SideArm Prototype Catches Full-Size Unmanned Aerial System Flying at Full Speed

The ability to carry air power anywhere in the world, and both launch those aircraft to flight speed and bring them to a stop over extremely short distances, has been essential to carriers’ decades-long dominance of naval warfare.
a year ago

Demonstration system paves way toward self-contained, portable apparatus to launch and retrieve unmanned aircraft from trucks, ships, and fixed bases

Few scenes capture the U.S. Navy’s prowess as effectively as the rapid-fire takeoff and recovery of combat jets from the deck of an aircraft carrier. The ability to carry air power anywhere in the world, and both launch those aircraft to flight speed and bring them to a stop over extremely short distances, has been essential to carriers’ decades-long dominance of naval warfare. To help provide similar capabilities, minus the 90,000-ton carriers, to U.S. military units around the world, DARPA’s SideArm research effort seeks to create a self-contained, portable apparatus able to horizontally launch and retrieve unmanned aerial systems (UASs) of up to 900 pounds.

In December 2016, Aurora Flight Sciences successfully tested a full-scale technology demonstration system that repeatedly captured a 400-pound Lockheed Martin Fury UAS accelerated to representative flight speeds via an external catapult. The system is capable of recovering aircraft up to 1,100 pounds, exceeding DARPA’s design objectives.

SideArm fits in the footprint of a standard 20-foot shipping container for easy transport by truck, ship, rail, C-130 transport aircraft, and CH-47 heavy-lift helicopter. The small-footprint system is designed to operate in truck-mounted, ship-mounted, and standalone/fixed-site facilities. A crew of only two to four people can set up or stow the system in minutes.

SideArm owes its small size to combining its launch and capture equipment into a single rail that folds for transport. Rather than using a traditional capture method that uses a net to catch the UAS, the system snags a hook on the back of the vehicle and directs the hook to travel down the rail. This approach provides slower, more constant and controlled deceleration, which is safer for the vehicle.

Photo: DARPA’s SideArm research effort seeks to create a self-contained, portable apparatus able to horizontally launch and retrieve unmanned aerial systems (UASs) of up to 900 pounds. Aurora Flight Sciences recently tested a full-scale SideArm technology demonstration system that repeatedly captured a Lockheed Martin Fury UAS accelerated to representative flight speeds via an external catapult. (credit: DARPA)

“SideArm aims to replicate carriers’ capability to quickly and safely accelerate and decelerate planes through a portable, low-cost kit that is mission-flexible, independent from local infrastructure, and compatible with existing and future tactical unmanned aircraft,” said Graham Drozeski, DARPA program manager. “We’ve demonstrated a reliable capture mechanism that can go anywhere a 20-foot container can go, the DARPA-worthy challenge we had to overcome to make SideArm’s envisioned capabilities possible. We are pleased with the progress we’ve made enabling a wide variety of sea- and land-based platforms with persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike capabilities.”

SideArm is part of DARPA’s individual investment in Phase 1 research for Tern, a joint program between DARPA and the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR). Now that demonstration of the capture system is complete, DARPA is working to identify potential transition partners and exploring using SideArm with other UAS platforms.

Source: DARPA

Comments

No comments to display.

Related posts

EU Call for Proposals: Multi-use of the marine space, offshore and near-shore: pilot demonstrators

Activities shall develop pilots by involving industrial actors and by integrating the available knowledge, technologies and facilities, in particular capitalising on the results of EU and national projects for the development of multi-use platforms or co-location of different activities in a marine space, and relevant support offshore vessels and autonomous vehicles.
Application Deadline in 2 days
16 hours ago

EU Call for Proposals: The Future of Seas and Oceans Flagship Initiative

Proposals shall address one of the following sub-topics: blue cloud services, or ocean observations and forecasting, or technologies for observations (in 2020). Actions shall demonstrate integration, capacity and (scientific, economic etc) potential.
Application Deadline in 2 days
16 hours ago

EU's Call for Proposals: Modelling international trade in agri-food products

Trade modelling has a long-standing tradition but some issues are notoriously difficult to assess and include in the existing simulation models.
Application Deadline in 2 days

EU Call for Proposals: Circular bio-based business models for rural communities

Based on an established agro-food system, proposals shall consider a variety of additional bio-based processes and end products that could be integrated into the system, and that are viable on a small scale (farm to rural community level).
Application Deadline in 2 days
16 hours ago

The Infant Formula Testing Market is expected grow at a CAGR of 6.9% to reach revenue of $20.26billion by 2023.

Infant formula is one of the emerging markets in food and beverage industry. It is basically used for the infants whose age is below 12 months (preferably).

UNICEF Innovation Fund's Call for Applications: Data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence or similar technology solutions

The UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking to make up to 100K equity-free investments to provide early stage (seed) finance to for-profit technology start-ups that have the potential to benefit humanity. If you’ve got a start-up registered in one of UNICEF’s programme countries and have a working, open source prototype (or you are willing to make it open-source) showing promising results, the UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking for you.
Application Deadline in a month

Etisalat Digital accelerates adoption of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain in the United Arab Emirates

Etisalat Digital selects four disruptive companies to join Future Now scaleup programme after Dubai Future Accelerators collaboration.

European Venture Investment Reaches All-Time High

Europe's venture capital investment eclipsed €20 billion for the first time ever, according to PitchBook's 4Q 2018 European Venture Report. Despite the 25.9% drop in deal volume year-over-year (YoY), swelling deal sizes and increased interest from nontraditional investors helped drive deal value to the high-water mark.

The African Union Ten Years Aquaculture Action Plan for Africa 2016 - 2025

The prospects for Africa’s aquaculture are enormous. They are defned by the continent’s vast aquatic resources, land mass and climate that are suitable for the production of an array fsh species and essential inputs such as ingredients for feed. Of added advantage, is the fact that most of the world’s important tropical and sub-tropical aquaculture species are native to Africa.

Singapore-based SEEDS Capital appoints seven partners to co-invest in agrifood tech startups

SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, has appointed seven co-investment partners under Startup SG Equity. This will catalyse more than S$90 million worth of investments to develop Singapore-based startups in the Agrifood tech sector. This was announced by Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Dr Koh Poh Koon, at the opening of Indoor Ag-Con Asia.