Internet-age companies are forging ahead with plans to incorporate small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)—better known as drones—in their commercial operations. On August 28, Internet search engine and services company Google revealed that it is developing a drone delivery service and has already tested a prototype aircraft.
Rockwell Collins is to provide its Athena 411 flight control and navigation system for the Mist Mobility Integrated Systems Technology CQ-10A Snow Goose unmanned aerial vehicle. Athena 411 is a system that integrates solid-state gyros and accelerometers, magnetometer, GPS receiver and air data sensors into a single, small, strap-down unit.
A revolution in the progress of aviation could result from Rockwell Collins’ recent acquisition of Athena Technologies. Athena Technologies said it is convinced that the time has arrived for completely safe operation of unmanned parcel-carrying aircraft.
Athena bases its prediction on a successful flight test in which it ejected almost 60 percent of the right wing on an F/A-18 subscale model without an ensuing disaster.
Athena Technologies (Hall 6, Stand B1/C1), a maker of flight controls for unmanned aerial vehicles, successfully demonstrated a “damage tolerant” automatic control system and autonomous landing capabilities on a scale model of an Boeing F/A-18 powered by a turbojet engine, the company announced.
Athena Technologies’ CEO Dr. David Vos is in no doubt that after many false starts, the age of the unmanned air vehicle (UAV) really has dawned. His company has become the key element in most of the major UAV programs, including the U.S. Army’s Shadow and the USAF’s Target UAV.