AgustaWestland is invested in developing Rotary Wing Unmanned Air Systems (RUAS), capable of remotely piloted flight and mission execution.
Applications for RUAS include the so called ‘3D’ jobs; (Dull, Dirty and Dangerous). These can include Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance over land and maritime battlefield environments, in support of homeland security and law enforcement operations, coastal and border patrol, environmental monitoring, ground survey and mapping, disaster / damage assessment and logistics and cargo supply.
RUAS’s are capable of performing all-weather, day and night missions, offering long endurance and covering wide areas, ensuring the safety of operators at reduced acquisition and operating costs.
PZL-Świdnik (AgustaWestland, Poland), is developing the SW-4 Solo Rotorcraft Unmanned Air System/Optionally Piloted Helicopter (RUAS/OPH) based on the EASA certified SW-4 light single helicopter.
The development programme will validate the SW-4 Solo unmanned Integrated Flight Management System (FMS), Flight Control System (FCS) and Digital Autopilot fully coupled with a precision navigation system. RUAS/OPH technology will be applicable to both SW-4 and other AgustaWestland rotary wing platforms in the future.
The flight test programme will demonstrate Remote Engine Start-up/Shutdown capability, Auto Take-off / Landing capability, Flight Management, Precision Navigation, Autorotation capability and Lost Link management. Automatic safety features are implemented in the Flight Control System including autorotation in the event of engine failure, ground avoidance through safety height protection, torque protection, vortex ring protection, and wind protection.
The command and control (C2) system comprises a Narrow Band Line of Sight (LOS) Data-Link for C2 and Wide Band LOS Data Link for Payload Imagery and Data plus a back-up for C2.
The SW-4 Solo is remotely piloted using a Ground Control Station (GCS) that provides platform and payload management. The operator prepares the mission using a Flight Planning interface based on a DTED map. Flight and status information is provided to the operator through a multi page system. The operator is always in the loop by activating each mission phase. Mission plans can be updated via the C2 data link.
The SW-4 Solo is capable of performing a number of roles, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), and cargo re-supply. In piloted configuration, the SW-4 can undertake a number of activities, including surveillance, intervention and transportation of personnel. It can be fitted with comprehensive communications, mission equipment and sensors.