Inside Unmanned Systems

APR-MAY 2018

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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62 April/May 2018 unmanned systems inside U nmanned flying systems—'them drones'— continue their inexorable march toward world domination. One can hardly attend a fashion show, political summit, sports event or high-tech trade fair without bumping into one. We found Airbus showing off its new blimp- like ALtAIR drone system at a perfectly likely venue, the 2018 Unmanned Technologies & Security Expo & Conference (U.T.SEC) in Nuremberg. "We are here to present our new airship system," said Michael Rappsilber, Airbus system and test engineer, "The one you see above you right now is actually just for demonstration; it's about one-third the size of the actual op- erational ship." The full-scale ALtAIR drone is about 11.2 meters long and about 27 cubic meters in volume. "It fits into a 40 foot container," Rappsilber said, "so it's easy to transport by truck to your target, which could be a big demonstra- tion at a G20 summit, or a disas- ter site, the scene of a f lood. "You can place a five kilo pay- load, like a camera." In this case, Drones show up in Bavaria Peter Gutierrez, Inside Unmanned SystemsÕ European Editor, has written about the continent's evolving science and technology landscape for many years. He has covered transport, space policy and environmental issues from his home base in Brussels and reported extensively on satellite-based navigation including the GPS, Galileo and EGNOS programs. IN BRIEF Drone interests took center stage recently at two events in Bavaria, with a focus on security applications and regulatory matters. the camera is by UAV Vision in Australia. "This is not a drone for transporting something, it's really more for when you have an area or situation that you want to survey." The system includes a tar- get tracking function, so users can place a virtual marker on a specific person in a crowd and the airship will follow that person. "This year we are implementing an autopilot system," Rappsilber said, "so it will be able to f ly autonomously. And the camera will com- municate directly with the autopilot, so if, for example, a person you are track- ing hides under a tree the airship can, by itself, change its position and altitude to find them." All data is georeferenced, so users can see the target and get a pre- cise location. "Up to now we have been sell- ing the service only," Rappsilber said, "but starting from next year we will be producing the system in numbers, so customers will be able to buy the whole system." The advantages of an airship versus, for example, a rotor- wing unmanned aircraft system (UAS) comes down to safety and the ability to operate within ex- BRUSSELS VIEW on Drone Advances, Slow Rules by PETER GUTIERREZ "SO THERE IS A NEW REGULATION BEING DRAFTED. IT'S AIM IS TO UNIFY THE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK FOR UAS OPERATIONS, AND IT WILL INCLUDE THOSE BELOW 150 KILOGRAMS." Dominic Hayes, manager of Galileo and EGNOS signals and frequencies at the European Commission Photos courtesy of Peter Gutierrez.

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