At the Paris Air Show today (18 June 2013), Cassidian is launching a research programme to develop future UAS technologies. The project, called ‘Sagitta’, will conduct basic research into future unmanned aerial systems. With Sagitta, Cassidian is opting for an approach known as ‘open innovation’, under which research will be conducted in cooperation with German universities and institutes.
‘Sagitta is a perfect example of cooperation between industry, research institutes and universities in the field of high technology and future-oriented research,’ said Aimo Buelte, head of research & technology at Cassidian. ‘Our goal with Sagitta is to raise our knowledge of unmanned aerial systems to the next level, because UAS are the future of aviation.’
The Sagitta project includes the construction of a flight demonstrator, the purpose of which is to verify the validity and feasibility of the theoretical research results. Flights with the Sagitta flight demonstrator are scheduled for 2014.
The reference configuration for the research work is a tailless flying wing with a wingspan of 12 metres. The demonstrator will initially be built on a scale of 1:4. The first wind tunnel tests have already been successfully completed.
Sagitta is concerned with a total of seven research areas of UAS development:
- preliminary aircraft design aerodynamics
- flight control systems
- communications and data processing
- vision-based flight control and air-to-air refuelling
- materials and structure
- autonomous flight and mission control
- simulation and systems integration.