Issue 55 Uncrewed Systems Technology Apr/May 2024 Sellafield’s UAV equipment l Applied EV Blanc Robot l Battery tech l Robotican’s Goshawk l UGVs l UAVHE RW1 rotary l Roboat UVD l Autopilots l Arkeocean UVD l UMEX 2024 l CycloTech UVD

105 mm stroke and the engine produces a maximum power output of 11 kW. “The 4202 now integrates our new proprietary CWI [Continuous Wave Injection] cylinder technology, which we’ve developed for running efficiently on kerosene,” said Peter Lietz at Hirth. Development of the new cylinder took about 3.5 years, particularly to optimise for kerosene combustion. FAR 33 tests on the 4202 are complete, as are FAR 33 tests for the petrol version, Hirth’s 4201 engine (FAR33, EASA CS-E and EASA Part 21 being the main standards guiding the engine’s development and validation). “We are also working on simulations using test and operation data from this and our other engines to improve all our products in terms of performance and fuel consumption,” Lietz said. Key simulation tools used by Hirth include GT Power for CFD and FEM analysis, and 3DX from Dassault for mechanical design. Going forward, Hirth is evaluating making further heavy-fuel versions of its current and future engine portfolio, particularly in its 20-30 hp power range, as well as at 50 hp. It is also working on a new ECU design to meet future UAV certification guidelines, which are being shaped. “Power improvements and cleaner, more efficient combustion are additional big goals for 2024,” Lietz noted. “New materials and production processes will support these, and make our engines lighter, and new fuels such as SAFs [sustainable aviation fuel] will merit rounds of testing and verification to see how they can meet future market demands.” Overwatch Group showcased several kinetic and non-kinetic capability solutions, including the newest UAV-specific kinetic payloads from its Overwatch Energetics division. “The tendency is for operational technicians to repurpose an existing munition, such as a mortar or grenade, and roughly hitch it onto a UAV for dropping or single-use delivery. We are focused on developing very specific munition classes for rapid and reliable integration onto any uncrewed system – aerial, ground or maritime – with arming and safety sequences benchmarked to comply with applicable NATO STANAGs,” said Overwatch Group’s James Hayward. “While some munitions need rifling or high kinetic energy from a barrel to arm them, you rarely get that luxury on a UAV. Our solutions adopt a mechanical and electronic interface, providing data and power to the warhead. It can then either be decoupled and dropped, or the whole system can descend as a sacrificial unit for a tactical precision strike.” Overwatch Energetics’ focus on solutions up to 2 kg has been informed by the payload capacities of those tactical UAVs currently in operation, but they are scalable for larger platforms. In addition to various weight classes, four core munition effects are offered. One is an anti-armour payload with a shaped charge for penetrating rolled, homogeneous armour that is thicker than 180 mm. Another is a high-explosive fragmentation product with a 30 m- diameter effective area. The third is an anti-structure system that creates overpressure to demolish buildings, and the fourth is a multi-use inert round for cost-effective training missions. The group also displayed and discussed its next generation of uncrewed systems being developed by its aerospace division, which it plans to reveal more on as the year progresses. UAV Tech Private Ltd showcased its M165 Logistics Drone, designed for defence, emergency response or commercial delivery end-users seeking safe and timely aerial transport of payloads weighing up to 30 kg across long distances and at high altitudes. “The synergy between the M165’s three lifting surfaces and hybrid powertrain, consisting of octa-quad, X8-configured electric motors for take-off and landing – as well as a 29 hp internal combustion engine for forward flight – ensures the M165 can efficiently cover up to 300 km with 30 kg payloads,” said Moukthik Kiran Reddy of UAV Tech Private Ltd. The India-based manufacturer has focused its development on advanced materials to enable reliable performance across difficult environments, and a modular design for integration of different sensors and payloads. Its autonomous navigation and in-flight obstacle avoidance are powered by an embedded sensor-fusion algorithm stack that can use GNSS, Lidar and cameras for real-time situational awareness. “Presently, in its advanced testing stages, the M165 is on track for full commercial release by the close of 2024,” said Reddy. UMEX | Show report Uncrewed Systems Technology | April/May 2024 Hirth’s 4202 heavy-fuel engine (Image courtesy of Hirth) Overwatch Energetics has developed numerous UAV-specific kinetic payloads (Image courtesy of Overwatch Energetics)