ARL demonstrates hoverbike prototype
The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and industry partners have carried out a demonstration of the in-development unmanned hoverbike technology prototype to Department of Defense officials.
The quadcopter hoverbike system is known as the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV). It is being developed as a potential battlefield resupply solution for deployed soldiers.
Researchers envision a future JTARV flying low to the ground or at thousands of feet at speeds of 60 miles per hour or more. The current prototype is electric, but researchers are looking at a hybrid propulsion system that could significantly increase range.
Tim Vong, associate chief of ARL's Protection Division, said: ‘Anywhere on the battlefield, soldiers can potentially get resupplied in less than 30 minutes.
‘We're exploring increasing payload capacity to 800lbs and extending the range up to 125 miles. We're also looking to integrate advanced intelligent navigation and mission planning. We're looking to end up with a modular, stable platform that can be used for even more dynamic and challenging missions.’
ARL began exploring the JTARV concept in the summer of 2014. Malloy Aeronautics is working with ARL as system manufacturer, while SURVICE is systems integrator.
The JTARV is now a joint effort with the US Marine Corps, led by army researchers at the Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. ARL researchers still serve as subject matter experts on aeromechanics, assessment, analysis, propulsion, intelligence and controls and materials and structures.
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