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Shape-shifting robot plane offers safer alternative for maritime rescue
Date:8/26/2010

shows the instruments and the other the image from the on-board camera. The control base unit is self supporting with an electric generator to provide power and dual-computer system communicating with the on-board computer.

Funding special materials

The ASARP UAV can take off from and land on the sea as well as land. Aircraft operating in these conditions needs to be very light and strong. Funding obtained with EUREKA assistance was crucial as it facilitated the purchase of the costly special materials such as Kevlar aramid and carbon fibre composites .

An important contributor was the Israeli partner Comutational Fluid Dynamics Centre, the initial inventor of the tabs, which supplied the data needed to start the project. "We would not have been able to develop the trim tabs without this input," says Dr Amprikidis.

GGD is now in the final stages of testing. It has established the flight envelope in terms of take-off speeds, weight, stall angle and endurance range but is still improving the avionics including autopilot and global positioning system (GPS) and inertial navigation. "Each test flight adds to our knowledge but is time consuming and needs the right weather," he adds.

Major markets are expected to be governments and civil rescue organisations. There is also potential for research establishments as the UAV can carry up to 40 kg of equipment and is much cheaper to operate than an ordinary plane. There has already been government interest in Cyprus for rescue and forest-fire surveillance. Air-safety regulations may require modification to enable commercial exploitation; negotiations are continuing.


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Contact: Piotr Pogorzelski
piotr.pogorzelski@eurekanetwork.org
322-777-0979
EUREKA
Source:Eurekalert  

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