Goodrich signed an agreement to distribute an electronic fuel injection system developed by Australian firm Currawong Engineering. Currawong’s Small Engine Electronic Fuel Injection System (SEEFIS) can “dramatically increase” the reliability and fuel efficiency of small internal combustion engines in UAVs that run on gasoline or heavy fuels such as JP8, the companies say.
The Currawong technology already is integrated with the Piccolo autopilot developed by Cloud Cap Technology of Hood River, Ore., a company Goodrich acquired in 2009. Currawong, with facilities in Kingston, Tasmania, started out by providing components for stabilized camera gimbals in conjunction with Cloud Cap. The two companies jointly produce Cloud Cap’s TASE family of micro gimbals for UAVs, helicopters and light airplanes.
Goodrich said it will now support the combined fuel injector/autopilot solution through its sales channels, extending the reach and access to Currawong’s product. In addition, Goodrich will provide custom engine integration services for U.S. and international UAV integrators. The company is building an advanced engine development and calibration facility in Hood River to continue research and development in engines.
The joint development and distribution agreement with Currawong is the latest Goodrich connection with small, innovative engineering companies in the UAV industry. Before acquiring Cloud Cap, Goodrich in 2005 bought Sensors Unlimited, developer of a shortwave infrared (SWIR) sensor that can be carried in Cloud Cap’s gimbals. Last April, Sensors Unlimited-Goodrich ISR Systems of Princeton, N.J., unveiled a 1.3-megapixel, indium gallium arsenide video camera, described as having “the highest sensitivity available” in a military-hardened SWIR sensor. The camera is sized for UAVs, ground vehicles and handheld or mobile surveillance systems.