Space Background Image

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Measurement Services for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Global Hawk flying environmental mapping missions in Latin America, CaribbeanUnmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, are remotely operated or autonomous aircraft used for a variety of military purposes. They can conduct surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeted strikes without risking human lives. UAVs come in various sizes and configurations, ranging from small tactical drones to large, long-endurance surveillance drones. Examples of UAVs include the MQ-9 Reaper and the RQ-4 Global Hawk.

Fall 2021 Newsletter Image Blade Balance

Physical Properties Systems

Mass properties instruments are used to measure and analyze the weight distribution, center of gravity, and moments of inertia of UAVs. These measurements are essential for ensuring the stability, maneuverability, and overall performance of the UAVs. Mass properties instruments help engineers optimize the design and balance of the UAVs and ensure their safe and efficient operation.

Products requiring these instruments include:

  • Airframe and structure
  • Cameras and Sensors
  • Propulsion Systems
  • Payloads
  • Batteries and Power Systems
  • Avionics and Communication Systems
  • Structural Modifications and Upgrades
Blade Balance
Hydraulic pressure calibrator hand pump Model 3666 automatic pressure calibration system

Pressure and Temperature Systems

UAVs operate in a wide range of environmental conditions and are subjected to various forces and torques during flight. Temperature, torque, and force measurement instruments are used to monitor and evaluate these parameters to ensure the safe and efficient operation of critical components on UAVs. Accurate measurements from these instruments help detect any abnormalities and allow for timely maintenance and repairs.

  • Motors and Propellers
  • Altitude and airspeed sensors
  • Payload release mechanisms
  • Landing Gear
  • Structural Components
  • Communication and Sensor Systems
Model 3666 automatic pressure calibration system
adts-3350er flight control systems test set adts-3300js

Avionics Systems

Air data test and calibration systems are used to test and calibrate the pitot tubes and static ports on the UAV. These instruments measure the pressure and temperature of the air surrounding the UAV to provide accurate airspeed, altitude, and other related data. The systems are used to test and calibrate the airspeed indicators on the UAV. These instruments measure the velocity of the UAV relative to the surrounding air and provide a visual indication of the UAV’s airspeed. Products requiring these systems include:

adts-3300js
RCS Image Ground to Air

RF Systems

Where applicable, Radar cross section (RCS) testing is used to assess and minimize the radar signature. By measuring and analyzing the RCS, engineers can optimize the design and materials used in UAVs to reduce their detectability by enemy radar systems. RCS testing helps enhance the stealth capabilities of UAVs and improves their survivability in combat situations.

Products requiring these instruments include:

  • Airframe and External Surfaces
  • Antennas
  • Payloads and Sensor Systems
  • Engine and Exhaust Systems
  • Internal Structures and Materials
  • Wing and Control Surfaces
sheathed thermocouple probes 64 Series QW-1C Heat Flux Transducer

Thermal Systems

Heat flux sensors, infrared radiometers, and thermocouples are used on UAVs to monitor and assess thermal conditions. They help detect and manage issues such as excessive heat generation, thermal stress, or cooling inefficiencies. By providing real-time temperature data and heat transfer measurements, these sensors contribute to the safe and effective operation of the UAVs’ propulsion systems, electronics, and other critical components.

Products requiring these instruments include:

  • Engines and Combustion Systems
  • Avionics and Electronics
  • Battery Systems
  • Payloads and Sensor Systems
  • Structures and Airframe
  • Environmental Monitoring
64 Series QW-1C Heat Flux Transducer