Unmanned Systems Technology Dec/Jan 2020 | Phoenix UAS | Sonar focus | Construction insight | InterGeo 2019 | Supacat ATMP | Adelan fuel cell | Oregon tour | DSEI 2019 | Copperstone Helix | Power management focus

70 A mong the lakes and mountains of Oregon might not be where you’d expect to find one of the world’s largest concentrations of hi-tech UAV component producers. But having been the birthplace of UAS trailblazer Insitu 25 years ago, ‘the Beaver State’ is now home to a vast ecosystem of engineers developing the next wave of propulsion systems, electronics and payloads designed for unmanned aircraft. To find out more, UST visited as many of the UAV tech companies as possible over several days. Orbital UAV The first leg of the journey was to Hood River, where engine manufacturer Orbital UAV’s US facility is located. The Australian company is behind much of the development and maintenance of the N20 engine (first featured in UST 8, June/ July 2016), the direct injection multi-fuel engine used in Insitu’s UAVs, from the legacy ScanEagle to the ScanEagle3 unveiled at AUVSI Xponential last year. “Under Orbital UAV’s continuous improvement philosophy, the latest N20 iteration has more power, lower drag and more functionality for supporting payloads,” said Todd Alder. “If you’re looking to carry more payload weight in a UAV design, all three of those are paramount.” The company is promoting its heavy fuel-capable engines in terms of extended TBOs, sub-two-minute cold start and superior reliability – and every engine is certified to the FAR Part 33 manned vehicle airworthiness standards for engines. “If UAVs are going to be part of the national airspace, delivering packages over towns or running persistent surveys over bridges and power lines, more Rory Jackson returns from the hi-tech hotbed of Oregon with details of updates from some of the major UAV providers Flying on their own wings December/January 2020 | Unmanned Systems Technology Orbital UAV’s US facility provides critical engine support to leading UAS companies such as Insitu and Textron (Courtesy of Orbital UAV)