PRESS RELEASE: Tactical Robotics’ Launches Aerial Application Variant of Cormorant UAV
Today Tactical Robotics Ltd., a subsidiary of Urban Aeronautics announced the launch of development of an agricultural use derivative of its Cormorant Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
Cormorant is developed by Tactical Robotics Ltd., a fully owned subsidiary of Urban Aeronautics Ltd. Following a decade of R&D, Cormorant’s prototype, has completed 250 successful flights. Its VTOL combined capabilities of full autonomy of operation, agile control and all-internal lift rotors, offer an order-of-magnitude' improvement in safety and operational capabilities over the standard helicopter. With all internal rotors, a car-sized footprint and a 500 Kg load, the employment of Cormorant for aerial application is potentially transformative.
Moving into the future, agricultural aviation is facing a shortage of pilots on one hand, together with increasing restrictions on aerial application due to the drift of material to adjacent fields and populated areas. Tactical Robotics is developing a specialized variant of its Cormorant that addresses these challenges. The “Ag-Cormorant”, due to its VTOL capability and car-sized footprint, eliminates the need for ferry flights over busy roads and populated areas from a distant airstrip. This ability to be deployed from with the perimeter of a field or plantation is essential In order to avoid the complications of having to secure clearances from local aviation regulatory agencies (FAA, EASA or other). These authorizations for an unmanned aircraft to fly 500 Kg of potentially toxic chemicals over civil airspace are far from certain.
Ag-Cormorant is truck-transportable directly to the perimeter of the field, which is pre-authorized as “closed airspace” as is already routinely done for utility helicopters used for electrical grid maintenance, logging and such.
In addition to the above, the Ag-Cormorant provides the most precise application imaginable;
- No vortices or updrafts behind the aircraft entirely eliminates drift of materials to neighboring fields.
- Strong, focused downwash directly below the aircraft can be used to propel the materials down into the crop canopy providing superb coverage of the bottom of the leaves.
- Selectable vanes directing the downwash offer a selection of dispersion techniques as is optimal for the specific crop being treated.
- Application speeds for Ag-Cormorant will vary from 100 knots down to a hover.
- Due to its internal, slow turning multi bladed fans, Ag-Cormorant’s noise level will be less than highway traffic from 250 meters, making it possible to work at night without disturbing neighboring farms.
PRESS RELEASE: Tactical Robotics’ Cormorant Achieves IDF Mission Demo Milestone
On May 7th, Tactical Robotics (a subsidiary of Urban Aeronautics Ltd), based in Yavne. Israel, successfully performed a ﬁrst “mission representative” demonstration for its lead customer, the Israel Defence Forces. This milestone was announced for the ﬁrst time today at the Israel Combat Rescue and Emergency Medicine conference where the company also presented Cormorant’s capability to be the ﬁrst UAS system ﬁelded for unmanned casualty evacuation missions.
The demo took place at Megiddo Airﬁeld in the Galilee and consisted of taking oﬀ with a load of cargo, preforming a pre-planned ﬂight to a speciﬁed point of delivery, oﬄoading the cargo, and loading of a specialized, medical training manikin simulating a casualty which was then returned to the point of origin. A monitor supplied by the IDF’s chief surgeon Trauma Branch (see Tactical Robotics’ May 2017 update) transmits vital information to the crews on the ground, in addition to a video camera for two-way communication with the patient. With the exception of the loading of the 'casualty’ and oﬀ-loading of cargo, the entire simulated mission was performed autonomously.
The demonstration, a combination of cargo delivery and casualty evacuation, reﬂects Cormorant’s unique dual-role capability as the only UAS recognized by NATO to fulﬁll both cargo delivery and CasEvac missions. As such, the aircraft is designed to exceed the standard reliability and handling qualities required of a typical, tactical UAS in order to meet the requirements to safely ferry human “cargo” back from the battleﬁeld.
Cormorant Megiddo Airfield May-July 2018 DemosCormorant CasEvac Loading
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While we are busy completing the installation of our new SafranHE Arriel 2 engine (which involves adapting our FCS software to accommodate the Arriel 2’s advanced fuel control) we received exciting news that Urban Aeronautics and Cormorant are featured in a lengthy article in the January/February issue of Veriflite Magazine (the quarterly publication of the American Helicopter Society (AHS)) and Cormorant is even on the cover! AHS is considered the world’s leading organization for the VTOL community and Vertiflite is its publication of record.The article is also available online at the AHS eVTOL site. While you’re there, check out the eVTOL news’ interview with Urban’s CEO, Rafi Yoeli on their YouTube channel..
We expect to complete the engine installation process and return to flight testing by the end of February.