The Prioria Robotic’s Maveric is a single-man portable and operable, immediate launch capable, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed as a high-performance, next-generation platform for small and miniature UAV operations. Capitalizing on advanced composite materials and patented technology, Maveric’s bendable wings allow for the unparalleled ability to store a fully assembled airframe in a 6-inch (150 mm) tube. This unique airframe design, combined with Prioria’s proprietary on board, collision-avoidance processing platform, Merlin, gives Maveric the ability to fly in complex environments.
Maveric can be deployed immediately with no assembly, and with a dash speed of 55 knots, it delivers a rapid, “eyes on-target and tracking” performance. Cursor on target (CoT) compliant capabilities provide a point-and-click feature for operators to acquire and follow a target, while the unique power distribution board allows Maveric to also fly “stealthy” by not emitting camera RF until the operator decides. Designed as the first smart, customizable SUAS, Maveric utilizes Prioria’s proprietary processing platform, Merlin, to enable image processing and vision-based control to be performed on board and aims to reduce reliance on ground station communication. This unique airframe design combined with the Merlin “brain” gives Maveric the ability to operate and execute missions more effectively and surgically in more complex environments.
Maveric is capable of fully autonomous operation from launch to landing. It can also be flown manually by a novice human pilot via a simple joystick under autopilot assistance. Maveric does not need a human pilot to fly it, only an operator to define mission parameters (e.g., waypoints, orbit positions, landing point, etc.) within easy to use map-based planning software. When an operator wants to deploy Maveric, he / she merely (1) pulls it from the tube, (2) powers it on, (3) checks sensors, and (4) throws to launch. This allows Maveric to be deployed at a moment’s notice. And it can be launched and flown from a lying-down position.
With Maveric, recovery is easy. Its landing location is an operator-defined GPS location. When under manual joystick control, a button can be pressed to initiate a deep-stall landing. If the mission changes mid-flight, waypoint dragging-and-dropping allows Maveric to quickly accept new instructions. Fail-safes ensure safe retrieval in the case of lost communication, lost GPS signal, or low battery.
Maveric was designed specifically for operation by a single user in a military, tactical setting. To accomplish this goal, the airframe had to be small and light enough (2 lbs) for a single user to transport, but required large enough wings (28 inches) to support the weight of the batteries, cameras, and electronics sufficient for up to one hour of flight-time. Typical UAS in the same class rely on large, removable wings, which require additional storage, and also some amount of assembly and disassembly time during a mission.
To overcome these issues of portability and assembly time Maveric employs a bendable-wing design, based on advanced composite materials. This design allows for Maveric’s wings, which are large enough to meet the desired operational requirements to collapse and wrap around its fuselage and be placed in a 6-inch-diameter (150 mm) tube, while remaining in a fully assembled state. This has two advantages. It allows the aircraft to be stored in a much smaller space, and it makes the aircraft capable of immediate launch on removal from storage. Furthermore, due to the strength and durability of these advanced materials, Maveric is able to fly and complete more missions with minimal downtime.
While the bendable-wing has obvious advantages while Maveric is still on the ground, it demonstrates additional benefits while in flight. Small UAS perform at flight speeds and weights making them susceptible to sustained and gusting winds. This is especially problematic when winds exceed the flight speed capabilities of the UAS. The flexible surface of the Maveric’s bendable-wings provides a dampening mechanism, called “adaptive washout” that reduces the effect of wind gusts, and smoothes overall flight performance. This can increase flight stability and result in improved control and video stabilization.
Beyond increased flight stability; the Maveric’s bendable-wings provide a degree of biological camouflage. The fuselage and wing are constructed of rugged, ultra-light, black carbon fiber. Furthermore, the wing utilizes batons and rip-stop fabric. These portions of the wing resemble extended, feathered bird wings. From beyond 100 meters, Maveric’s electric motor is silent. Thus, while in flight the Maveric appears very much like a bird.
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|USA||Prioria Robotics||Gainesville, Florida||http://www.prioria.com|