A New UAV Architecture for Urban & Maritime Environments VTOL Technologies Ltd – Delivering unique, high-performance Vertical Take-off and Landing technologies for fixed-wing UAV’s. Cheaper & safer alternatives to helicopter & tilt-rotor UAV’s delivering high performance for urban, mountainous & maritime operations.
An Introduction … <ul><li>A small British company VTOL Technologies, formed as a direct result of the fall-out, following the events of September 11th 2001, has been quietly working over the past 8 years to develop a revolutionary VTOL UAV concept. Detailed research and analysis into all known VTOL aircraft architectures, coupled with extensive systems-engineering expertise, has culminated in a unique VTOL UAV concept combining a flying wing with four thrust-vectoring propulsion units, delivering a high payload fraction in a hot-swappable payload bay located under the wing. </li></ul><ul><li>The company has just completed a detailed concept study for the UK MoD clearly establishing the benefits of this exciting design. The concept is a superb piece of minimal ‘systems-engineering’ based design, eliminating redundant aircraft features that add weight, overcomplicate flight control, increase drag and reduce endurance. In its place is a smaller, lighter, quieter, flexible and scaleable architecture. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the advanced features include almost instantaneous stall recovery, gust insensitivity, reverse thrust to enable the platform to be ‘sucked down’ onto the deck of a ship pitching in heavy seas and minimum power to rotate the thrust-vectoring propulsion units. Even loitering into wind, keeping the vehicle airborne with minimal power, just like sea birds, is also a feature. </li></ul>
An Introduction … <ul><li>In the event of power failure in one or two of the propulsion units, the vehicle can still remain airborne and fly at close to its cruising speed, whilst total propulsion unit failure poses fewer risks than for rotary-wing craft such as helicopters by flying with a shallow glide-angle, rather than at best the rotary-wing craft descending to the ground with its rotor-blades auto gyrating. </li></ul><ul><li>This unique patent-pending design has 3 to 4 times the endurance of current VTOL UAV’s carrying an equivalent power source and payload but delivering significantly faster cruise speeds, whilst the same comparisons with current fixed-wing UAV’s demonstrate more than twice the endurance, but with the added advantages of VTOL, high manoeuvrability, low-power loiter and a continuous speed range, which enable this platform to readily operate in urban canyons, still a huge challenge for current UAV systems. The thrust-vectoring propulsion unit design enables the UAV to be launched and recovered from moving vehicles or ships without the need for ancillary equipment. </li></ul><ul><li>With advances in specific green fuel-cell technologies, these endurance ratios could be quadrupled within the next couple of years, delivering the much needed very long endurance figures, not possible with today’s small, low-altitude UAV’s. </li></ul><ul><li>If development can now be accelerated, we might even see this platform operating in Afghanistan, helping to save soldiers lives, operating from ships both large and small to assist in counter piracy operations and being used for the London 2012 Olympics to enhance security. </li></ul>
Why Design Yet Another VTOL UAV Architecture? <ul><li>Step 1 - The urban, (mountainous) & maritime environment challenge? </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2 - What is the business case for a new UAS architecture for urban, (mountainous) & maritime environments? </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3 - What are the technical barriers to successful operation in urban, (mountainous) & maritime environments? </li></ul><ul><li>Step 4 - What are the operational & commercial advantages of such an architecture? </li></ul><ul><li>Step 5 - How to find out more regarding partnership and business opportunities? </li></ul>
Why a New UAV Architecture for Urban & Maritime Environments? <ul><li>Our world demographics are changing rapidly. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 70% of European & North American populations live in urban environments today. </li></ul><ul><li>Over 50% of the World’s population lives in an urban environment today. </li></ul><ul><li>Because our urban environments are congested (vehicles & people), we have to ‘go to the air’ for rapid assessment (surveillance & reconnaissance) of situations/incidents on the ground. </li></ul>
World Population Demographics – Our Changing Planet… <ul><li>Since 2008, for the first time, half the world’s population is now living in towns and cities. By 2030, the urban population will reach 5 billion — 60 per cent of the world’s population (see graph). Nearly all population growth will be in the cities of developing countries, whose population will double to nearly 4 billion by 2030 — about the size of the developing world’s total population in 1990. </li></ul>With urban environment congestion, UAVs are going to be a valuable aerial resource for our First Responder services. Critical issues are rapid deployment & recovery, safety, manoeuvrability, ease of use, endurance, low noise signature, etc.
Urban & Maritime Environments - The Technical Challenges <ul><li>Flying at low altitude in urban, mountainous and maritime environments is technically extremely demanding. Current UAV architectures have challenges addressing the following environmental conditions: </li></ul><ul><li>Gusting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Winds around buildings and ships can gust at up to 20kts. Remaining stable in the air, particularly at low altitude & low speed is exceptionally difficult to achieve unless you have an airframe architecture which has been specifically designed to handle these challenging conditions. Helicopters have exposed rotors, which make them susceptible to adverse aerodynamic effects (flipping over when close to land, buildings, etc). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Safety </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Operating in environments where people are around requires a safe UAV platform. Exposed rotors can be a hazard, as can the inability to glide if power is lost to the rotors. High power in the hover and at low speed is noisy and can distract people on the ground. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Deployment & Recovery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Operating in urban environments or from ships, means that launch & recovery space is at a premium. VTOL provides for the ability to operate from an extremely small footprint. However, the helicopter footprint is still relatively large as a result of their rotors. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Endurance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High endurance is essential for both urban and maritime operations. Today’s small fixed wing and rotorcraft UAV’s have limited endurance and low efficiency, limiting their time in the air and the distances they are able to cover. </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>The very low (<1000’ and low altitude market segments represent 97% of the market share by number of units deployed. </li></ul><ul><li>This segment of 97% of total number of units deployed at these altitudes represents over 80% of UAV deployed in urban, mountainous and maritime environments. </li></ul>The Commercial Opportunity UAV Deployment Market Data… % Number of UAV’s Deployed by Altitude Note: Typically small and very small UAV’s are deployed at low altitudes, whilst much larger and very costly assets are deployed at high altitude. Source: Moiré Incorporated 2005 12.5 % 2.5 % 0.5 % 84.5 %
The Size, Cost & Regulatory Compliance Advantage Increasing Manoeuvrability 0.25 hr 1 hr 6 hrs 336 hrs 1,000 ft 18,000 ft 55,000 ft Very low altitude Low altitude Medium altitude High altitude Altitude Endurance Decreasing Deployment to Engagement Time Flying Wing Vectored Thrust VTOL UAVs Reduced acquisition, operational and maintenance costs (Exponential reduction) Significantly Greater Regulatory Compliance Fixed wing UAVs Helicopter VTOL UAVs
Quantifying The Business Opportunity… <ul><li>Alternative technologies… </li></ul><ul><li>Urban Maritime </li></ul>Source: Moiré Incorporated 2005 Urban, Mountainous & Maritime Environments VTOL Technologies ‘Disruptive Technology’ Business Opportunity 100% 25,250 100% $24.65B Total 0.5% 130 28.5% $7.0B High Altitude 2.5% 620 44.5% $11.0B Medium Altitude 97% 24,450 27% $6.63B Sub Total 12.5% 3,150 23.5% $5.78B Low Altitude 84.5% 21,300 3.5% $0.85B Small Very Low Altitude % Market Share by # Units # Production Units % Market Share by Value Market Value US Market 10 Year Cumulative Figures 2005 - 2015 UAV Class
No Other UAV Architecture Can Respond as Effectively to Gusts… Almost instantaneous stall recovery is also achievable from this specialised flying-wing aerofoil section. Additionally, rapid pitch correction can also be achieved, through variation of the front and rear fan thrust levels, given the available moment arm. With only +/- 5 o of port/starboard fan rotation at any angle of fan inclination (i.e. across the entire UAS speed range) and with zero yawing moment, a 50% increase in roll moment can be achieved, thus providing the ability to withstand exceptionally strong gusts, unlike any other known UAS platform. This UAS can also “hover on the wing”, extending endurance in high ‘power-demand’ situations.
Capability Comparisons… Excellent Medium Poor VTOL / flexible speed range / variable speed target tracking Excellent Poor Medium Purchase, operational and maintenance costs Excellent Medium Poor Hot swappable payloads Excellent Medium Poor Manoeuvrability and survivability Excellent Poor Medium Low power consumption / high endurance / hover into wind Excellent Poor Medium Safety in urban environments Excellent Poor Poor Launch / recovery from moving ground vehicles Excellent Poor Poor Ability to withstand gusts / instantaneous stall recovery Flying-Wing Thrust-Vectoring UAV Rotorcraft / Helicopter UAV’s Fixed Wing UAVs Operational Capabilities
Product Differentiators… <ul><li>Safer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No exposed rotors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Much smaller operating envelope than helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Much quieter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can glide even if all propulsive power is lost </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gust Insensitive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instantaneous stall recovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can operate safely in urban and maritime environments, without the issues rotorcraft and fixed-wing aircraft face </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Highly Manoeuvrable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuous and broad speed range </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Launch & recovery from anywhere (including moving vehicles/ships) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapid acceleration and deceleration (0-60kts in < 3 seconds) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can rotate through 360 o on the spot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced mission ‘dead time’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simpler target tracking </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Endurance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At least double the endurance of equivalent rotorcraft or fixed-wing aircraft. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has a very broad low-power cruise range. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Longer time on station doing productive work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Power Consumption </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patented technology delivers particularly low power consumption at low flying speeds (10-30 knots) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can hover into wind, with almost no propulsive power required </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lower Production, Operational and Maintenance Costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mechanically simple, very low manufacturing, operating & maintenance costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lightweight, portable, quick to assemble </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hot swappable payloads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Significantly improves payload results </li></ul></ul>
Examples of Operational Tasks… <ul><li>Improved security of national assets (homeland security), transport & communications infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Crime surveillance </li></ul><ul><li>Customs & Excise / border surveillance </li></ul><ul><li>Facilities management & maintenance tasks for large inaccessible structures </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic monitoring & traffic incident management </li></ul><ul><li>Surveillance support for a range of environmental agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Humanitarian relief </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Coastguard & fisheries protection </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction in & more timely application of pesticides for agricultural use through advanced crop monitoring techniques </li></ul>
<ul><li>For Further Business Information… </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Details: </li></ul><ul><li>Eur Ing Ashley Bryant BSc (Hons) CEng; CITP; MIMechE; MBCS </li></ul><ul><li>Managing & Technical Director </li></ul><ul><li>VTOL Technologies Ltd </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail: [email_address] </li></ul>