Silicon Valley’s new fixed wing UAV designed for LIDAR completes test flights

Sitaria

A company based in California’s Silicon Valley has developed a new fixed wing UAV that is designed to be used on patrol and observation missions for aerial photography.

UAVOS Inc, whose European headquarters are in Switzerland, has successfully completed test flights for its new Sitaria UAV.

Among other tasks, the unmanned aircraft is purposely designed to work with the LIDAR airborne laser scanning equipment as its payload.

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The Sitaria drone has a wide range of speeds (stall speed 65 km/h, maximum speed 150 km/h), which allows the aircraft to carry out missions at minimum flight speeds close to 70 km/h.

Taking into account a tailwind of 6 m/s, the minimum operational speed of the aircraft will be about 90 km/h.

To fulfill a mission using LIDAR it is important for an aircraft to maintain a certain speed relative to the ground.

When the UAV performs monitoring while moving against the wind it will keep a high air speed and when flying upwind, a lower speed.

Vadim Tarasov, UAVOS investor and board member, said that during monitoring missions a wide range of speeds allows the Sitaria drone to quickly reach the object and return back at the optimal speed.

“Takeoff and landing is carried out at low speeds, which makes it possible to use short runways. All these features directly affect safety, and also optimise operating costs.”

The UAV weighs 35kg, its wingspan is just over five metres and the fuselage is nearly three metres long.

Its flight time, with a payload of 4kg, is three hours and its operating altitude is up to 6,000m.

The range of the video transmission can be up to 60km and the backup Iridium command line is unlimited in its range.

The EW countermeasure function provides an opportunity to carry out research under jamming of satellite radio navigation signals and the command line channel.

The Sitaria fixed-wing drone is a part of the unmanned aerial system Sitaria, which includes a ground control system.

The UAV is equipped with an electric motor, which claims to be quieter and more reliable than other power systems. Its low vibration level does not affect the stability of the payload.

The equipment has an aerodynamic design allowing it to quickly adjust the position of the wing relative to the fuselage when the weight of the payload changes.

The minimum tail weight has a positive effect on the control and stability of the aircraft, the company claims.

Tarasov added: “Technical solutions, implemented in Sitaria, provide the high level of fail-safety, reliability and security that is required for operation in diverse areas of commercial applications of the UAV.”

Tags : fixed wingLiDARSilicon ValleysitariaUAVOSuavos inc
Joe Peskett

The author Joe Peskett

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