Issue 56 Uncrewed Systems Technology June/July 2024 Insitu ScanEagle VTOL and Integrator VTOL l Data storage focus l IDV Viking UGV l Oceanology International l LaunchPoint l Insight on USVs l Antennas focus l Xponential report

Read all back issues online UST 56 : JUNE/JULY 2024 UK £15, USA $30, EUROPE €22 Big bytes Secure centralised computing engines Golden receivers Antennas for comms and mission success Dynamic duo How Insitu’s ScanEagle and Integrator are staying on top in the age of VTOL

Electric power for UAVs More power. More products. Acutronic designs, builds and delivers a full range of UAV power systems. • Alternators • Starter-alternators • Voltage regulators • Starters The power of experience. With decades of engineering and manufacturing experience, Acutronic builds power systems trusted by customers globally for their high power density and efficient design. Proudly made in the U.S.A. We solve your power systems integration challenges. Scan to view technical data More power. More products. Acutronic designs, builds and delivers a full range of UAV power systems. • Alternators • Starter-alternators • Voltage regulators • Starters The power of experience. With decades of engineering and manufacturing experience, Acutronic builds power systems trusted by customers globally for their high power density and efficient design. Proudly made in the U.S.A. We solve your power systems integration challenges. Scan to view technical data power_210x297mm.indd 1 12/10/22 8:41 AM More power. More products. Acutronic designs, builds and delivers a full range of UAV power systems. • Alternators • Starter-alternators • Voltage regulators • Starters The power of experience. With decades of engineering and manufacturing experience, Acutronic builds power systems trusted by customers globally for their high power density and efficient design. Proudly made in the U.S.A. We solve your power systems integration challenges. Scan to view technical data More power. More products. Acutronic designs, builds and delivers a full range of UAV power systems. • Alternators • Starter-alternators • Voltage regulators • Starters The power of experience. With decades of engineering and manufacturing experience, Acutronic builds power systems trusted by customers globally for their high power density and efficient design. Proudly made in the U.S.A. We solve your power systems integration challenges. Scan to view technical data More power. More products. Acutronic designs, builds and delivers a full range of UAV power systems. • Alternators • Starter-alternators • Voltage regulators • Starters The power of experience. With decades of engineering and manufacturing experience, Acutronic builds power systems trusted by customers globally for their high power density and efficient design. Proudly made in the U.S.A. We solve your power systems integration challenges. Scan to view technical data power_210x297mm.indd 1 12/10/22 8:41 AM More power. More products. Acutronic designs, builds and delivers a full range of UAV power systems. • Alternators • Starter-alternators • Voltage regulators • Starters The power of experience. With decades of engineering and manufacturing experience, Acutronic builds power systems trusted by customers globally for their high power density and efficient design. Proudly made in the U.S.A. We solve your power systems integration challenges. Scan to view technical data po

3 June/July 2024 | Contents Uncrewed Systems Technology | June/July 2024 24 52 96 68 04 Intro It pays to be useful: Renault shuns robotaxis for self-driving shuttles, and power companies pick UAVs for inspecting assets from the air 06 Platform one: Mission-critical info Festo makes an autonomous swarming bee UAV, DARPA trials autonomous versions of heavy tracked vehicles, NASA-funded researchers train a dog UGV to explore the Moon, and more 20 In conversation: Dr Richard Dowdeswell The chief commercial officer and co-owner of GeoAcoustics talks to us about the different forms and applications of cuttingedge AI revolutionising uncrewed hydrographic surveys 24 Dossier: Insitu’s ScanEagle & Integrator 30 years after its founding, Insitu still stands tall among uncrewed aircraft manufacturers, and guides us through the engineering of its ScanEagle VTOL and Integrator VTOL UAVs 42 Technology focus: Data storage Developing, certifying and operating autonomous vehicles requires robust data storage; we look at some of the latest standards and advancements in the technology 52 Digest: IDV Robotics Viking UGV The mechanics, hardware and software empowering this sixwheeled all-terrain workhorse for military missions in the most extreme environments on Earth 60 Show report: Oceanology 2024 Aquatic vehicles, underwater navigation systems, marine batteries and more at the leading ocean tech expo’s 2024 edition 68 Dossier: LaunchPoint EPS HPS400 Six-phase power, ironless rotors and stators, and SiC controllers are just some of the highlights of this hybrid UAV powertrain 78 Insight: USVs USV makers are choosing some very different vessel configurations in the race for stability and reliability in open ocean sailing 84 Product focus: Antennas Vehicle antennas are getting smarter and more efficient. We dive into their design, production and testing to learn how 96 In operation: IQUA Robotics SoundTiles Forward-looking sonar data doesn’t always make for good mosaics, but IQUA Robotics’ unique SoundTiles software gets consistent successes where others have failed 102 Show report: Xponential 2024 part 1 Our first round of new products, tech updates and exhibitors from the show floor in San Diego this year 114 PS: UAVs deliver to offshore wind farms It’s one thing for a UAV to deliver an emergency repair tool to a mine or power plant. Delivering it to a worker perched atop an active 100 m wind turbine is another entirely

ELECTRIC, HYBRID & INTERNAL COMBUSTION for PERFORMANCE ISSUE 152 APRIL/MAY 2024 Birth of a legend Creating the MG Metro 6R4’s V6 David versus Goliath Electric racing’s galvanising clash A giant in Midget circles Stanton Racing Engines’ SR-11x UK £15, US/CN $25, EUROPE €22 THE COMMUNICATIONS HUB OF THE ELECTRIFIED POWERTRAIN Read all back issues and exclusive online-only content at ISSUE 025 | MAY/JUNE 2024 UK £15 USA $30 EUROPE €22 Under pressure Fighting fire Trade-offs in battery sealing Preventing thermal runaway Iconic conversion Electrifying Jaguar’s E-type 4 June/July 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology Intro | June/July 2024 Utility is a key concept for the evolution of uncrewed systems. Renault, for example, has highlighted this with a recent split in its autonomous vehicle strategy. It is deliberately not developing robotaxi-type vehicles and instead focusing on self-driving shuttles as the way ahead. As a result, its first shuttle began its operations at the Paris Open tennis competition in May where it ferried customers around Paris without the need for a safety driver onboard. This kind of utility has been at the core of USVs monitoring the world’s oceans, which need to store terabytes of data, and we examine the challenges of data storage on page 42. USVs also need good connectivity, and we look at the state-of-the-art in antenna systems on page 84 and in Platform One on page 6 (Gotonomi). The latest USV tech was on show at Oceanology International and our coverage is on page 60. UAVs monitoring oil pipelines and electricity lines from the air are also at the heart of utility. And, while we look at the latest developments from the Xponential exhibition on page 102, we also detail ScanEagle and how it has achieved over 1.2 million flight hours for all kinds of long-endurance monitoring applications on page 24. Nick Flaherty | Technology Editor Agility of utility Read all back issues online UST 56 : JUNE/JULY 2024 UK £15, USA $30, EUROPE €22 Big bytes Secure centralised computing engines Golden receivers Antennas for comms and mission success Dynamic duo How Insitu’s ScanEagle and Integrator are staying on top in the age of VTOL Editorial Director Ian Bamsey Deputy Editor Rory Jackson Technology Editor Nick Flaherty Production Editor Vickie Johnstone Contributor Peter Donaldson Technical Consultants Paul Weighell Ian Williams-Wynn Dr Donough Wilson Prof James Scanlan Dr David Barrett Design Andrew Metcalfe UST Ad Sales Please direct all enquiries to John Moss Subscriptions Frankie Robins Publishing Director Simon Moss General Manager Chris Perry The USE network Having now provided several enterprises around the world with the support and connections they need to implement efficient and sustainable technological solutions, we’re keen to continue expanding this free service. If the uncrewed vehicle and/or system you’re working on could benefit from some independent advice from engineers specialising in the appropriate field, please do get in touch. Email your question/challenge/dilemma/predicament to or visit and raise a case with us. All questions will be treated in the strictest confidence, and there is no obligation whatsoever to follow any recommendations made. Volume Ten | Issue Four June/July 2024 High Power Media Limited Whitfield House, Cheddar Road, Wedmore, Somerset, BS28 4EJ, England Tel: +44 1934 713957 ISSN 2753-6513 Printed in Great Britain ©High Power Media All rights reserved. Reproduction (in whole or in part) of any article or illustration without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. While care is taken to ensure the accuracy of information herein, the publisher can accept no liability for errors or omissions. Nor can responsibility be accepted for the content of any advertisement. SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscriptions are available from High Power Media at the address above or directly from our website. Overseas copies are sent via air mail. 1 year subscription – 15% discount: UK – £75; Europe – £90 USA – £93.75; ROW – £97.50 2 year subscription – 25% discount: UK – £135; Europe – £162 USA – £168.75; ROW – £175.50 Make cheques payable to High Power Media. Visa, Mastercard, Amex and UK Maestro accepted. Quote card number and expiry date (also issue/start date for Maestro) ALSO FROM HPM

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6 June/July 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology Mission-critical info for uncrewed systems professionals Platform one Festo has developed a miniature bee that can fly autonomously in a swarm, writes Nick Flaherty. The BionicBee is the first flying object developed by the team at Festo, and it can fly completely autonomously in large numbers and as part of a swarm. The bee weighs 34 g and is 22 cm long with a wingspan of 24 cm. It was created with a generative design method: after entering a few parameters, the software finds the optimal structure to use as little material as necessary to create the most stable design possible. This consistent, lightweight construction is crucial for good manoeuvrability and flight duration. The body forms the compact housing for the beating-wing mechanism, the communication technology and the wing’s control components. These are driven by a brushless motor, three servo motors, battery, gear unit and printed circuit boards. The brushless motors drive the wings with a beat frequency of 15-20 Hz at a 180o angle without backlash using a precisely guided, ultra-light mechanical construction. The three servo motors at the base of the wing change its geometry to steer the bee by increasing the effectiveness of certain wing positions and generating a specific variation of lift. If the bee is supposed to fly forwards, the geometry is adjusted so that the lift in the rear-wing position is greater than in the forward. This causes the body to tilt forwards (pitch) and the bee flies forwards. If the geometry is adjusted so that the right wing generates more lift than the left wing, the bee rolls around the longitudinal axis to the left and flies off to the side. Another option is to adjust it in such a way that one wing generates more lift at the front and the second wing generates more lift at the rear, which causes the bee to rotate (yaw) around the vertical axis. The autonomous behaviour of the 10 bees is enabled by an indoor localisation system with ultra-wideband technology (UWB). Eight UWB anchors are installed at two levels within the volume of space where the swarm operates, and they send signals to the individual bees, which independently measure the distance to the transmitters and can calculate their own position using the timestamps. To fly in a swarm, the bees follow the paths specified by a central computer. Spatial and temporal accuracy is required for collision-free flight in close formation. The bees have an automatic calibration function, so that after a short test flight, each one determines its own optimised controller parameters. This is how the intelligent algorithm can work out the hardware differences between the bees and enables the entire swarm to be controlled externally as if they were all identical. Uncrewed aerial vehicles Autonomous robot makes beeline in a swarm The BionicBee (Image courtesy of Festo)

7 Platform one Uncrewed Systems Technology | June/July 2024 US research agency DARPA has been testing autonomous operations on heavy tracked vehicles, writes Nick Flaherty. The DARPA Robotic Autonomy in Complex Environments with Resiliency (RACER) programme has successfully tested autonomous movement on a new, much larger fleet vehicle – a significant step in scaling up the adaptability and capability of the underlying RACER algorithms. The RACER Heavy Platform (RHP) vehicles, weighing 12 t, are 20 ft-long, skid-steer, tracked vehicles, based on a M5 base platform from Textron. This was developed and used in US Army campaigns of learning for robotic combat vehicle requirements, but it has been fitted with autonomous hardware and software stacks by Carnegie Robotics. The RHPs complement the 2 t, 11 ft-long, wheeled RACER Fleet Vehicles (RFVs) already in use, which have the same Ackermann steering as a car. “Having two radically different types of vehicles helps us advance towards RACER’s goal of platform agnostic autonomy in complex, mission-relevant, off-road environments that are significantly more unpredictable than on-road conditions,” said Stuart Young, the RACER programme manager. “For Phase 2, adding the combatscale RHP robot supports porting and performance demonstration of RACER autonomy stacks at multiple scales concurrently, while moving between highly varied terrains.” RACER’s second phase included the first testing of the heavy vehicles and testing of the RFV fleet vehicles by teams from the University of Washington and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Our Phase 2 off-road, average autonomous speed goals are higher at lower intervention rates, and both RFVs, plus now RHPs, allow RACER to show adaptability and resiliency of autonomous software at multiple, platform-agnostic, ground robot scales in an array of complex, military-relevant environments,” said Young. “As we also add tactics-based autonomy, we see all of these together as vitally important to army and marine needs in robotic vehicle programmes of record that are closely tracking RACER, and which represent possible transition opportunities for the programme.” Using fully-autonomous RFVs, RACER showed autonomous movement within a 15 square mile terrain that included highly diverse ground vegetation cover, trees, bushes, rocks, slopes and obstructed ditches during the day and at night. The two RACER teams had not previously operated in, nor been exposed to, sensor data sets of the training areas and they were not given any practice time before starting the official courses. The teams successfully completed more than 30 autonomous runs on courses varying from three to 10 miles in length, achieving over 150 autonomous, unoccupied miles at speeds of up to 30 mph. A heavy RHP operated for more than 30 miles in an autonomous-routefollowing-mode over similarly complex terrain to test low-level autonomous control, collect sensor data sets, assess mobility and refine operations. “RACER’s early Phase 2 activities, both with Experiment 4 performance successes in difficult, new-to-theprogramme, military-relevant terrain in Texas, as well as recent incorporation of RHP as a fleet platform, is setting the tone for the programme to achieve tougher autonomous manoeuvre goals while showing autonomy resiliency and adaptability to new environments on any robot at any scale,” said Young. Autonomous vehicles Autonomous experiment on heavy tracked vehicles The tracked autonomous ground vehicle, based on the Textron M5, in tests (Image courtesy of DARPA)

8 Windracers, a UAV developer in the UK, has made its first autonomous flight in the US, as part of a new artificial intelligence (AI) centre, writes Nick Flaherty. The Windracers ULTRA, a fixed-wing, long-range aircraft, made its fully automated inaugural flight from Jasper County Airport in April. Windracers is working with Purdue University in the US on the Center on AI for Digital, Autonomous and Augmented Aviation (AIDA3) to boost the development of AI for UAVs and other autonomous systems. AIDA3 will investigate AI and machinelearning (ML) models for autonomous transport applications, ranging from demand analytics and maintenance in commercial logistics to meteorological sensing and real-time weather prediction. Measuring 6 x 9 m, the ULTRA UAV has a cruising speed of 85 mph and a range of up to 620 miles with a 100 kg payload. It uses a patented autopilot system to take off, fly and land safely without the need of a remote pilot. By 2027, nearly one million commercial, uncrewed aircraft systems are expected to be flying throughout the US, doing more than delivering packages by providing key supplies for emergency services, humanitarian aid and healthcare. To support the r&d programme at AIDA3, Windracers will bring two of its fixed-wing, long-range, ULTRA UAVs to West Lafayette this spring for regular realworld testing, with applications including mail and parcel delivery, humanitarian assistance and environmental protection such as tracking wildfires. AIDA3 is the first major output of Purdue’s Institute for Physical Artificial Intelligence (IPAI), whose purpose is to develop AI at the intersection of the virtual and physical worlds. “With IPAI, we focus on practical innovations that bring together the ‘bytes of AI’ and the ‘atoms of what we grow, make and move’, and AIDA3 will make this a reality in the realm of aviation transportation,” said Sabine Brunswicker, a Purdue professor of digital innovation and communication, and director of AIDA3. Existing AI/ML models are not sufficiently reliable to close the loop from data to action in the real world in a way that is safe, trustworthy and scalable, she pointed out. “Currently, it can take 10 people to operate one UAV. It is time for one operator to be able to coordinate 100 UAVs at the same time,” said Brunswicker. “Our mission is to go beyond current AI/ML models, where the potential benefits of smarter UAVs can be fully realised globally. If AIDA3 is successful, its breakthroughs can truly transform society at scale.” “This collaboration will be the anchor of our r&d and will serve as a platform for the US,” said Stephen Wright, founder and executive chair at Windracers. “The centre’s focus is on interdisciplinary research in modelling and humanautonomy teaming, developing advanced statistical models and integrated systems that enhance safe, real-world applications and empower humanmachine collaboration to overcome key challenges.” Artificial intelligence AI centre in US guides inaugural flight of UK UAV Platform one June/July 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology The Ultra UAV on its first US flight (Image courtesy of Windracers)

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10 Researchers are teaching dog-like robots to navigate craters of the Moon and other challenging planetary surfaces, writes Nick Flaherty. A research project funded by the US space agency, NASA, is using a fourlegged robot named Spirit to test how robots would move around on the Moon. The robots are being tested 6,000 ft up the snow-capped Mount Hood in Oregon, US, by a multi-disciplinary team from the University of Southern California, Texas A&M University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania and NASA. The LASSIE (Legged Autonomous Surface Science in Analog Environments) Project uses Spirit, developed by Ghost Robotics, on a variety of challenging terrains, shifting the likes of dirt to slushy snow and boulders. The site at Mt Hood provides an icy, volcanic setting, consisting of debriscovered glaciers, glacial till, andesite and dacite lava flows, and pyroclastic and debris flows. This is similar to the cratered, icy new technology. We learn and improve from the observed failures.” A second project aims to coordinate teams of robots in Temporarily, Robots Unite to Surmount Sandy Entrapments, then Separate (TRUSSES). “They would sense how the ground conditions are, and then exchange that information with one another, and collectively form a map of locomotion risk estimation. The team of robots can then use this traversal risk map to inform their planetary explorations: ‘There is an extremely soft sand patch that might be high risk for wheeled rovers – come over here; this might be a safer area’,” Qian said. The team would include a wheeled rover for carrying payload over long distances, a six-legged robot with better mobility and rugged versions of Spirit. They could coordinate a rescue if one robot got stuck. “When they plan for the strategy to pull the robot up, they will decide what force to exert and what position the robot should go to, while also compiling the terrain information,” said Qian. “That’s the key idea of how to use these capabilities: to both prevent and recover from locomotion failures in extreme terrain.” Robots Four-legged robots explore Moon-like terrain landscapes on the Moon, and to icy areas at mid and high latitudes on Mars. The presence of ice can have a strong effect on the geotechnical properties of regolith, and data from the substrate properties can help robots learn how to walk better on these extreme terrains. Compression and shearing tests can be performed from the motor on one leg of the robot to measure the mechanical response of the upper few centimetres of regolith. The proprioceptive capabilities of the direct drive and quasi-direct-drive actuators used within the robot enable highly sensitive measurements of the sediment. “A legged robot needs to be able to detect what is happening when it interacts with the ground underneath, and rapidly adjust its locomotion strategies accordingly,” said Feifei Qian, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and School of Advanced Computing, which is leading the project. “When the robot leg slips on ice or sinks into soft snow, it inspires us to look for new principles and strategies that can push the boundary of human knowledge and enable June/July 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology Testing a four-legged robot for use on the Moon (Image courtesy of USC)

T-motor Jiangxi-Xintuo Enterprise Co Ltd T-MOTOR ® THE SAFER PROPULSION SYSTEM A SERIES MODULAR PROPULSION Dual Inputs: PWM/CAN Thrust Up To: 57kg A next level with an upgraded cooling configuration WWW.TMOTOR.COM Platform one INVOLI has teamed up with MatrixSpace to add a non-cooperative air-traffic radar detector to its management system, writes Nick Flaherty. INVOLI’s cooperative air-traffic detection capabilities are combined with MatrixSpace’s compact, groundbased radar for non-cooperative UAV detection to provide a single platform and applications programming interface (API) for monitoring all kinds of aircraft. INVOLI specialises in detecting cooperative air traffic, while MatrixSpace detects non-cooperative air traffic using its miniaturised, primary radar technology. The MatrixSpace radar offers robust situational awareness of airborne and ground-based objects, regardless of lighting and weather, for highly accurate UAV detection. The ground-based radar measures 141 x 87 x 42 mm, requires no extra infrastructure and is deployable in minutes without specialist training. It provides Range Velocity Maps and Target Detections, as well as 3D point clouds. The radar can identify a quadcopter UAV flying towards it at a distance of 986 m and radial velocity of 431 m/s. This radar links to INVOLI’s Multilateration system, which provides aviation surveillance data to allow both crewed and uncrewed operations, including autonomous and beyond-visual-lineof-sight (BVLOS). With hundreds of proprietary air-traffic receivers deployed worldwide, it uses a mix of hardware and software to combine live data streams with data analytics. The system is certified in Germany by DFS (Deutsche Flugsicherung) for the control of aviation obstacle lights, while all the INVOLI hardware is Swiss-made. The MatrixSpace radar is made in the US. The combined system can be used for the surveillance of sensitive sites, such as prisons and energy infrastructure, as its ability to detect both cooperative and noncooperative air traffic in one deployment provides enhanced safety and security. Radar Radar detects non-cooperative air traffic The radar system for detecting non-cooperative aircraft (Image courtesy of MatrixSpace) WWW.TMOTOR.COM A SERIES MODULAR PROPULSION A next level with an upgraded cooling connguration Upgraded cooling channels temperature can be reduced by about 25% WWW.TMOTOR.COM UAV A SERIES MODULAR PROPULSION A next level with an upgraded cooling connguration A SERIES MODULAR PROPULSION Dual Inputs: PWM/CAN Thrust Up To: 57kg A next level with an upgraded cooling connguration

12 Platform one Researchers at the Johannes Kepler University (JKU) in Linz have developed a lightweight solar cell that is suitable for UAVs, writes Nick Flaherty. The solar cells have a power output of up to 44 W/g and a comparatively high level of stability, despite using perovskite materials, which can have a limited lifetime. The group of researchers – from the Department of Soft Matter Physics and the LIT Soft Material Lab at JKU, and the Linz Institute for Organic Solar Cell – developed a flexible solar cell that is 2.5 um thick, but still has a conversion efficiency of 20.1 % with an open-circuit Teledyne FLIR has developed a video processor for AI algorithms to use in its thermal cameras, writes Nick Flaherty. The FLIR AVP video processor weighs 5 g and is based around the QCS8550 mobile processor from Qualcomm, which has been optimised for UAV and robot sensors. It runs the Teledyne FLIR Prism AI and image signal pipeline (ISP) software libraries, and interfaces with the company’s Boson and Neutrino thermal infrared imaging camera modules, as well as a wide range of popular visible cameras. The FLIR Prism AI model has been trained on the world’s largest thermal image data lake of more than five million annotations to detect, classify and track targets or objects for automotive autonomy, automotive automatic emergency braking, airborne camera payloads and counter-UAV systems. Prism ISP is a set of image-processing algorithms that include super resolution, image fusion, atmospheric turbulence removal, electronic stabilisation, local-contrast enhancement and noise reduction for the cameras. methylbenzyl ammonium iodide as the photoactive perovskite layer, placed directly onto an ultra-thin polymer foil coated with a transparent aluminium oxide layer, to ensure environmental and mechanical stability without compromising on weight or flexibility. (see data storage feature, page 42). An Adreno 740 GPU and Hexagon Tensor Processor (HTP) with Hexagon Vector eXtensions (HVX) and Hexagon Matrix eXtensions (HMX) are used to process the 8 bit and 16 bit AI data. The chip includes concurrent GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS, NavIC and sensor-assisted Positioning, and it supports up to six cameras. Several tools support the AVP board to simplify and streamline development, including a Qualcomm RB5 robotic development kit. Software and board-support packages are also available. Solar cells Video processing Lightweight perovskite solar cells meet stability challenge AI processing board for UAV thermal cameras voltage of 1.15 V. The researchers fitted a palm-sized, commercial Solar Hopper quadcopter UAV with 24 x 1 cm2 cells in the frame, making up just 1/400 of its total weight. The configuration enabled the UAV to operate self-sufficiently and perform consecutive charge-flight-charge cycles without wired recharging. For reliable, stable and flexible solar cells with a high power-to-weight ratio, there needs to be a balance between low gas and moisture permeability, high flexibility and transparent plastic substrates plus sturdy photovoltaic materials. The cells are built with alphaThe QCS8550 processor is built on a leading-edge, 4 nm process technology and measures 15.6 x 14.0 mm. It is mounted on the AVP System-on-Module (SoM) board, measuring 40.27 x 33.41 mm. The processor has eight 64-bit CPU cores and the latest AI accelerator cores. The main ARM Cortex-X3 core runs at up to 3.36 GHz, and it is supported by four performance cores running up to 2.8 GHz and three efficiency cores at up to 2 GHz. AI models can take a lot of memory, and the chip supports up to 16 Gbytes of low-power LP DDR5 memory and 256 GB of storage using the UFS3.1 standard June/July 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology A lightweight UAV powered by perovskite solar cells (Image courtesy of JKU) The AVP video-processing board (Image courtesy of Teledyne FLIR)

Researchers at the University of Missouri are developing algorithms for autonomous visual navigation, writes Nick Flaherty. The two-year project received a $3.3m grant from the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). “Most UAVs operating today require GPS navigation to fly, so when they lose that signal they are not able to find their way around and will typically just land wherever they are,” said Prof Kannappan Palaniappan, principal investigator on the project. “Unlike ground-based GPS navigation apps, which can reroute you if you miss a turn, there is currently no option for airborne drones to reroute in these situations.” Palaniappan and his team are developing software that will use image sensors and machine learning algorithms to allow UAVs to independently perceive and interact with their environment. “We want to take the range of skills, attributes, contextual scene knowledge, mission planning and other capacities that UAV operators possess and incorporate them – along with weather conditions – into the UAV’s autopilot, so it can make all of those decisions independently,” said Palaniappan. The team is using Lidar and thermal imaging for object detection and visual recognition. The data from these sensors is sent back to the cloud and is used to build 3D and 4D advanced imagery for mapping and monitoring applications. “After a severe storm or a natural disaster, there will be damage to buildings, waterways and other forms of infrastructure,” said Palaniappan. “A 3D reconstruction of the area could help first-responders to government officials understand how much damage has taken place. “By allowing the UAV to collect the raw data and transmit that information to the cloud, the cloud supporting highperformance computing software can complete the analysis and develop the 3D digital-twin model, without the need for additional software to be physically installed and accessible on the UAV.” Visual navigation Navigating with image sensors and machine learning algos AI for UAV navigation (Image courtesy of University of Missouri) Harwin’s connector products are proven to perform in extreme conditions, with shock, vibration and temperature range rigorously tested. WITH OUR QUALITY, SERVICE, SUPPORT, AND HIGHLY RELIABLE PRODUCTS, YOU CAN DEPEND ON HARWIN. CONNECT TECHNOLOGY WITH CONFIDENCE // WWW.HARWIN.COM Harwin UAV Uncrewed Systems March 24.indd 1 11/03/2024 16:40

14 Platform one Createc has used a robot dog and a mesh radio network to create a real-time map of a radioactive power plant, writes Nick Flaherty. The N-Visage Explore (NV-X) system has a sensitive gamma radiation camera mounted on a robot dog for real-time radiation mapping. A multi-floor, nuclear-material processing cell at Dounreay in Scotland remained sealed for over 25 years in a non-operational state. Lack of information on the contamination and dose rates within the cell presented an obstacle to the nuclear decommissioning process, requiring a comprehensive understanding of the cell’s condition before any work could commence. While estimated to be in singular mSv/h, the exact radiation levels could not be confirmed, so remotely operated robotic surveys were necessary before human operators could enter safely. Restricted access between the levels, narrow walkways and inadequate lighting posed additional challenges. To reach areas beyond the ground floor relied on An ad-hoc Rajant Kinetic Mesh was set up by using another OSE product, the Smart PoE Powerbank, which was designed for this application to power and link the mesh relay nodes. ES1 radio nodes were mounted on the Smart PoE Powerbanks, and another Spot, this time with a manipulator arm, was used to carry them into place. The Powerbanks have onboard computers, which allow them to report the battery state back to the user, as well as additional sensor data, and they last for up to four days. The Spot with the arm conducted swab sample return missions, inspected objects with the PTZ camera and retrieved the Rajant Kinetic Mesh radios at the end of the deployment. The Spot with NV-X conducted 3D laser scans and radiometric survey missions throughout the four floors of the cell, which were combined into a single model of the cell in post-processing. The NVisage radiation-mapping algorithms produced a 3D reconstruction of the radiation sources and dose planes for the cell, which have proven valuable for decommissioning planning. Robots Mapping a power plant staircases within the cell that were not easily accessible by ground-based robots. The concrete walls and metal structures made wireless communications difficult, posing the challenge of remotely operating the robots with conventional radio. The NV-X system was mounted on a Boston Dynamics Spot robot, which can move upstairs and across debris. It was equipped with a custom lighting unit and contamination control suit. This prevented the robots from ingesting contamination that would prevent them being released from the Dounreay site. Integral to Spot’s onboard equipment was Rajant Kinetic Mesh ES1 BreadCrumb radio for robotics operations beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS), using a dual-radio setup with high-gain antennas and a small form factor. It was linked to Spot using a Robot PoE Switch, designed and made by Createc spin-out company, OSE. The switch provides power regulation from Spot’s payload power bus (48-72 V), networking with Spot via a four-port Ethernet switch, power to the Rajant ES1 via passive PoE, and a PoE+ port for additional sensors. June/July 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology Radioactive monitoring by a four-legged robot (Image courtesy of Createc)

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16 June/July 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology Dr Donough Wilson Dr Wilson is innovation lead at aviation, defence, and homeland security innovation consultants, VIVID/ futureVision. His defence innovations include the cockpit vision system that protects military aircrew from asymmetric high-energy laser attack. He was first to propose the automatic tracking and satellite download of airliner black box and cockpit voice recorder data in the event of an airliner’s unplanned excursion from its assigned flight level or track. For his ‘outstanding and practical contribution to the safer operation of aircraft’ he was awarded The Sir James Martin Award 2018/19, by the Honourable Company of Air Pilots. Paul Weighell Paul has been involved with electronics, computer design and programming since 1966. He has worked in the realtime and failsafe data acquisition and automation industry using mainframes, minis, micros and cloud-based hardware on applications as diverse as defence, Siberian gas pipeline control, UK nuclear power, robotics, the Thames Barrier, Formula One and automated financial trading systems. Ian Williams-Wynn Ian has been involved with uncrewed and autonomous systems for more than 20 years. He started his career in the military, working with early prototype uncrewed systems and exploiting imagery from a range of systems from global suppliers. He has also been involved in ground-breaking research including novel power and propulsion systems, sensor technologies, communications, avionics and physical platforms. His experience covers a broad spectrum of domains from space, air, maritime and ground, and in both defence and civil applications including, more recently, connected autonomous cars. Professor James Scanlan Professor Scanlan is the director of the Strategic Research Centre in Autonomous Systems at the University of Southampton, in the UK. He also co-directs the Rolls-Royce University Technical Centre in design at Southampton. He has an interest in design research, and in particular how complex systems (especially aerospace systems) can be optimised. More recently, he established a group at Southampton that undertakes research into uncrewed aircraft systems. He produced the world’s first ‘printed aircraft’, the SULSA, which was flown by the Royal Navy in the Antarctic in 2016. He also led the team that developed the ULTRA platform, the largest UK commercial UAV, which has flown BVLOS extensively in the UK. He is a qualified full-size aircraft pilot and also has UAV flight qualifications. Dr David Barrett Dr David Barrett’s career includes senior positions with companies such as iRobot and Walt Disney Imagineering. He has also held posts with research institutions including the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, MIT and Olin College, where he is now Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics, and Principal Investigator for the Olin Intelligent Vehicle Laboratory. He also serves in an advisory capacity on the boards of several robotics companies. Uncrewed Systems Technology’s consultants Wibotic in Canada has developed 1 kW wireless charging for larger, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), writes Nick Flaherty. The 1 kW version is aimed at charging larger battery packs in larger AMRs, and for faster charging of smaller AMRs. It charges as fast as a 300 W plug-in charger and can still be used with factory outlets rated at 1-1.5 kW. The charger enables a 1 C-Rate to charge a 2-3 kWh pack in two to three hours, but managing the charging rate to maximise the lifetime of the pack is also critical. The Wibotic system uses a 6.78 MHz radiofrequency (RF) signal for the power transfer, and the design of the charger enables positional flexibility while making the onboard charger smaller. It measures 126 mm x 52.5 mm. “For electric cars, everyone wants faster charging, but what’s really interesting is to charge in a way that maximises the battery longevity with a slower charge,” said Ben Waters, CEO and founder of Wibotics. “Autonomous robots have a similar trend. Some have the opportunity to charge overnight, but when they are in high demand you need the capability to put a lot of power into the packs. The charger adjusts from 0-60 V and 0-35 A of current, and this gives customers a lot of flexibility across different devices.” This works across different battery chemistries and various types of AMR in a fleet of robots. Another advantage of RF inductive charging is foreign object detection for anything metallic that gets between the coils. The higher power also gives more flexibility in positioning. Wibotic found most AMR and automated ground vehicle (AGV) makers can navigate to within 2 cm, so the charger allows an offset of 4 cm vertically and 4 cm horizontally for the highest power. The system uses a proprietary, 2.4 GHz radio for communication, so if the coils separate too far, the system can determine the efficiency of the power transfer. The charger can also be used outdoors. Autonomous robots Wireless charging of larger battery packs for AMRs A Cypher AMR with an integrated UAV charging port for aerial monitoring in a warehouse (Image courtesy of Wibotic)

Platform one Satellite communications and ultra-lowbandwidth video streaming can be used with long-range UAV operations, writes Nick Flaherty. Gotonomi and Videosoft are combining their technologies to simplify UAV live video streaming for operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). The Videosoft low-bandwidth video software is being integrated into Gotonomi’s Velaris Multi-Link satellite communication module, which works with the Viasat Velaris satellite system. This will allow real-time video from UAVs, even in areas without cell or direct radio coverage. Secure video transmission from a UAV lets operators perform tasks such as surveillance and monitoring in remote or hazardous areas, which are too dangerous or inaccessible for people to reach directly, to provide an emergency response. The Velaris Multi-Link module is a low size, weight and power hybrid terminal with integrated edge computing using a System on Module (SoM) with an i.MX 8M processor from NXP Semiconductor. The processing subsystem measures 140 x 95 x 15 mm (5.5 x 3.7 x 0.6 in) and weighs 230 g (8.1 oz). The module has an average power consumption of 18 W, with a peak of 27 W, and provides the link in the enables real-time video from 500 Kbit/s to as low as 4 Kbit/s. The module includes an LTE module, providing low-latency 4G cellular communications for redundancy. “There was always a vision for the requirement of edge compute to add value to UAVs operating in BVLOS situations, and video compression has become a lead application,” said Matthew Hill, general manager at Gotonomi. “This is a great demonstration of why both parties are part of Viasat’s Velaris network, and why its L-band network is suitable for safe and scalable BVLOS operations.” Video streaming Simplifying live video streaming beyond visual line of sight L band at 1518-1559 MHz or 1626-1675 MHz. This satellite link provides data rates of up to 200 Kbit/s between an elevation of 20° and 90°, and 130 Kbit/s between 5° and 90°, which requires data compression for real-time video links. The SoM lets custom applications such as Videosoft’s video-compression software process data for streaming over the Velaris satellite via the Gotonomi 200A OMNI standalone antenna, measuring 103 mm (4.1 in) in diameter and 72 mm (2.8 in) high, and weighs 210 g (7.4 oz). The Videosoft compression technology The Class of 2024 Access the directory online, or pick up a printed copy at leading uncrewed related tradeshows across the globe 6 Class of 2024 | Uncrewed Systems Technology Advanced Navigation Advanced Navigation is a world leader in AI-based robotics and navigation technologies across land, air, sea and space applications. Founded on a culture of research and discovery, Advanced Navigation’s mission is to be the catalyst of the autonomy revolution. Fields of expertise include artificial intelligence, sonar, GNSS, radio frequency systems, inertial sensors, robotics, quantum sensors and photonics. Today, Advanced Navigation is a supplier to some of the world’s largest companies, including Airbus, Boeing, Google, Tesla, NASA, Apple, and General Motors. Categories • Navigation System • IMUs, Gyros & Accelerometers • UUVs • Artificial Intelligence (AI) • Sonar/Acoustic Systems Address Level 12, 255 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia Website Telephone +61 2 9099 3800 Email More info: Avionics & electronics 37 Uncrewed Systems Technology | Class of 2024 Development inputs COVE COVE is where marine technology leaders develop solutions for a better and sustainable world. On the water and around the world, COVE propels the ocean economy. COVE is where ideas become solutions, technologies become ventures, and opportunities become careers. We connect people, ideas, resources and assets to propel solutions and sustainable growth for Canada’s ocean sector. A 13-acre waterfront facility in Canada’s deepest harbour provides the best space in the world to turn ideas into commercial solutions. Ocean technology companies, post-secondary researchers, and marine-based service businesses come to the COVE facility for programming and short- and long-term tenancies. We provide: • 550,000 sq ft of protected wharf frontage in Halifax Harbour along the Atlantic Ocean • 49 ft depth at wharf face • 2,850 feet of docks & 2 finger piers • 26,000 sq ft of office & workshop space • 6,500 square feet of shop and lab space • Approximately 60 ocean tech companies on-site Categories • Financial support • Business Development Services • On-shore and Off-shore Infrastructure • Marine Terminal and Facility Address 27 Parker St., Dartmouth Nova Scotia, Canada B2Y 4T5 Website Telephone +1 902 334 2683 Email More info: 43 Uncrewed Systems Technology | Class of 2024 Tekever TEKEVER’s UAS Systems fits every mission and are futureproofed. Through the ability to upgrade individual components, it’s possible to improve the total system without a complete redesign. It’s not about technology, it’s about your mission. TEKEVER UAS intelligence is fully proven and has been crucial in the most demanding scenarios. TEKEVER systems are easy to assemble and operate by design. We can provide them as a service, or give our customers full autonomy on their operation and maintenance through intensive training courses. TEKEVER UAS are built around intelligence. Combining complex systems, as drones that fly 20 hours, with satellite communication, powerful sensors, a cross-platform Ground Control Station and an AI/ML-powered data-centre to assure the right person gets the right information at the right moment. Categories • UAVs Address Heden Rossio Largo do Duque de Cadaval, 17 Fracção I, 1200160, Lisboa, Portugal Website Telephone +351 21 330 4300 Email More info: Platforms 57 Uncrewed Systems Technology | Class of 2024 maxon international ltd. maxon is the worldwide leading provider of high-precision drive systems. Our micromotors move everything that has to be rotated with high precision and reliability. At maxon, we develop and build electric drives that pack some real power. Our DC motors are leading the industry worldwide. They are used wherever the requirements are high and engineers cannot afford compromises. From the ocean floor to Mars! They are installed in insulin pumps and surgical power tools. You can find them in humanoid robots and in high-precision industrial applications, in tattoo machines, passenger aircraft, camera lenses, race cars, aquatic systems and cardiac pumps. For more than 60 years, we have focused on customer-specific solutions, quality, and innovation. Categories • Electric Motors • Motor Controllers • Propellers • Advanced Materials • Connectors • Electric Motors • Engines Address Brünigstrasse 2206072, Sachseln, Switzerland Website Telephone +41 (41) 666 15 00 Email More info: Powertrain 81 Uncrewed Systems Technology | Class of 2024 Futaba Corporation of America Futaba, a world leading manufacturer of radio control and servo products for over six decades, continues to enhance and adapt its product portfolio to meet the evolving demands of the diverse markets it serves. Futaba produces a wide variety of ruggedized servo actuators with varying specifications to meet many challenging applications operating in challenging environments. Wireless RF transmitter/ receiver systems are fully designed and engineered in-house, leveraging Futaba’s years of RF development experience to provide the most secure and reliable wireless communication link available. To further meet our customers’ demands, Futaba can develop semi-custom products from existing OTS parts and fully customized parts from scratch. With the introduction of the FMT05 Ground Control Station, integrating Panasonic’s Toughbook platform, Futaba provides next-level control sophistication and ruggedness for UAV applications. Contact Futaba to discuss all of your company’s radio control and actuator needs. Categories • Servo Actuators • Ground Control Stations • Radio Links & Telemetry Address 5401 Trillium Blvd, Suite A225 Hoffman Estates, IL 60192 Website Telephone +1 815 701 3650 Email More info: Mission & application systems 89 Uncrewed Systems Technology | Class of 2024 No more holes. For more than 35 years, Click Bond has been a leader in the design and manufacture of adhesive-bonded assembly solutions for the aerospace, defense, marine, UAV, advanced air mobility, automotive, and industrial sectors. Adhesive bonding requires no installation holes, no welding, and no hot work. Fewer holes mean greater structural integrity. The adhesive bondline creates a powerful barrier between the fastener and substrate, preventing galvanic corrosion. Our fasteners are lightweight and easy to install. Click Bond’s 5,000+ products include structural hardware and systems installation fasteners, such as sleeves, mounts, studs, and standoffs. Our rivetless nutplates require no installation holes, so they install 80% faster than standard nutplates, saving time and labor. Our global reputation is rooted in providing advanced designs and solutions that achieve unmatched value over our customers’ product lifecycles. The future is adhesive bonding. The future is here. Stop welding. Stop drilling. Start bonding. Categories • Cable Harnesses • Maintenance • Fasteners • Bonds & Seals • Connectors • Composites • Advanced Materials Address 2151 Lockheed Way Carson City, NV 89706-0713 USA Website Telephone +1 775 885 8000 Email More info: Structural & anatomical systems Click Bond Class of 2024 Navigate the world of uncrewed systems with our engineer-focused supplier directory Avionics & electronics Development inputs Platforms Powertrain Mission & application systems Structural & anatomical systems A module for L-band satellite connectivity (Image courtesy of Gotonomi)