Last week’s TM Forum Smart City In Focus Conference in Yinchuan, China has now seen urban aerial surveillance apabilities, and that the surveillance is a crucial element in the information mosaic required for any smart city of the future. The tilt-rotor UAV is also combined with virtues of a helicopter., which are vertical-take-off and landing and the ability to hoiver and monitor from an aerial vantage point.
This “best of both worlds” capability is not without precedence in the UAV world, but the only working unmanned aircraft with tilt-rotor capabilities prior to now have been the Korean Aerospace Research Institute’s TR-100 and TR-60 experimental UAVs, bot of which are considerably larger than the offering from Unique Aero-Tech Corporation (UATC).
That’s the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) TR-60 pictured below, and although the aircraft’s initial application is primarily seen as a tool for defense, the roadmap for future deployment encompasses monitoring power lines, roads and other infrastructure.
Development of the Korean Aerospace Research Institute’s VTOL UAVs has been underway since 2002 and the latest TR-60 now offers six hours of flight time, highlighting just how special the 16-kg (35-lb) UATC (pictured above – 16 kg includes 6 kg payload) is in that it achieves a six-hour flight duration with a fuel cell power system and no toxic emissions.
The environmental pollution measurements are gathered by eight different on-board sensors and transmitted in real time, along with the GPS co-ordinates of the aircraft, for what the Yinchuan Government is terming “environmental forensics.”