Honeywell will supply its compact satellite communications system for Pipistrel’s Nuuva cargo drones, and is partnering with InfiniDome to develop GPS protection systems for applications including urban air mobility (UAM).
The announcements on Aug. 16 coincided with the first day of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Xponential trade show in Atlanta, Georgia, where Honeywell is an exhibitor. They reflect the aerospace supplier’s growing interest in the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and UAM markets, as exemplified by its creation of a dedicated business unit for those sectors last year.
Honeywell previously announced that it will supply its compact fly-by-wire system for Pipistrel’s Nuuva V300, a hybrid-electric cargo drone that is targeting a payload capacity of 460 kilograms (around 1,010 pounds) and range of more than 300 kilometers (185 miles). Honeywell is also providing its AH-2000 attitude heading reference system and air data module for the aircraft.
Honeywell will supply its small UAV satcom system not only for the V300, but also for Pipistrel’s other Nuuva model, the V20 — which will carry loads of up to 20 kg (44 lb.) — and fixed-wing Surveyor aircraft. Weighing only 1 kg (2.2 lb.), the system is designed to provide global coverage and real-time video streaming capabilities for aircraft that are too small to be equipped with conventional satellite communications systems.
“The addition of Honeywell’s small UAV satcom to our unmanned aircraft platforms unlocks global beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) connectivity for command-control, as well as mission-specific data relay,” Pipistrel CEO Ivo Boscarol stated in a press release. “Our customers will enjoy the ability to connect to their assets anytime, anywhere, without the need to set up elaborate ground-based BVLOS infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, Honeywell said it will work with the GPS security company InfiniDome to design a navigation platform that can “seamlessly handle loss or lack of GPS signals,” for use in UAM and other aircraft, drones, and surface vehicles. The platform will include hardware, software, and services, with an initial solution offering expected to be commercially available in the first half of 2022.
“In combining Honeywell’s best-in-class navigation sensors with leading-edge GPS resilience technology from InfiniDome, we’re working to develop a first-of-its-kind holistic solution built on tightly integrated layers of protection for all uses of navigation for unmanned air and ground vehicles,” stated InfiniDome CEO Omer Sharar.
“Intentional GPS jamming and spoofing incidents are on the rise, and this partnership will enable a rapid solution to this critical industry need,” added Matt Picchetti, Honeywell’s vice president and general manager for navigation and sensors. “This partnership will create world-class solutions that will help accelerate the future of flight, especially in urban areas.”