H2020 717915 – EXTREMDRON

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H2020_Extremdron2

H2020-SMEINST-1-2015

DRS-17-2015-1

SME-1

Proposal: 717915

Proposal Acronym: EXTREMDRON

AERDRON has been actively developing an aerial monitoring solution called the EXTREMDRON, which operates in extreme environmental conditions like fire, nuclear radiation, industrial chemical fires/spills, and strong electromagnetic fields. These types of extreme conditions would keep other UAVs grounded during critical security (terrorism) and emergency situations. The EXTREMDRON project objective was to develop disruptive technologies that respond to industry needs which are currently not met.

ED1-Extremdron AERDRON test

Problems being addressed:

The commercial UAVs available on the market today, do not have the capability nor the technologies developed to operate in extreme environments. The limitations of these commercially available UAV products are the following:

  • The materials used are not suited for high temperature operating environments. These UAVs have structural temperature limitations (<140C) that are not suited for operations in close proximity to fires.
  • The aircraft structures are not designed with an electromagnetic/radiation shielding barrier to protect the onboard electronics systems.
  • The aircrafts flight envelope is not designed to fly in high temperature and low density air. Multirotors (helicopter type) and other high power to weight ratio aircraft platforms cannot operate due the low power that is generated in these extreme environments.
  • The aircrafts are not designed to incorporate an onboard cooling system so that the electronics and payloads do not exceed the operating temperature limits.

The EXTREMDRON provides an aerial monitoring platform for security agencies to analyze data, identify threats, and measure dangerous airborne substances in areas which may be rendered hazardous or inhabitable. The EXTREMDRON provides a means to identify and quantify these dynamic threats by rapidly deploying an UAV aircraft to areas under distress.

The UAV products available have been designed for either the hobby market, or professional applications that do not require flight operations in extreme conditions. The EXTREMDRON project will address these technology voids, and will adapt our current EXTREMDRON so that it can be evaluated during the Phase II validation activities.

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The vulnerability of nuclear plants to terrorist attacks are of great concern to authorities. Critical targets such as nuclear power facilities, civilian research reactors, industrial processing plants, military fuel facilities, uranium enrichment plants, and even uranium mines are vulnerable to attacks which could lead to widespread radioactive contamination.

Inspecting nuclear power plants and adjacent areas after an accident is vital to protect populations, water supplies, agricultural areas and infrastructures. The EXTREMDRON will be equipped with radiation detectors to detect X-ray and gamma particles to map the radiation contamination levels in a pre-defined airspace volume. The data would help response teams predict exposure levels and to calculate the spread of radioactivity more accurately.

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Europe and the world face increasing security threats against its civilians and critical/soft infrastructure targets, and new technologies must be developed in the coming years to create a counterforce multiplier. Security and police force teams are stretched to their maximum manpower capacities; the EXTREMDRON would provide additional security capabilities for extreme situations and environments in which manned surveillance can pose risk or death.

The EXTREMDRON will be equipped with the latest sensor technologies to measure the air quality levels and to detect hazardous compounds. Identifying the presence of these dangerous materials and categorizing the HAZMAT levels over large urban areas in a timely manner is critical to protect civilian populations.

EXTREMDRON-717795-EMF

The EXTREMDRON will be upgraded to operate in a high electromagnetic field/radio (EMF/EMR) environments to address additional market applications. For this application, the use of high temperature materials and radiation shielding is not a design requirement. EMF/EMR transmissions create interference issues with GPS receivers, autopilot systems, and wireless data modems. These interference issues have been responsible for the loss and crashes of many UAVs attempting to fly in these type of environments. The EXTREMDRON design objective is to shield the onboard electronics for security monitoring missions near power stations, communication stations, dams, power distribution centers, and power lines. These infrastructures are critical to provide power and communications to municipalities. The EXTREMDRON can also be deployed for infrastructure inspections, surveillance monitoring, and security missions.

EXTREMDRON-717795-Fire_Ship-l

EXTREMDRON project aims to develop innovative new materials, radiation barriers, thermal coatings, cooling systems, and hybrid composite panel designs. The EXREMDRON will be exposed to extreme environments that will require materials to perform at levels beyond what is currently used for UAV applications. The EXTREMDRON will be the first commercial UAV to utilize advanced aerospace materials specifically designed for extreme heat, nuclear radiation, and electromagnetic shielding applications. AERDRON will perform extensive material engineering, fabrication of test samples, and conduct an extensive testing program during Phase II to validate the material designs.