French researchers seek better biomimetic drone design
The French Defence Innovation Agency (AID) is funding a project to explore the capabilities and performance of biomimetic UAVs for stealth missions.
The BIOFLY project is based on the previously developed Bionic Bird, which has a polymer body and carbon fibre wings.
Research efforts in BIOFLY are focusing primarily on the development of a ‘new flapping-wing flight architecture as well as the integration of an onboard camera requiring stabilisation vis-à-vis the oscillations induced by the flapping of the wings’, the French MoD announced.
The BIOFLY team also includes TPE XTIM (which developed the Bionic Bird), the Institute of Movement Sciences of the University of Aix in Marseille, and the Lorraine Laboratory for Research in Computer Science and its Applications.
Building on the Bionic Bird, researchers will seek to improve the propulsion system, the mechanism of movement of the wings and the improvement of the flight capabilities.
‘These improvements include the addition of flight assistance, flight session automation such as straight-line flight, the ability to vary flight speed, with the possibility of near-hovering, but also an increase in the speed of these drones,’ the French MoD noted.
Biomimetics offer the possibility of various modes of flight and multiple trajectories that fixed-wing aircraft or rotary-wing platforms cannot perform.
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