Fully autonomous retrieval, turnaround, and launch for a long-endurance UAV with VTOL capability

Period of Performance: 09/27/2011 - 03/28/2012


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Aerovel Corporation
83 Oak Ridge Rd
White Salmon, WA 98672
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Washington
Department of Aeronautics&Astronautics, Box 352250
Seattle, WA 98195
Institution POC


We propose to develop techniques and equipment for fully automated retrieval, refueling/ recharging, and relaunch of Aerovel s Flexrotor. Our method would be suitable for use on a small platform such as a boat in a choppy sea. It would allow the ground-handling cycle to be performed remotely with no manual intervention, and so enable extended missions through remote unattended sites. Planned work includes demonstration of autonomous turnaround on land, and optionally at sea. These could be followed in Phase III by a demonstration of Flexrotor s long range and autonomy, with a circuit between the west coast and Hawaii including a fully-automatic refueling stop.