This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
Will commercial ships be able to operate unmanned air systems (UAS) from their decks to fight piracy? The problem is complicated but an Israeli company has disclosed first details of a system that will enable the recovery of fixed wing unmanned air systems (UAS) aboard ships.
The system is based on an in flight cable connection to a structure extended off board.
According to the company, owned by Meir Yoffe, the inventor, after the UAS is hooked to the end of the cable, it is designed to perform a special maneuver and at its end, the cable pulls it back – enforcing contact with a suitable securing collection plate.
According to the company, the UAS is designed to be launched either by booster or by pneumatic rail. The latter function possibly integrated with the recovery function, further reduces the deck room requirement.
According to the company, the invention is aimed specifically at UAS’s that need clearance for their large wingspan, normally the case with endurance types, and for higher specified sea states where an unsterilized system is not good enough. The stabilization is enabled by the light weight of the system.
The company says that the new proposed system will enable a new concept of Point-Take Off and Landing,(PTOL) adding to the known STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) and VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing).
High seas piracy has become a problem in some parts of the world mainly in Africa and the use of a UAS equipped with an optical payload is considered one of the sensors that can foil an attack.