Since 2004 UAV Navigation has provided complete flight control solutions for all configurations and sizes of rotary wing platforms. Current clients include manufacturers of conventional helicopers, intermeshing blade designs, coaxials, tandem rotors and multirotor designs. The system is capable of controlling all size of rotary wing design, from small <20kg platforms up to the largest current helicopter which has an MTOW of 1,361kg (of course larger helicopters are possible). UAV Navigation autopilots can be used for many different platform types; the same hardware is used but different software is loaded.
UAV Navigation has developed an advanced Hardware In the Loop (HIL) simulator to minimize risk during the development phase of a project. Our engineers will develop a 6DOF model of the client's platform in order to produce a set of gains specifically tailored to its flight characteristics. If necessary any special requirements from the client can be developed at this stage (e.g. integration of a particular camera or other payload).
The autopilot takes care of all the basic tasks of flying the platform safely, including fully auto take-off and landing, Return-To-Base, multiple waypoints, hover etc. In addition to the basics, the autopilot can also interact with a wide variety of payloads, including complex gyro-stabilized gimbals (DST, UAV Vision, Octopus, etc.), transponders, laser altimeters, radar altimeters and laser designators for advanced functions such as geo-referenced pointing and target tracking.
Despite its small size UAV Navigation's product is a complete autopilot, meaning that the unit contains all of the sensors required to fly the helicopter; no extra sensors or boxes are required other than the servos to move the control surfaces.
Other Special Features for Rotary Wing Platforms
- Compact unit. No external sensors, Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) or Mission Management Computer are required - they are integrated within the same box.
- Capable to fly similarly to a fixed wing platform. The autopilot takes account of the prevailing wind condition and controls the helicopter to follow the track whilst maintaining the most efficient profile, pointing the nose into the wind.
- Integrated governor. The autopilot features a built-in governor which is able to take readings directly from an RPM sensor. This allows the autopilot to manage engine power in order to maintain optimum RPM in all flight modes and phases of the mission. This function also allows the autopilot to manage completely automatic spool up of the rotor before take-off and also slow down before engine stop at the end of a mission.
- Certified Hardware. The hardware is certified to MIL-STD-810F and MIL-STD 461F.
For the most demanding rotary wing applications where ultimate performance, reliability and connectivity are required, the VECTOR autopilot is the natural choice for the professional.