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74 E very two years, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre hosts the Unmanned Systems Exhibition & Conference (UMEX). Here, private and government agencies from across the Middle East and surrounding countries seek the latest technological advancements towards automating and expanding their operations across air, land and sea. The 2018 event saw 122 companies from 34 nations converge on the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. Robot Aviation from Norway showcased multiple UAVs including its FX450 craft, which is designed principally for MALE-class EO/ IR surveillance missions, and for which the company is planning to conduct a number of flight tests and demonstrations throughout 2018. “We’re going to integrate new data links into the FX450, and fly it in an Arctic environment, in the far north of Norway,” said Niklas Nyroth. “With a 100 kg capacity for payload and fuel on a 180 kg aircraft, you can either choose to have an extreme endurance – more than 20 hours – or a really heavy payload and fly it for maybe eight to ten hours.” The company is currently evaluating engines from two European manufacturers. “One is a belt drive engine – lower rpm on the prop but higher pitch – and the other one is a two-cylinder boxer with a smaller propeller and higher rpm, and we’ll be looking to see which provides the better performance for us,” Nyroth said. “When you’re aiming to fly for 20 hours, the slightest edge in engine performance Rory Jackson reports from the recent UMEX event in Abu Dhabi with his highlights of the unmanned vehicles and systems that were on display Arabian oasis April/May 2018 | Unmanned Systems Technology UMEX is the only dedicated unmanned systems and technologies exhibition and conference in the Middle East