Engineers at Martin UAV LLC in Rohnert Park, Calif., will incorporate Wave Relay mobile ad hoc network(MANET) technology from Persistent Systems LLC in New York into the company’s V-BAT small, vertical takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), also commonly called an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) or drone. The companies have entered into a five-year partnership.
“The military requires a smaller footprint for takeoff and landing, while also needing larger payloads and longer range,” Martin UAV Chief Operating Officer Phil Jones explains. “Using the V-BAT VTOL with the MPU5 and the Wave Relay MANET will enable us to meet all these requirements.”
Persistent’s Embedded Module integrated onto the Martin UAV V-BAT VTOL system enables operators to switch rapidly between different radio-frequency (RF) modules – L-Band, S-Band, C-Band, and BAS-Band – to meet multiband RF mission requirements.
As part of the Wave Relay ecosystem, Martin UAV’s systems seamlessly connect to any Wave Relay-enabled UAS, unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), sensor, and camera, officials say. Users of Persistent’s MPU5 handheld MANET radio will be able to interface with the V-BAT as well as other unmanned systems on the network.
“Persistent’s vision is to deliver the network to tactical operators. As Martin UAV incorporates Wave Relay MANET technology into the V-BAT, dismounted users gain an airborne network relay, while simultaneously increasing the V-BAT’s overall range and network performance,” adds Louis Sutherland, vice president of business development for Persistent Systems.
Martin’s V-BAT series aircraft is the only single-engine, ducted-fan VTOL with the ability to take off and land from a hover, fly 8-plus hours in horizontal flight, and make midflight transitions to “hover and stare” at any time throughout a given mission set, officials say. The company’s V-BAT UAS is a true VTOL, not a hybrid, capable of multimission transitions, near 100kt dash speed in a mechanically simple, scalable, payload-agnostic design, they add.