Avionics News January 2021 - 43

Drone Delivery Canada's Condor can lift
payloads of about 400 pounds and then
fly the cargo at 75 miles per hour.

Edwards Air Force Base, which will run through most of
2021. The RG-1 has a 55-foot wingspan and runs at close
to a ground idle power setting to conserve fuel to give it a
1,000-mile range.
The RG-1 will make use of off-the-shelf avionics,
including automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast and
the traffic alert and collision avoidance system. The aircraft
will also have its own customized landing zone clearance
system featuring LIDAR, radar, Iris Automation cameras
and artificial intelligence. A Garmin weather radar that
can detect objects at a distance will also be installed. The
aircraft is in the same price range as a Cessna SkyCourier
and can land and take off in places where that general
aviation aircraft can't operate, according to Sabrewing.
The U.S. Air Force has also experimented with a
robotically piloted Cessna 206 Stationair. The U.S. Air
Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force
Base, Ohio, and DZYNE Technologies Inc. of Fairfax,
Virginia, worked together to flight test the ROBOpilot
system added to the cockpit of a Cessna 206 starting in
August 2019. DZYNE is a small business specialized in
rapid design and demonstration of advanced unmanned
vehicles.
ROBOpilot is designed to temporarily convert a general
aviation aircraft like a Cessna or a Piper into an unmanned
air vehicle to fly autonomously. But the system can then be
removed to return the aircraft to its original configuration

so a human pilot can fly it again. The system is designed to
interact with the aircraft the same way a human pilot does.
ROBOpilot is installed by removing the pilot's seat. The
system can move the yoke, throttles, rudders, brakes and
flip switches while reading cockpit instruments. It uses
commercial off-the-shelf equipment to control actuators,
electronics, cameras, power systems and a robotic arm.
It relies on GPS and an inertial measurement unit for
situational awareness. The initial concept was first tested
in both nominal and off-nominal conditions in a Redbird
full-motion FMX simulator.
During the first series of flight tests in 2019, the Cessna
206 was damaged in a rough landing.
After a USAF Safety Investigation Board inquiry,
the team used the findings to develop a new version of
ROBOpilot to install in a different Cessna 206. A fourth
flight test conducted at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah
on Sept. 24, 2020, logged 2.2 hours and completed all test
objectives. The Air Force has not disclosed the cause of the
earlier mishap.
" ROBOpilot is too good an idea to let the mishap derail
the development of this technology, " said Marc Owens,
program manager for ROBOpilot at the AFRL's Center
for Rapid Innovation. CRI was set up in 2006 to allow
the government and industry to develop, test and deploy
innovative prototypes. The Air Force has not said how or if
ROBOpilot technology might be used. q
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Avionics News January 2021

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Avionics News January 2021 - Intro
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Avionics News January 2021 - Cover2
Avionics News January 2021 - 1
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Avionics News January 2021 - Cover3
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