Uncrewed Systems Technology 046

75 achieve a copper fill factor of up to 60%. “Traditional iron-cored stators are not required in Alva motors, for three main reasons – the high copper fill factor in the stators, the very close proximity of the rotor magnets and stator windings, and the Halbach configuration’s concentration of the magnetic field where it is needed,” Franzen said. The company focused on two UAV propulsion systems at the show: the single-motor Altus X60 Uno and the coaxial Altus X60 Duo. While the Uno system offers higher efficiency, the Duo makes the UAV more compact for a given number of motors and brings more redundancy to each motor position. Also on display was the larger X80 motor for heavy-lift UAVs, which the company plans to commercialise at the end of the year for single as well as coaxial configurations. Autonodyne showed the latest iteration of its RCU (Rainbow Coloured Unicorn) multi-vehicle common control station software that Laura Aptowitz said sits at the nexus of the human-machine interface and autonomy. “We use this software to enable control of multiple dissimilar platforms by a single operator,” she said. “Our main goals are to make the interface intuitive and easy to use, limit the time needed for training and reduce cognitive load on the operator to maximise mission effectiveness.” Aptowitz said the RCU runs on Android smartphones and tablets, and desktops and laptops running Windows and Linux, for example. “We also remain agnostic in terms of the vehicles we integrate,” she added. Autonodyne has implemented more than 11 message protocol formats including, for example, NATO’s STANAG 4586 standard for communicating with uncrewed systems. “When the software connects to a vehicle, it knows what its performance capabilities are, what its flight envelope is, what its maximum range is, what fail-safe battery parameters it has, and the RCU will build missions to ensure the vehicle is being commanded within its limits,” Aptowitz said. To ease the workload of controlling multiple vehicles, the company has created more than 20 different autonomous behaviours that can be used with multiple groups of vehicles. “You can, say, circle your finger on the map, selecting the vehicles you want to use and then create a survey, for instance,” she said. Having completed several contracts in the US with the Department of Defense and civil companies, Autonodyne said it is ready to sell RCU licences on the international market, and can provide solutions that are free of ITAR restrictions. RCU is a tongue-in-cheek characterisation of a system created to meet so many operational needs at once. CycloTech’s thrust vectoring cycloidal rotor propulsion system was a highlight of the show. The CycloRotor can generate thrust at 360 º on a plane at right angles to the axis of rotation, enabling a UAV with four thrusters to hover, turn on the spot and move in any direction without tilting, decoupling the pitch and translational axes, Klemens Hofreither told us. Each electrically driven rotor unit consists of five carbon fibre blades arranged in parallel around a central axis of rotation. Each blade also moves about its own pitch axis under the control of a mechanical pitch change system. This system consists of a set of rods connected to the blades and to a hub that surrounds the main axis of rotation but is free to move eccentrically in any direction around it, powered by dedicated servo motors. Changing the pitch of the blades DroneX 2022 | Show report Uncrewed Systems Technology | October/November 2022 Alva’s Altus X60 stator, rotor and controller Autonodyne’s Rainbow Coloured Unicorn