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UAAVs get a lift

Leicestershire-based three-dimensional white light measurement specialist Phase Vision has helped Peterborough-based AESIR in the development of its latest generation of high performance unmanned autonomous airborne vehicles (UAAVs).

Easily mistaken for a flying-saucer, AESIR's craft exploit the Coanda effect, whereby fast-moving air over a circular aerofoil section creates both downward thrust and a low-pressure zone creating lift. The AESIR technology allows vertical take-off and landing and a larger payload capability than similar fixed-wing UAVs. The hover and high-speed capability of the craft, combined with the latest on-board camera, image recognition and GPS technology make for a formidable military and law enforcement tool.

The main challenge AESIR faced was improving the vehicle flight time. Although part of the design challenge could be addressed with advanced battery technology, a radical redesign of the turbofan was also needed to both increase efficiency and reduce weight. Phase Vision Quartz scanners enabled rapid part-to-CAD conversion, allowing AESIR to quickly prototype, re-engineer and test the complex fan shape before transferring the model to its carbon fibre supplier for manufacture.

Steve Potter, Head of Development at AESIR, commented: "Phase Vision's white light scanners provided a much higher surface resolution than we could have obtained from alternative measurement systems. We needed to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of the turbofan design and the complexity of the surface shape together with tight delivery deadlines for a large military client made white light scanning the ideal solution."

Press release issued by on June 3, 2011


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