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Tilt-rotor Surveillance Tri-copter UAV

Technology Overview

We presents a tilt-rotor surveillance tricopter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to further enhance the strategies of Prevention, Deterrence, and Detection, law enforcement agencies. The UAV combines the design requirement of a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft with that of a multirotor copter. Its unique tilt rotor design enables a much higher cruise speed and range compared to conventional multirotor UAV, without losing hovering capabilities. This innovative design also supports a wide range of features such as waypoint navigation, first-person view cameras, and high resolution payload.  The modular approach also allows for different systems and payloads to be changed and installed based on the specific requirements of the mission. In comparison to existing products - mostly quadrotors, the tricopter is lower in cost and have a higher endurance capacities. Other key benefits include:

I. Small acoustic emission and small visual silhouette

II. Highly mobile with minimal preparation time for launch

III. Able to accommodate future upgrades and various sensor payloads

IV. Failsafe operations

This technology may be of interest to law enforcement agencies, police forces and/or security firms, both government and private, as well as civilians (hobbyist) and academics for educational purpose.

Technology Features & Specifications

Combining the design requirement of a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft with that of a multirotor copter, led to the development of a tilt-rotor tricopter. Our proposed tilt-rotor comprises of three rotors, i.e. tricopter. There are front pairs of rotors like other conventional tilt-rotor. However, there is an additional rotor at the tail to generate additional lift as well as provide augmented directional control. Tricopters are known for their high maneuverability and it has fewer rotors needed to provide lift sufficient for flight. With the proper control parameters set in place, its stability would not in any way pose as a disadvantage. Putting the advantages of two types of UAV together, a tilt-rotor tricopter is designed. The tilt-rotors also have advantages over other unconventional platforms such as flapping wing type UAVs, in the sense, that tilt-rotors can carry more payloads and manoeuvre easier than the latter. The tricopter s main feature is its rotating forward boom. This allows the two forward rotors to be tilted forward, greatly increasing the tricopter s forward speed and covering more distance in a shorter duration. This feature also gives the tricopter greater forward velocity, for the same power input, when compared to other multi-copters without tilted rotors. An autopilot module integrated with the tricopter gives it several autonomous capabilities such as waypoint navigation, return to launch and loiter. The tricopter also has a First-Person View system, with a day/night camera mounted on the platform. This allows the user to operate the platform beyond visual range, as well as the ability to conduct surveillance operations at any time, be it day or night.

Potential Applications

The Tilt-rotor Surveillance Tri-copter UAV will be able to assist law enforcement agencies in their monitoring and surveillance activities. The central idea is to reduce the occupational risk by duty officers during their work shifts. The UAV can be fully equipped with multifunctional cameras which may include thermal and infrared sensors. In addition, it can be outfitted with emergency deterrence systems such as bright lights and a PA system. It can also be used to broadcast audio messages. If the area of deployment is over water, the UAV can be made waterproof. The UAV can be operated remotely as well as fly autonomously through pre-selected waypoints.

Market Trends and Opportunities

This technology can be of interest to law enforcement agencies, police forces and/or security firms, either government or private, as well as civilians (hobbyist) and academics for educational purpose. Current existing products are mostly quadrotors, and typically have higher prices as well as reduced range and capabilities. The Tilt-rotor Surveillance Tri-copter UAV is superior to current operational models as it has increased range, and modular design to increase its operational flexibility.

Customer Benefits

The key benefit of this approach is to reduce the occupational hazard of law enforcement agents during their Prevention, Deterrence, and Detection duties. To fulfill the multiple requirements and needs associated with covert surveillance and monitoring, our tilt-rotor has the following cababilities:

I. Have small acoustic emission and small visual silhouette

II. Be reliable and require minimal maintenance

III. Be highly mobile with minimal preparation time for launch

IV. Have high endurance and range

V. Be able to accommodate future upgrades and various sensor payloads

VI. Be economical in resources

VII. Have failsafe operations

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