to operate more like an aircraft carrier where they stay offshore some distance to stay away from the threat.
Former US military naval adviser Bryan Clark
Mr Clark said new technologies, particularly developments in acoustic techniques, meant quiet submarines could be easily detected by the enemy, rendering them ineffective.
“New detection techniques are emerging that would allow you to find large man-made objects in the water more easily than in the past,” he said.
Mr Clark said the United States has relied on its submarines being undetectable and being able to operate with impunity in areas close to other countries, but “that is probably going to be coming to an end in the next 10-20 years with these new detection technologies”.