UMAT takes off from Federal Police ship
On 16 September ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH together with Swiss UAV AG and the Federal Police successfully conducted experimental flights with the Unmanned Mission Avionics Test Helicopter (UMAT) from a Federal Police ship in the Baltic Sea.
With these flights, the companies continued their analyses and verifications on unmanned aircraft systems. The UMAT proved its operational capabilities in the maritime environment and conducted precision take-offs and landings from the ship.
The UMAT is based on a NEO-S300/-S350 from Swiss UAV AG. This Vertical Take Off and Landing Unmanned Aircraft System (VTOL UAS) type was operated during this Federal Police feasibility study with ordinary diesel fuel that is available onboard the ship.
The UMAT has the following features that are essential for its successful and safe opera-tion from a ship:
• Heading determination close to the ship with GPS-alignment, without magnetometer
• GPS vessel tracking function with constant distance and speed
• Automatic UAV control relative to the ship's movement ("Relative Stick Mode", speed, course)
• Fully redundant mission control station
Dual data link connection on two different frequency channels for secure data communi-cation between the UAS and the mission control station.
During the UMAT flights the following flight phases were successfully demonstrated:
• Precision take-off from the ship´s helicopter deck under way
• Hover at constant altitude and constant distance from the ship
• Mission flights in "Relative Stick-mode"
• Mission flights in "Mission Control Mode"
• Precision approach and landing on the helicopter deck under way
In addition, the integrated, stabilised Gimbal sent video data in real-time to the mission control station during all phases of the flight.
The Federal Police ship BP 21 "Bredstedt" is 65.4 m long and 9.2 m wide and has a 9 m x 11 m helicopter deck. The Bredstedt is used for example for the border police protection of German territory and therefore belongs to the area of responsibility of the Coast Guard.
Parallel to the UMAT-flight campaign Swiss UAV AG and EADS Astrium tested with a second VTOL UAS a precision navigation system (Integrated Precision Landing System) to support accurate landing on the helicopter deck. These tests were very successful and underline the broad integration capabilities of the UMAT system.
Because of the open system design of ESG´s UMAT and its mission control station, various military and civilian tasks can be studied and different equipment can be integrated. In August the UMAT successfully completed test flights with the miniaturised Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) SUMATRA from the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Technology.
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