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

106 Hitec spoke with us about updates to its SG Series of actuators, including its SG10BL, SG15BL and SG20BL servos, which now have hardened steel gears and hardened aluminium cases, giving them greater durability and longer life. “Greater strength in the gears equates to slower wear in the gear train, slowing the development of gear slop, and maintaining the level of positional accuracy and repeatability over the service life of the servo,” said Hitec’s Shawn Spiker. “A stronger case enables greater resistance to internal and external forces upon the servo; that equals less motor stress for extended service life of the brushless motor in the servo. Both improvements lend to a longer lifespan for the servo.” Hitec reported that its investment in equipment over the past five years has increased its manufacturing capacity, and supplying servos with hardened components has improved several processes, feeding into better r&d and production results. “Among these are material inspection and testing equipment at the mass production level. Hitec has acquired the machinery necessary to test the tolerances and hardness of every gear-train component prior to assembly in our SG Series servos,” Spiker noted. “The specified level of hardness, absence of material defects, and correct tolerance for a smooth and tight gear mesh is ensured prior to assembly.” We came upon LightWare walking around the event and learned that it is developing a line of long-range Lidars tailored for integration with gimbals, to include ranging capabilities in camera systems for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) applications. “The upcoming GRF-series will employ 905 Nm technology and comprise three variants: a 250 m, a 500 m and a 1000 m solution,” said Nadia Nilsen, Group CEO of LightWare. The GRF-series is designed to be lightweight and compact, like LightWare’s commercially available microLiDAR sensors, while enabling longer-range Lidar operations among uncrewed systems customers without being cost-prohibitive or mechanically unviable for integration in both small and large gimbals. “Achieving longer-range capabilities with 905 Nm technology presents significant challenges, primarily due to atmospheric attenuation affecting the laser beam,” Nilsen noted. “Overcoming that necessitates meticulous control over beam divergence, and higher output power to optimise the signal-to-noise ratio, all while adhering to stringent eye-safety standards. “While achieving longer ranges is easier with 1550 Nm technology, adopting it brings prohibitively high costs, limiting its use to scenarios where it is absolutely essential.” The GRF-250 will enter full-scale production in July, followed by the GRF-500 in October. Meanwhile, the GRF-1000 is scheduled for launch in February 2025. LightWare has extended the warranty period for all its products from 12 to 24 months, which will also apply to the new GRF-Series. Tyto Robotics travelled from Canada to Abu Dhabi to showcase (among other products) the Flight Stand 500, its newest professional thrust stand for testing big, brushless electric motors and propellers. The stand was designed for testing the propulsion systems of heavylift UAVs and eVTOL-type air-taxis, and it can measure up to 500 kg of thrust force and 1500 Nm of torque. “One of the key features of the thrust stand is that it is compatible with CAN ESCs,” said Tyto’s Lauren Nagel. “When dealing with very large BLDC [brushless DC] motors, CAN compatibility is indispensable. The current rating is also customisable. Users can choose from 100 A, 200 A or 500 A, which is useful because the current sensor should be matched to their actual current draw to ensure maximum measurement accuracy.” The stand can also be controlled remotely from any computer on the end-user’s network, enabling their technicians to keep a safe distance when running tests at high power. “As with our other tools, the stand has a 1000 Hz sampling rate, which opens the door for many types of dynamic tests, like April/May 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology Show report | UMEX Hitec’s SG Series of actuators have been updated with hardened steel gears and hardened aluminium cases (Image courtesy of Hitec) LightWare’s GRF-250 Lidar design (Image courtesy of LightWare)