Unmanned Aerial Systems


Two UAS prototype systems have been produced by Aerospace Sciences. These two systems comprised a general purpose Trainer UAS and a Tandem Wing Explorer UAS. The development of these UAS also included the associated ground systems comprising the ground control station, datalinks, antenna arrays, flight displays and flight planning software.

The Unmanned Air Vehicle project started in 1997 as a Systems Engineering trade study to provide an airborne platform to conduct airborne mining exploration surveys.

This project adopted a systems engineering approach to the development of a specific UAS solutions based on client needs and proposed concept of operations. Manned aircraft design standards were tailored to provide an airframe certification basis and systems software was developed under a structured design approval process.

Aerospace Sciences can work with clients to develop specific solutions within a framework of systems engineering and certified engineering design approval processes. If need be Aerospace Sciences can provide certification services and advice to clients as new standards for UAS airworthiness evolve.

Tandem wing UAS

The tandem wing Explorer air vehicle was designed to carry out low altitude mining exploration missions. This vehicle was fabricated from composite materials, using manned aircraft construction methods. The payload consisted of a magnetometer payload, associated data acquisition, video downlink and control uplink, and flight control systems.

A feature of this design was incorporation of a high-precision laser altimeter for low level flight terrain clearance and obstacle avoidance. This system was originally developed for the Helicopter-towed EM arrays, and was adapted for UAS operations. This laser altimeter system is still in use and is currently developed and supported by Aerospace Sciences Design Support Network.

The Tandem wing UAS flew 31 successful flights and met all performance, flying qualities and mission requirements. Furthermore it demonstrated that airborne magnetics was feasible from a UAS.

The prototype Explorer air vehicle was 4m in length, had a wingspan of 2.8m, a maximum take-off weight of 85 kg with a maximum 25 kg payload. This air vehicle is now on display at the Western Australian Aviation Museum.





UAV ground control station
Internal view of Ground Control Station
UAV flight test
Tandem wing UAV – flight test series 2

Trainer UAS 

The Trainer UAS was designed to serve as a UAV systems testbed for future air vehicles. Specifically it was designed to test flight control systems, avionics, power supplies, recovery systems and the ground control station.

The design specification called for a simple to construct and easy to repair air vehicle capable of 60 kts with a payload capacity of up to 8 kg.

The Trainer air vehicle was 2.2m in length, had a wingspan of 3.3m and a maximum takeoff weight of 25 kg.

Trainer UAV
Trainer UAV rear view
Trainer UAV
Trainer UAV forward view



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