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News Release

The World’s First Automatic Shipboard Takeoff and Landing of Tiltrotor (UAV)

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  • Registration Date 2017-07-11
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The World’s First Automatic Shipboard Takeoff and Landing of Tiltrotor (UAV)
- Applicable for Fishery Detection and Monitoring of Illegal Fishing and Marine Safety in Addition to Land Uses -

□ The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) disclosed on July 10, 2017 that it had succeeded in the automatic shipboard takeoff and landing of a 200kg-class tiltrotor UAV (TR-60) at about 1:00 p.m. on July 7.

○ The successful flight was for a TR-60 to automatically taking off from a vessel (the training ship Badaro provided by the Korea Coast Guard) advancing at 10 knots; flying off the ship; and then safely landing on the advancing vessel again.

○ Unlike the landing on the ground, an advancing ship makes an environment that is unfavorable for taking off and landing due to the irregular shaking of the deck caused by waves and the unstable wake induced in the landing area due to ship movement. Despite such a bad condition, the TR-60 succeeded in the demonstration of automatic takeoff and landing on a moving ship for 10 consecutive times.

○ The key technology is the precise guidance and landing control of the UAV to the landing spot on the moving ship deck. To accomplish this, it is necessary to accurately measure the relative positions of the landing point on the ship and the UAV (the position of the UAV relative to the landing point on the ship), which are moving independently, and precisely guide the UAV so that the relative position becomes as close to 0 as possible at the moment of landing. The accurate measurement (with the error level of 5cm) of the relative positions of the landing point on the ship and the UAV was implemented with the RTK-GPS (Real Time Kinematics-GPS) technology.

□ It was the first time in Korea that a UAV succeeded in the automatic takeoff and landing on a moving ship; it was also the first time in the world that a tiltrotor UAV succeeded in the automatic takeoff and landing on a moving ship.

※ In the case of manned tiltrotor, the US-based Osprey model (V-22) is currently operating on ships.

□ The success of this flight test confirmed the possibility of shipboard operations of tiltrotor UAV in addition to ground operations, and lays the technical foundation to utilize tiltrotor UAV for various marine applications such as fishery detection monitoring of illegal fishing and marine safety.

○ Since it succeeded in the developing of a 1-ton class tiltrotor UAV (Smart UAV TR-100) in 2012, KARI has been developing the operational technologies for practical applications of a TR-60 jointly with Korean Air under the support of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (principal researcher Soohun Oh).
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