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Fully Automated Moving Platform UAV Operations

Updated: Mar 29, 2022

January 2022

DroneTech reaches another milestone in its journey towards the Urban Air Mobility market

After taking off and landing successfully several times on a moving platform in fully autonomous mode, DroneTech announces the automated takeoff and landing control software for maritime operations in its AV2- Pelican UAV intelligent autopilot.

AV2-Pelican VTOL

DroneTech’s goal is to provide solutions for the unmanned and manned aircraft markets, including Urban Air Mobility. The company is aware that the Urban Air Mobility initiative has significant hurdles, with some technical challenges, and that it will require a lot of time and funding, which will be at high risk until solved, so the company’s approach has been to start with the development of the necessary technology like

seamless transitions, low noise, outstanding performance and different modes of takeoffs and landings (eCTOL, eVTOL, eSTOL, and eSSTOL) and then scaleup its actual product into larger products until it reaches manned sizes. This will enable the company to generate the necessary revenue with each scaled-up product, creating a solid base for the future aircraft markets.

DroneTech believes there is a good market for this moving platform solution. The idea is to replace the use of helicopters in some operations like coast guard, seine fishing, anti-piracy, navy operations, oil platform, marine cargo delivery, etc.

Current solutions are not practical since they need catapults, parachutes with inflatable bellies, nets, towers, low wind speed conditions, and/or unacceptable amounts of personnel.

All the AV2-Pelican flight tests, from take-off to landing, were done autonomously. The takeoff and landing were performed from and into a 6 x 6 m (19.7 by 19.7 feet) moving platform, traveling at 10.8 kn (12.43 miles per hour). See video

The main features of the AV2-Pelican are:

  • Reliability. Critical systems redundancy includes engines, generators, GPS, comms, flight control surfaces, servos, electrical connections, batteries, gas tanks, pitot tubes, autopilot, and others.

  • Flexibility. The same VTOL platform is convertible to CTOL, STOL, or SSTOL, with either gas engines or electric motors, and has a large, balanced-by-design, open payload bay, among other features.

  • Practicality. Intelligent autopilot, reduced crew, stealth operation, very high wind resistance, quick configuration conversions, quick deployment, heavy fuel option, among others.

The AV-2 Pelican is the only twin-engine fixed-wing VTOL, that is capable of operating fully autonomously from ships without the need for catapults, nets, towers, wires, expensive modifications, and/or extra crew members for its operation.

These features allow the AV2-Pelican to have a much higher dispatch availability at a lower operating cost in a reliable, flexible, and practical way.

DroneTech is a US-based company that designs, manufacture, and sells UAVs. It also develops its smart autopilot software. It has some US patents granted and more than 10 years of experience in the industry. Based in San Antonio, TX with development and testing offices in Monterrey, Mexico.

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