Sunday, Jan 23, 2022

Royal Navy searching for 'Tethered Uncrewed Air Systems'

Britain is looking to spend £458k on two tethered Uncrewed Air Systems for the Royal Navy with a flight time of 24 hours, a maximum payload of 25kg..

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Britain is looking to spend £458k on two tethered Uncrewed Air Systems for the Royal Navy with a flight time of 24 hours, a maximum payload of 25kg and operational height of 90 metres.

The Ministry of Defence say in a contract tender notice that un-crewed Air Vehicles operating under battery power “currently offer limited flight duration”.

The solution? They’re now looking for:

“A UAV system operating from a Tethered power supply is sought to allow considerably increased flight duration. The ability to flexibly integrate differing payloads is key to allow the UAS to operate as a platform for trials and testing.”

Specifically, the contract tender is for the supply of 2x Un-crewed Air Vehicles, with 2x compatible tethered power supplies, control interfaces and replacement batteries for use as experimentation and payload integration platforms by the Royal Navy.

“The Supplier shall provide 2x complete Tethered Un-Crewed Air Vehicles compliant with the mandatory requirements given above and the documentation as described above by 31 March 2022. Delivery shall take place to NavyX HMNB Portsmouth, UK.

Each complete Tethered UAV system will consist of the following as a minimum.

  • Un-Crewed Air Vehicle including 2x rechargeable batteries for operation in a non-tethered mode.
  • UAV handheld control interface including 2x rechargeable batteries.
  • Tethered power unit and cable.
  • Battery chargers for all provided batteries.
  • Protective transport casings for the above.
  • DTC IP MESH NETNODE 2X5W-5RM Radio with associated omni-directional antenna and mounting plate”

What is a Tethered UAS?

A tethered UAS is one where the unmanned aircraft remains securely attached (tethered) via a physical link to a person, the ground or an object at all times while it is flying. The tether normally takes the form of a flexible wire or a cable and may also include the power supply to the aircraft as well.

The below image shows a concept image for a naval Tethered-UAS and how it might operate.



Operations with a tethered UAS can be used as an efficient solution in a number of cases, for example where an operating area is restricted, or when the required flight time exceeds the normal endurance of a free-flying battery-powered aircraft.

What kind of specifications are outlined in the tender notice?

According to the contract notice:

  • The Tethered UAV is to be able to lift a minimum payload of 1kg. Vendors will be awarded additional points for maximising the payload weight not exceeding the maximum 25kg UAM.
  • UAV will be capable of 24 Hours continuous flight time while operating from Tether.
  • UAV will be capable of 10 minutes continuous flight time while operating from battery to allow emergency landing in event of a loss of power supply from Tether Unit.
  • UAV will be capable of 10 minutes continuous flight time while operating from battery to allow emergency landing in event of a loss of power supply from Tether Unit.
  • Can Supply live imagery transmission to third party hardware via a recognised output. i.e. HDMI or ethernet
  • The UAV to maintain an unmonitored geospatially relative position in relation to the tether unit on a moving platform without visual aid.

What kind of payloads are they thinking about?

Again, according to the contract notice:

  • The Supplier is to work with the authority to develop a MANET compliant payload with associated omni-directional antenna and mounting plate to each UAV.
  • The UAV shall be capable of mounting an optional payload of a Gimbled 30x Visual Daylight Camera.
  • The UAV shall be capable of mounting an optional payload of a Gimbled HD Thermal Camera.
  • The UAV shall be capable of mounting an optional payload of a Gimbled Dual Daylight/Thermal Camera.

When will the system be delivered?

Delivery of the system and associated documentation is planned for the 31st March 2022. The tendering period closes 19th January 2022, 10am.

The post Royal Navy looking for ‘Tethered Un-Crewed Air Systems’ first appeared on UK Defence Journal.

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By: George Allison
Title: Royal Navy looking for ‘Tethered Un-Crewed Air Systems’
Sourced From: ukdefencejournal.org.uk/royal-navy-looking-for-tethered-un-crewed-air-systems/
Published Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2022 10:17:17 +0000

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