Unmanned Systems Technology 024 | Wingcopter 178 l 5G focus l UUVs insight l CES report l Stromkind KAT l Intelligent Energy fuel cell l Earthsense TerraSentia l Connectors focus l Advanced Engineering report

8 Platform one February/March 2019 | Unmanned Systems Technology Boeing has successfully completed the first test flight of its electric autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) in the US (writes Nick Flaherty). The electric VTOL prototype was developed by Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences, and completed a controlled take-off, hover and landing during the flight, which tested the vehicle’s autonomous functions and ground control systems. Future flights will test forward, wing- borne flight, as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes. This transition phase is typically the most significant engineering challenge for any high-speed VTOL aircraft. “In one year, we have progressed from a conceptual design to a flying prototype,” said Greg Hyslop at Boeing. The prototype is designed for fully autonomous flight from take-off to landing, and have a range of up to about 80 km. It measures 9.14 m long and has a wingspan of 8.53 m, with the airframe integrating the propulsion and wing FT Technologies has launched an ultrasonic wind sensor designed for UAVs (writes Nick Flaherty). The FT205 is built from a graphite and nylon composite, and weighs only 100 g. It uses FT’s Acu-Res (acoustic resonance) ultrasonic technology to determine air speed, direction and temperature. It also includes a compass to determine the direction of winds up to 75 m/s, and can operate at altitudes of up to 4000 m and at temperatures between -20 and +70 C. systems to achieve efficient hover and forward flight. “Certifiable autonomy is going to make quiet, clean and safe urban air mobility possible,” said John Langford, president and CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences The test flight represents the latest milestone for the Boeing NeXt programme, which is responsible for The challenge of using a UAV for wind sensing is that the sensor must be mounted away from the wash of the rotors. Every UAV is different of course, so the FT205 has been designed to fit either to a pole or to flat surface, and can be mounted upside down. It can output data via RS-485, RS-422 or a serial UART link back to the UAV, and the measurements can be set to metres per second, kilometres per hour or knots. The sensor has been used in Spain on a UAV that was designed to fly at night to monitor wind speed and direction directly introducing a new mobility ecosystem where autonomous and piloted air vehicles safely coexist. In addition to the PAV, the Boeing NeXt portfolio includes an unmanned, fully electric cargo air vehicle designed to transport up to 226 kg. This completed its first indoor flight last year, and will be tested outdoors later this year. above forest fires. The UAV, developed by Dronetools, operated at a height of 15 m to relay accurate data about the direction of the wind to allow firefighters to tackle a blaze more accurately. Airborne vehicles Sensors Boeing PAV takes off Wind sensor for UAVs The autonomous passenger vehicle has gone from concept to prototype in only a year The FT205 weighs only 100 g