18 October, 2012
CH Robotics Selected by United States Air Force to Develop Low-cost Autopilot for Covert, Precision, Aerial Delivery System
CH Robotics LLC and SeaLandAire Technologies Inc. were selected by the United States Air Force for a Phase II SBIR to design a Covert, Precision Aerial Delivery System (CPADS) for air-based resupply. CPADS technology is designed to reduce costs and add covertness, payload modularity, platform interchangeability, and standoff distance to current airborne delivery technologies (ref. Army PEGASYS and Air Force PADS).
The CH Robotics/SeaLandAire solution to the CPADS problem utilizes an autonomous, covert, tandem wing glider
design to deliver payloads to the ground with a high degree of accuracy. A glider‐based delivery system increases covertness because it is unpowered and it reduces system cost because no active propulsion is required. In addition, landing the aircraft is simplified by performing an automated stall and parachute deployment maneuver just above the payload delivery site, ensuring that the payload is delivered safely even in unforgiving terrain. To improve operational autonomy, the onboard autopilot handles all delivery tasks from deployment to landing, making the entire operation as simple as dropping a parachute would be.
During Phase I of the project, CH Robotics developed the path planning and control algorithms needed to control the CPADS glider. The algorithms were simulated extensively to test their performance under a wide variety of operating conditions (including changing standoff distance to payload target, altitude, wind conditions, etc.)
In the Phase II CPADS effort CH Robotics will take advantage of its expertise in developing low-cost, reliable AHRS and Orientation Sensors to implement an autopilot to guide the CPADS glider from its initial release position to the payload delivery location without human interference. CH Robotics will also cooperate with SeaLandAire Technologies to develop a modular airframe.
About CH Robotics
CH Robotics specializes in the development of attitude and heading sensors for industrial, commercial, and research applications. By taking advantage of state-of-the-art MEMS sensing technology in conjunction with a rapidly growing market for low-cost inertial and orientation sensors, CH Robotics delivers high performance sensors at industry-leading prices.