This post provides a summary of UCARR, a planned research proposal that is being worked up to be submitted to one of the UK government Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) funding programmes.
This proposal is intended to demonstrate how unmanned systems can be used for logistics and cargo carrying in regions where the road transport infrastructure is poor or interrupted by natural features such as bodies of water and hills/ mountain ranges. The intention is to prove that an economic and viable UK supply chain can be built around the business of small (under 150kg) unmanned cargo aircraft.
- To develop a fixed wing system capable of economically carrying a 50kg payload over a 100km range (initially a 20kg capable demonstrator is proposed)
- Prove the viability of the associated airspace management and control issues
- Gain operational experience for an extended period
- Demonstrate how operational risks can be minimised flying beyond line of sight
- To further develop the certification and operational permission procedures around unmanned cargo systems
It may be possible to hit the next ATI funding round; this deadline is January 2015 which means an outline proposal needs to be put together by the end of the year. This proposal is for a 24 month research project.