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

98 Although advances in servo design and technology are always in demand throughout the UAV industry, a few key trends among autonomous aircraft OEMs are driving companies to make new leaps in the range and capabilities of their actuators – both rotary and linear types – for the evolving needs of professional customers. For one, while reliability is a perennial concern for servos, given the need for consistent and accurate movement of control surfaces and other actuated subsystems, there is a huge push for safety across the industry as certification goes from being an elusive and distant idea to becoming a clear, tangible target (or list of requirements) on UAV manufacturers’ roadmaps, both for their vehicles and their components. And while many OEMs with mature aircraft are eyeing civilian and/or military certification within the next 5-6 years, there is a new wave of manufacturers looking to move from the world of hobbygrade customers and components into manufacturing professional UAVs. These OEMs aim to make UAVs that will serve as tools for small businesses targeting markets such as geospatial survey, lastmile airborne delivery or infrastructure point inspections. For such users, there is a wide gap between low-cost, low-performance, short-lifespan actuators and highprice, high-performance, long-lasting actuators. Servo manufacturers are therefore moving quickly to try to fill that gap with a new class of cost-effective, high-value servos that will outperform and outlast hobby-grade devices without breaking the bank. Also, the drive for better data for informing maintenance decisions and real-time monitoring of actuators has led to a predominance of CAN across new servo architectures. The question is not when CAN will displace PWM as A growing demand for servo reliability and safety is pushing designers to offer highend products that don’t bust budgets. Rory Jackson reports Quality control August/September 2023 | Uncrewed Systems Technology New generations of servos are coming with safety, cost optimisation and robust CAN-based interfaces being broadly prioritised in their designs (Courtesy of Volz)