The Sparrowhawk is a scalable, modular, ram-air chute, micro unmanned aerial vehicle and aerial delivery system that provides a viable solution to a variety of mission needs, including, but not limited to, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR), communications, communications relay, and emergency supply delivery. The UAV has a ram-air chute/canopy with camouflaged fuselage and an electric counter-rotating ducted-fan propulsion system or open propeller design, depending on mission needs. The Sparrowhawk can be tube-launched (ducted fan version) or hand-launched by one individual.
The lower area of the fuselage contains the EO/IR camera system. The upper section contains the propulsion system and servos for canopy control. Above the camera compartment is the Flight Management Computer (FMC). Covering the payload end is a 3” clear acrylic dome, designed to house a pan-tilt color high-resolution color camera that can be “slaved” to mission goggles and will pan and tilt with the movement of the users head, similar to the Apache helicopter turret. It is equipped with full symbology and GPS, as well as an interactive ground control station. The modular design of the Sparrowhawk allows it to be configured with a variety of different payloads, built into the nose, or payload section of the system. The specific payload is dependent on the particular mission, and because of the modularity, the payload can be changed rapidly by the single operator.
The operation of the payload is done by the single operator using the remote control system. There are several combined EO/IR cameras on the market currently which are integrated into a modular package and connected via the data link to provide a live feed to the ground operator, or multiple receivers within line of sight of the Sparrowhawk.
The Sparrowhawk was designed specifically to be:
• Flown by most anyone, whether they are trained in unmanned aircraft or not with minimal introduction training
• Easy to deploy and recover
• Easy to use, minimal flight inputs – left and right joystick, power and tilting motor for ascending and descending
The basic design of the Sparrowhawk lends itself to fewer possibilities of mishaps/broken parts in the field (no wings, minimal moving parts). With no wings, and minimal moving parts, risk is reduced significantly. If there ever becomes a need for a minor repair, a repair kit is available as part of the UAS system.