Monday August 25, 2014 0 comments
FORT COLLINS - Scion UAS said it has raised the bar on unmanned aerial system (UAS) capabilities by demonstrating autonomous takeoff and landing from a moving platform.
The company said it is one of the first companies in the world to demonstrate autonomous landing of a manned-capable vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) aircraft on a moving platform.
The tests conducted last week involved Scion's SA-400 Jackal landing smoothly on a 16-20-foot trailer towed along a runway at speeds up to 10 knots, the company said.
More than 10 landings and takeoffs were performed, including straight-line and 45-degree approaches to simulate ship-based operations.
Scion has a contract with Naval Research Laboratories to deliver the Jackal, a turbine-powered VTOL designed to carry a 100-pound payload for more than four hours.
"Scion landed on a smaller deck and accomplished the entire project at a fraction of the cost of competing systems," said Col. Sanford Mangold, USAF, retired.
"Capabilities like this used to be limited to large defense contractors," said Steen Mogensen, Scion CEO. "We're very proud of what our small team in Colorado has accomplished."
"This is a major achievement, which demonstrates that a small company can push the state-of-the-art in VTOL UAS development on an austere budget," said Al Cross, NRL's head of vehicle research.
"I am very proud of what Scion has accomplished today and look forward to accepting the SA-400 vehicles into the NRL research vehicle inventory."