A high speed, highly maneuverable unmanned aircraft developed for a unique Australian tracking and guidance system has been successfully demonstrated to the defense community at the Dick Smith Private Airfield at Canberra.
The flight demonstration last week of the Cybird-2 aircraft by ADI Limited and Turbo Jet Technologies of Perth follows groundbreaking DSTO research into understanding insect vision and how insects such as the honeybee detect objects on the ground.
The research has produced techniques for detecting and tracking moving targets against background clutter and has attracted significant international interest.
To ensure the technology remains in Australia and available to the Australian Defence Force, DSTO and ADI are providing the funding for an R&D program to demonstrate its feasibility for tracking, navigation and guidance systems.
Using an earlier version of Cybird, the biomimetic (insect vision based) algorithm developed by DSTO has been successfully tested by DSTO and ADI in tracking a moving target traveling at low speed across the ground.
The turbo-jet powered Cybird 2 will be used next month to track a target towed across the ground at Woomera. The aircraft’s speed and maneuverability will enable a demanding demonstration of this innovative tracking system and will provide the basis for future applications of interest to Defence.
Cybird-2 has a maximum speed of 420 km/hr, wingspan of 2.5m, is 3.2m long and has 90 minutes endurance. It can be used as a target drone or as a high speed, low endurance tactical unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV). The aircraft and engine have been developed by Turbo Jet Technologies to demonstrate the full capabilities of the biomimetic algorithm.
Aircraft Developed For Unique Tracking System