Unmanned FUTURE builds TODAY

Unmanned FUTURE builds TODAY
Design and development of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) from the beginning of this century have become more progressive sector of the global aviation industry. The costs of establishing new and modernization of existing ALS in continuous grow even in times of universal lowering business and industrial activity in the aircraft industry. The main engine of development of unmanned technologies were and remain the military. Meanwhile, the idea of ​​civilian applications of ALS not only discusses the extensive, but already being used in several projects, while mostly experimental, but with a natural commercial potential.

Commercial introduction of ALS: the inevitability of global

At the present stage of development of unmanned vehicles can be said that the market for commercial applications in the original ALS is being formed. And although the absolute amount of work characteristics while not high, the number of participants in continuous market grows, expands the geography and the number of applications by industry increases.

All documents adopted by international and national aviation authorities (ICAO, Eurocontrol, the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States, the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation), they say that the commercial operations of UAVs in general airspace considered as absolutely inevitable that requires understanding and regulation. So, in Circular 328 international organizations civilian Aviation Organization (ICAO), dedicated specifically the current situation and prospects of the development of ALS, in the section on promising applications BAS civilian purposes states that «The civilian UAS market already exists» and «ALS including excellent adapted to perform civilian work … that divine monotonous or terrible job as a pilot on board the aircraft. To the usual task of aerial surveillance include border and maritime patrol, search and rescue, Fisheries, forest fire detection, monitoring the progress of the emergency, the measurement of air pollution, traffic surveillance, inspection of power lines and pipelines and geophysical observations. «

What are drones?

From the standpoint of technical abilities drones already presently capable of doing all kinds of aerial work, except for the carriage of passengers. Note that modern aircraft engaged on intercontinental and regional air, controlled automatic 95% of the flight time. Modern communication systems and flight control, navigation aids and the organization and management of air traffic allow for an acceptable level of safety of air operations that do not require human presence on board.

Besides, such a fundamental parameter that determines the cost-effectiveness of the introduction of aircraft, the higher the duration of the flight, has long been limited to human physiological capabilities, abilities and not technology. Standard Time Spent in the air for production of certain classes of UAVs is currently exceeds 24 hours. UAV experimental hydrogen engines Phantom Eye, developed by Boeing, will be able to stay in the air for 4 days, and developed by Aerovironement stratospheric UAV concept «constant presence» Global Observer will be able to provide round the clock surveillance in the past week. . Ability to remain in the air for a long time is the main factor determining the economic efficiency of ALS.

ALS as a means of remote sensing and relaying

Discussing the topic of civilian applications of unmanned aircraft systems is fundamentally aware that complex UAV is not just a vehicle: it is an automatic system designed to solve a particular puzzle using motivated equipment installed on board. Such problems if handle large categories, two remote sensing of the Earth, including all forms of air monitoring, patrols and aerial photography as relaying signals of telecommunications systems.

Interesting to note that both of these puzzles are solved as systems based on the apparatus of cosmic. Because a number of foreign experts believe that ALS method implementation in almost all close satellite systems: they solve these puzzles, perform automatic flight in near-Earth space according trajectories controlled monitoring stations, exchange data with ground-based reception of information.

In solving the problems of remote sensing unmanned systems, in contrast to satellite facilities, are able to act locally, quickly and permanently, in other words to make the observation at a given time in a given place and stay there as much as allow media properties, and not the characteristics of the orbit of cosmic machine. Resolution of cosmic shooting data available to commercial customers, does not exceed 0.5 m, while even the most ordinary «drones» already currently provide resolution of 10 cm Shooting UAVs can be executed under the clouds that fundamentally critical for situational awareness in unavoidable situations.

UAVs currently being used as a limited telecommunications signal repeaters, but spetsy believe that with increasing duration of the flight of UAVs, and, most importantly, with the predictable increase in demand in the telecommunications (broadband, digital TV, web) relaying telecommunications signals may be, will be predominant use of commercial ALS.


What are the main reasons for the widespread introduction of ALS in Russian Federation? First — this is a large area, much of which is placed in inaccessible and sparsely populated areas.

Ensuring the country’s geopolitical interests involve the socio-economic development of the regions of Siberia and the Far East, the continued presence in the Arctic zone. Approved in this year’s Development Strategy Arctic zone anticipates development of a single Arctic transport system of Russia (including the resumption of regular cargo transit through the Northern Sea Route from the Pacific to Europe), the formation of competitive scientific and technological sector (including the development of hydrocarbon deposits in the Nordic regions and the Arctic shelf), the development of international cooperation and the preservation of the Arctic as a zone of peace.

Ice monitoring, environmental monitoring, geophysical and other intelligence support search and rescue operations: these tasks can be solved unmanned vehicles round the clock virtually all weather criteria and without risk to human life. The long duration of the flight allows to arrive in the area with patrol base airfield, located on the significant removal, and provide an opportunity constant presence in the Arctic region, the Far East coast, in the territorial waters and exclusive maritime economic zone.

Russian Federation border length is about 60 thousand kilometers, of which almost 38 thousand km maritime boundary forms (including 17 thousand km along the coast of the Pacific seas). Illegal fishing bioresources in the Far East basin causing great economic harm, the extent of which is not only not declining, but for certain objects fishery even grow. According to estimates of professionals, only the Pacific Basin yearly harm from illegal fishing bioresources (priemuschestvenno pollock and blue king crabs) exceeds $ 1.5 billion. As one of the main reasons for the existence of illegal fishing aquatic biological resources in the Far East basin is lacking efficiency and technological equipment operating in the RF system for their protection.

Unmanned aerial vehicles are built into the system to create a single disk imaging on the World Ocean (ESIMO), able to carry on round the clock patrolling throughout the exclusive economic zone of Russian Federation, territorial waters and shelf areas, providing detection and identification of intruders and other types of unauthorized activity with data on the coordinates of the best services for action.

Monitoring of pipeline transportation, as to diagnose and find unauthorized activity (so-called «frames»), detection and delimitation of forest fires, search and rescue operations and information support operations in the aftermath of man-made emergencies and natural manners collecting meteorological disk imaging — this is an incomplete list of aviation operations, in which unmanned machinery already proves its effectiveness.

Airmobile telecommunications platform, placed on an automatic aircraft carrier will provide the critical restoration of communication systems in the destruction of the ground infrastructure due to emergency situations already in the first few hours after receipt of distress, regardless of remoteness and accessibility of the area. Specifically with the project aimed at the development of promising civilian applications ALS specialists from Group «Transas» appealed to the Fund «Skolkovo» and received a positive conclusion of the expert board in the direction «of cosmic technology and telecommunications.»

Implementation difficulties

Answer presumptive question: if civilian drones at the technical level realizable and so effective why to this day not only in Russia, and the world is not wide applications of UAVs in civilian purposes?

The main problems causing this situation, in our opinion, the two, but both are being addressed.

First problem — the technical characteristics make for a truly efficient and reliable unmanned system only by enterprises with the knowledge of aeronautical engineering; access to advanced technologies in the field of aircraft structural materials, aerodynamics, automatic flight control systems, communication systems, in other words to all the technologies applicable in the modern aviation industry, also to the technology of remote sensing and geospatial data processing.

The prevailing opinion about the highest accident rate of UAVs is valid only partially against a huge number of unmanned systems made and exploited, in fact, amateur choirs. In support of this we present data from a report prepared in 2012, the research service of the U.S. Congress: According to the BBC, «the accident rate per 100 thousand fell to 7.5 hours for the Predator and Reaper to 16.4 in 2009. According to Air Force officers, Predator accident rate comparable to the F-16 and achieves magnitude 8.2, such as for small single-engined private aircraft. «

Second problem — is underdeveloped regulatory framework, including regulatory issues unmanned systems development, certification and regulation of their production operations in general airspace aircraft without crew on board.

Design standards of unmanned systems developed at the Central Institute aerohydrodynamical. NE Zhukovsky (TsAGI). The real point in the main finalized airworthiness for aircraft type UAV takeoff weight up to 150 kg, are developing standards for more languid class. Certification basis for unmanned systems purposefully built on the basis of existing aviation rules AP23. Adding configurations in this document is maintained by the Aviation Register of Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC AR).

As previously stated, international and national aviation authorities are actively working on the creation of the legal framework to ensure the UAV flying in general airspace. U.S. president last year signed a bill directing the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure the integration of UAS into the national airspace place by 2015. ICAO and Eurocontrol international organizations working working group on integration of UAS dilemmas in EU air space. Created and implemented a roadmap envisages by 2028 «Distribution of UAS operations in non-segregated airspace, including commercial air transport, cargo and mail transportation.» In the Russian Federation on the final stage of approval is brand new edition of the Air Code, taking into account the specifics of the implementation of unmanned systems.

Normative conflict

The main imperative in the development of rules and regulations is to maintain the existing level of safety, which seems completely natural. In all this there is a risk of mechanical transfer of existing requirements (certification and others) used to manned aviation equipment on unmanned, without taking into account the specifics of UAVs. Fundamental difference between the approaches to security in manned and unmanned sun lies in the fact that in the case of UAVs need to ensure the safety of people outside the aircraft (on Earth or on other Sun). Because, without denying the need to implement security standards, pay attention that the absolute performance of all existing requirements for manned aircraft for UAV is at the technical level unfeasible (for example, the availability of documents of the crew on board the aircraft).

Another fundamental problem is the safety of aircraft collision avoidance. Here it is necessary to emphasize two pitfalls. First relates to the technical measures and organizational measures to prevent collisions. In the current time has been developed and is being implemented, the system of automatic dependent surveillance broadcast type (ADS-B), based on the application of modern technology of satellite navigation (GLONASS and GPS) and digital radio. Airborne and ground applications of ADS-B can send and bring the disk imaging of each member of the air traffic in a particular sector of air space to all participants and ground-based organizations and air traffic management (ATM). So makarom implemented the principle of «everyone sees everyone.» In the U.S., the implementation of programs from the integration of UAS into the national airspace place based specifically on the application of this technology. In Russia, the main developer of the concept of introduction of ADS-B is the Municipal Research Institute of Aviation Systems (Research Institute AS). Particularly in Russia in May 2011, were organized and conducted GosNII AU with the role of the «Transas» First in the world to fly UAS common airspace with manned aircraft. Later, similar experiments were performed in the U.S. and Europe, but the value of our country recorded in ICAO documents. So makarom there development, capable of providing non-hazardous fly UAVs in general airspace, and in Russia there is the experience of its implementation. In 2010 in Russia was adopted by municipal funds Programm implementation of ADS-B for 2011-2020.

Another nuance are territorial and geographical features of the Russian Federation is relatively low intensity of air traffic over the country. Aircraft flights are carried out on the so referred to as «corridors». Relatively saturated movement exclusively in the area of ​​the Metropolitan TMA, all other countries airy space is substantially free of air traffic. With this in mind, you can find Russia as a country that is very suitable to fly ALS.

As it should, at the technical level and the organizational implementation fly UAVs in general airspace feasible, and our country has all chances to become a world leader in this process. Developed brand new legal and regulatory framework should take into account the ability to provide a wide territory of our country, its infrastructure features and current and future geopolitical challenges, stimulating the civilian implementation of ALS in the interests of satisfaction growing needs of aviation services. Copying approaches of other countries, the introduction of unnecessary for our country restrictions on the introduction of ALS certainly hamper the development of this promising innovatorskogo direction.

One solution would be to devote air zones established for the pilot operation of unmanned aircraft, of course, under the control of air traffic, and with the latest technology of automatic dependent surveillance.

Russian experience

One of the most active Russian players in this market, aimed specifically at the development of practical implementation of UAS in civilian sector, the Group is «Transas» (St. Petersburg).

Wide stock of knowledge and technological expertise, the accumulated during work on ALS military purposes, allow the company to put itself ahead of the principal tasks to create inclusive solutions for the civilian implementation of ALS through development of a service in close contact with potential customers and municipal authorities. In «Transas», emphasizing the many years of experience developing, manufacturing and applications of ALS, including pilot survey in the interest of commercial entities and municipalities (complexes Series «Watch», «owl»), initiated the development of an unmanned aircraft system of long duration flight to perform civilian aerial works. Conducted feasibility studies, which allowed to find the basic requirements for a promising unmanned systems.

The main parameters are the mass of the payload and the longest duration of the flight. Aircraft type aircraft takeoff weight to 1,200 kg, can carry up to 300 kg of equipment can solve puzzles observations in the optical and thermal spectra of high resolution aerial photography and multispectral imaging, laser scanning (LIDAR), meteorological research, radar sensing and telecommunications. By the time held true design and aerodynamic calculations, which allowed to find the form and the main functional properties of the unmanned vehicle.

Developed UAV would be automatic at all steps of the flight and based on the airfield. Owning Stay in the air for more than 24 hours, such apparatus for international ordering belongs to the class of medium-, long-duration flight (eg, MALE — medium altitude long endurance). A single-engine layout and use helical propeller provides economical operation of UAVs with a low compared with similar manned aircraft and helicopters flying hour cost. Note that a hypothetical manned unit with similar functionality is required to have a takeoff weight of about 4 tons and a wingspan of more than 30 meters with a suitable increase in the price of the aircraft and its operation.

Commercial ALS — the solution can be

Despite the complexity of the technical tasks, and a huge number of as yet unresolved institutional and regulatory problems, civilian use of UAS without any doubt is a transition to a further processing stage in the development of many industries. Group «Transas» confident in the prospects for unmanned vehicles, and possessing the necessary technological and intellectual resources to invest in the development of these technologies are already at the moment. The company has no hesitation that principle, but on a technical level, the project feasible unmanned aircraft system civilian mission will be implemented, and needs in various fields of the industry, telecommunications, security and livelihoods.

As a result of technological breakthroughs, it has happened over the last couple of years in the development of unmanned aerial systems, mass civilian commercial introduction of UAVs not look bewildering story of the future. Our country has all the necessary resources to take a position in a number of world leaders promising innovatorskogo destinations in the world aviation industry: the development, production and deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles. Techno, organizational and legal preparations for this process should be carried out now.

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