Uncrewed Systems Technology 051 l Primoco One 150 l Power management l Ocius Bluebottle USV l Steel E-Motive robotaxi l UAVs insight l Xponential 2023 p Issue 51 Aug/Sept 2023 art 2 l Aant Farm TPR72 l Servos l Tampa Deep Sea Barracuda AUV

26 Dossier | Primoco One 150 of 2000 km and a flight ceiling of 3300 m. Fortuitously, when Primoco started engaging with military certification authorities in 2020, it discovered that 150 kg was in fact the maximum allowable weight in the NATO standard STANAG 4703 (the Type Certification for light UAS airworthiness most applicable to the One 150’s size and configuration). “We were lucky that Ladislav didn’t try to make it heavier, or it would have needed a different STANAG meant for crewed aircraft – which would have driven our price way up,” Fojtik muses. STANAG 4703 The One 150 is expected to receive STANAG 4703 certification soon, Primoco having made its design and production facilities and practices compliant with the European Military Airworthiness Requirement (EMAR) 21. “The EMAR 21 certificates are a vital precursor to STANAG 4703,” Fojtik explains. “They set you apart in the defence market as a high-end UAV manufacturer. “Complying with them forces you to remake your company from the ground up, to demonstrate to the standards authority that you have the proper engineering processes, proper tooling in the hands of properly trained people, flawless repeatability in production, all proven through seemingly endless testing. “Overall, your factories must be as pristine as those of the world’s most successful aircraft OEMs. It required getting several associate professors of aeronautical sciences on the staff, but we’re certain that in 5 years it’ll be impossible to fly a military UAV in Europe without those certifications.” Very few European UAS companies have been certified to EMAR 21 and STANAG 4703, with Sky Eye Systems’ Rapier X-25 (issue 40, October/ November 2021) and the Thales Spy Ranger among them. In 2022, Primoco also achieved its LUC (Light UAS Operator Certificate) for flying civilian operations in the EU, the first fixed-wing UAS manufacturer to do so. While most civilian UAV companies fly using a SORA (Specific Operational Risk Assessment) by declaring their mission intentions to aviation authorities, the application process is onerous and lengthy. The LUC however allows Primoco to self-regulate its flights through internal paperwork and approvals, meaning civil tests and missions can be accomplished far quicker than under SORAs. “I believe only six LUCs have been awarded across Europe, two of which are in Malta, where it’s relatively easy to get it due to strong government support for flight-testing UAVs in its ample clear airspace, and one of which is the Schiebel Camcopter,” Fojtik says. “Getting it also requires demonstrating very high levels of training, production testing and safety management – much like STANAG 4703.” Testing for compliance STANAG 4703 defines several thousand parameters regarding airworthiness for NATO military buyers. Validating these requires around 80 types of tests, including for EMC, power, performance and static strength, to demonstrate hard numbers on whether UAVs can handle extremely harsh use cases. For instance, as Fojtik explains, “One test on airframe robustness had us lifting the tail by a chain with almost 200 kg of force, then yanking downward to the same degree, with the fuselage fastened in place to see how much bending force the twin booms could handle. “If that much force actually happened in flight, no UAV could fly because August/September 2023 | Uncrewed Systems Technology A transparent CAD view of the One 150. A payload bay sits in the nose, with sections for the parachute, avionics, additional payloads and powertrain behind An array of sensors combined with AI software and advanced systems such as SAR enables the UAV to find mission targets through cloud cover, fog or forest canopies