Brock Technologies Makes Video and C2 Easier
A large portion of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) utilize two different data links during mission execution. One data link typically provides the Command and Control (C2) interface and the second provides the video downlink for the onboard payload. Brock Technologies, Inc. has eliminated the need to have two separate data links with the announcement of their latest product, the BTECH NANO Digital Data Link (DDL). The BTECH NANO DDL enables users to integrate video and C2 for their small UAS via single, low cost, light-weight package. The compact architecture reduces the complexity and weight of wiring making the BTECH NANO DDL perfect for small UAS. It is compatible with a variety of commercially available small UAS products including the Cloud Cap Technology Piccolo and TASE gimbal product lines as well as the Procerus Kestrel and Perceptor gimbal product lines. In addition, the BTECH NANO DDL can be used with systems like the Ardupilot or other standalone products such as those for Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) or Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV), making it an affordable option for a large market space. The single serial port and a single video input port make integration of the BTECH NANO DDL straight forward for many applications. The BTECH NANO DDL is optionally delivered in a lightweight aluminum enclosure, but can also be purchased without an enclosure to satisfy customers with extreme volume or weight requirements.
Input Power: 7.0V-36.0V
Weight: 64g w/o enclosure 118g with aluminum enclosure
L x W x H: 3in x 2in x 1in
Compatibility: Piccolo Autopilot, Kestrel Autopilot, TASE Gimbal, Proceptor Gimbal, ArduPilot or as a Stand Alone datalink
Video Input: (1) NTSC/PAL composite, 75 Ω
Video Compression: H.264 (HP@L3), Motion JPEG
Video capture resolutions: 704x480, 352x240, 176x120 (NTSC)
640x480, 320x240, 160x120 (NTSC)
720x480, 360x240, 180x120 (NTSC)
704x576, 352x288, 176x144 (PAL)
720x576, 360x288, 180x144 (PAL)
Local Capture: Micro SD Card
Frame Rate: H.264: 30/15/10/6 fps (NTSC), 25/12.5/8.3/5 fps (PAL)
Output Stream Formats: MPEG-TS, H.264 VES, MJPEG
Throughput: Up to 12 Mbps Throughput
Serial Interface: RS232, RS485, RS422
Serial Baud Rate: 300bps to 921kbps
Power Output: Adjustable Output Power (up to 1W)
Encryption: 128 bit AES
Sensitivity: -90dBm @ 12 Mbps, -95dBm @ 6 Mbps
Error Detection: 32 bits of CRC, ARQ
Frequency Options: 2.304 - 2.364 GHz
2.405 - 2.470 GHz
3.300 - 3.500 GHz
5.000 - 5.800 GHz
Environmental: Temperature -40oF to 185oF (-40oC to +85oC)
Humidity 5-95%, non-condensing
Range: Up to 40miles
Brock Technologies, Inc. Redefines Small Portable Ground Control Stations
Brock Technologies, Inc. of Tucson, Arizona announced today their latest innovation, the Micro Portable Ground Control Station (uPGCS). The uPGCS builds upon the functionality provided by the Cloud Cap Technologies
Portable Ground Control Station (PGCS) commonly used for the Command and Control (C2) of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) utilizing the commercially available line of Piccolo autopilots. In addition to providing standard C2 capabilities,
the Brock Technologies handheld uPGCS also includes a pilot console, ground station computer, video monitor, two video receivers, and an assortment of internal antennas thereby creating an all-in-one control solution.
The uPGCS form factor of 12.0” L x 9.25” W x 4.95” H weights a mere 5.875 lbs and features an ergonomic, all waterproof case and a 7” daylight readable touchscreen. An accessory port on the top of the uPGCS enables shore power
to be used for charging of the two internal batteries or for continuous operation during extended missions. Additionally, the accessory port has a USB interface enabling the use of Human Interface Devices (HID)s such as external keyboards,
mice, data hubs, video capture devices, and even external storage devices. The uPGCS is customizable, but the standard is equipped with both a 2.4GHz and L-Band video receiver. “This new system is very comprehensive - providing
everything needed to plan and execute a wide assortment of missions with minimal hardware. The uPGCS permits communication with the UAS and the ability to down-link the images and other information with a single
handheld device” said Keith Brock, Vice President of Brock Technologies.
Brock Technologies is currently utilizing the uPGCS with their own UAS platforms. The firm envisions the uPGCS will replace collections of other systems employed by UAS operators which require a backpack or shipping case
to house all the components which are often sprawled out in an operations trailer or center during use. With the added flexibility to use the system as a standalone video receiver, or pass control of a UAS from one uPGCS to another,
the handheld device can be used by many mission participants in the field enabling mass dissemination of data and increasing the operational range of UAS utilizing a Piccolo autopilot. The uPGCS aims to reduce the logistical footprint
of UAS operations without compromising capabilities of t hose systems in both the military and civilian UAS markets.
Drones' good flies hand in hand with bad, experts fear
Brock Technologies’ HAVOC UAS Bridges Gap Between Capability and Affordability
The awaited maiden flight of Brock Technologies’ Inc, HAVOC Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), has arrived. On 24 OCT, 2011 the HAVOC took flight and by doing so instantly bridged the gap between affordability and capability. Designed and built by Brock Technologies Inc, the HAVOC was developed under a series of Air Force SBIR contracts (FA9451-09-M-0043 and FA9451-10-C-0010). The twin boom, pusher 2-stroke engine platform was intended to provide users with a robust modular UAS capable of long endurance flights while carrying an assortment of payloads. Throughout the week of 24 OCT, 2011, Brock Technologies flew 2 platforms with a variety of payloads. Swapping integrated forward payload bays between flights, HAVOC successfully demonstrated video data transmission to the ground station, non-line-of-sight (NLOS) communications, Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) functionality, and vehicle identification through a mode C transponder and blind encoder.
The second series of flight tests is to take place in November. "This was only the first set of flight tests for the HAVOC. We are using a build-up approach and intend on demonstrating more capabilities and longer endurance next month." said Keith Brock, Chief Engineer of the HAVOC. Though this series of tests was not aimed at demonstrating endurance, the HAVOC still posted a 2.5 hour flight, while carrying approximately 6 pounds of payload, all while changing altitude and airspeeds aggressively.
Built using advanced composite construction, the radio frequency transparent HAVOC airframe structure offers multiple internal antenna placement locations that enable increased endurance and payload capability. With 1000 watts of power provided by the onboard generator at its disposal the HAVOC can host a variety of payloads in either the forward or aft payload bay. The tails are also hollow and offer additional space for payload integration. Variable launch and recovery options continue to illustrate the systems modularity. The current prototypes have demonstrated successful rolling take-offs and landings. Future renditions will validate additional launch and recovery methods such as catapult launching and belly skid landing.
Perhaps the most intriguing characteristic of the system is its cost. "HAVOC is tailored to the user” states Brock Technologies President Jessica Brock. “Ordering one is like building your own computer from a website. For example, the manufacturing techniques allow a user to choose either two separate payload bays or a combined single bay" she added. The HAVOC system comes complete with a portable ground control station, autopilot, and a launch and recovery system at a fraction of the cost of other platforms.
Ultra Electronics Tri-Fuel Engine Flies Brock Technologies SPEAR UAS
12OCT11 (Tucson, AZ USA) Brock Technologies, Incorporated, a fast emerging rapid unmanned systems solutions provider, has teamed with Ultra Electronics Precision Air Systems, a leading aerospace and defense systems company , to integrate an impressive and capable propulsion technology, the DF-70. The DF-70 is a heavy fuel, fuel injected, internal combustion engine that is capable of operating on different fuels for extended periods of time.
After a short period of very successful ground based testing, the Ultra Electronics’ DF-70 was integrated onto the Brock Technologies’ SPEAR Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for flight testing. The SPEAR UAS features an independently shifting wing and fuselage pod enabling it to be reconfigured to hold a wide variety of payloads without the need for ballast. In early 2010, the SPEAR flew in an electric configuration for over 1 hour while carrying 14 pounds of payload and drawing a nominal 375W of power. Now, the SPEAR has been fitted with the DF-70 3HP heavy fuel engine enabling it to achieve flight times longer than any other UAS in its class. During the maiden flight with the DF-70, the SPEAR weighed in at 28.95 lbs and demonstrated cruising speeds of 36 kts and mild dashes at just over half power of 62kts. Keith Brock, Vice President of Brock Technologies, Inc. said, “Each flight we are slowly expanding the SPEAR’s flight envelope as we unleash the power of the DF-70 and work our way up to full power and full endurance.” Keith is known for his UAS designs with his past employers such as the BAE( formally Advanced Ceramics Research) Silver Fox Block A, Silver Fox Block B, Manta Block A, and Raytheon Missile System’s Cobra UAS. “It is a good feeling to improve upon capabilities of past designs in the same class.” he adds.
During the maiden flight, the DF-70 engine utilized Jet-A fuel. However, the DF-70 is capable of utilizing other fuels such as JP-8, Diesel or Mo-Gas. Keith described the engine as a “powerful beast at full throttle with an unmatched low, quiet idle” that will give the Brock SPEAR high speed dash capability, a reduced noise signature for ISR and a potential hand launched capability reducing the logistical footprint of other systems with catapult launchers.
Brock sees real opportunities for the DF-70 equipped SPEAR in the currently small but growing numbers of civil applications such as firefighting, costal, pipeline and power line monitoring where a human observer would be at risk or too cost prohibitive for the operation. Further advantages can be seen with police observation of civil disturbances, crime scenes, and reconnaissance support in natural disasters.
The modular construction and adjustable wing position of the Brock SPEAR and low development risk also make this platform suitable for very fast configuration changes for different mass payloads. The new addition of the DF-70 to the SPEAR permit can increase in sensor payload and longer flight times, making this system a perfect match for the military and other UAS applications.
Brock Technologies Incorporated (Tucson, AZ USA) Helps AFRL Bring Down Ultralight Type Aircraft Non-Lethally
Last month, Brock Technologies (Tucson, AZ USA) played a multi-faceted role in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 2011 Commander’s Challenge. The primary objective of the 2011 competition was to develop a solution to non-lethally stop Ultralight Type Aircraft (ULA) being utilized to deliver drugs across the US-Mexico border. The small business served as the prime contractor for this project, working closely with the AFRL customer to plan and execute the competition and to enable an effective and fair evaluation of non-lethal engagement solutions developed by two competing AFRL teams. In addition to overall management of the 6 month effort, Brock Technologies’ was responsible for designing and fabricating the ULA test assets that would demonstrate the effectiveness of the AFRL solutions.
Brock Technologies managed the program schedule, materiel procurement, competition setup, and subcontractors. This included coordination between a commercial videography team and the videography services provided by representatives from the competition test site, Edwards Air Force Base (AFB). Additionally, Brock Technologies coordinated subcontractor services to provide rental equipment to support the execution of the tests and the logistical needs of over 100 team members, subcontractors, judges, dignitaries, and observers.
Brock Technologies’ past experiences designing, fabricating, and executing Unmanned Systems solutions in short order directly led to the success of this program. Brock Technologies was able to procure a total of 8 ULA, deliver one unmodified ULA to each of the teams developing engagement solutions, and convert 6 of the remaining assets to remotely piloted ULAs in less than 5 months. During this 5 month period, the Brock Technologies flight test team performed initial flight testing of the prototype remote control ULA at a restricted airspace flight test range in Arizona, which validated that the needs of the competition were met by the ULA test assets. The project culminated with a two-week-long series of flight test operations at Edwards AFB that demonstrated the engagement solutions developed by the AFRL teams.
Brock Technologies, Inc. offers a broad range of innovations for the Unmanned Systems market including aerial and ground systems, sensors, custom composites, field support equipment, and software. The Brock Technologies team is composed of a group of highly motivated engineers and technicians who focus on supporting customer’s needs in the research, military, and commercial arenas by providing powerful integrated solutions, on schedule and on cost.
Brock Technologies Incorporated (Tucson, AZ USA) Rolls out a 4 and 8 Channel Video Switcher
Brock Technologies Incorporated (Tucson, AZ USA) announces the release of a video switcher compatible with Cloud Cap Technology and Procerus Autopilots. In addition, the Video Switcher is compatible with standard R/C receivers. This enables the Video Switcher to be used on Drones, UAS, UGVs, Moving Targets, R/C airplanes and R/C Robots. Any standard NTSC or PAL camera is compatible with the switcher. The switcher can power most cameras directly from the board and even most video transmitters eliminating complex wiring.
Brock Technologies Incorporated (Tucson, AZ USA) Announces One of Their Newest Unmanned Systems
Brock Technologies Incorporated (Tucson, AZ USA) announces one of their newest unmanned system designs dubbed the SHARK. The SHARK is a small tube launched Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) capable of performing silent ISR at low altitudes for long periods of time. The SHARK was designed to fit within a five inch inner diameter launch tube. The SHARK is fabricated using the latest in composite materials and processes to produce an affordable system that weighs only 5.5 pounds!
The strength to weight ratio of the composite parts has been made possible utilizing a process Brock Technologies calls Super Compression Molding (SCM.) With this method, the total number of composite plies is reduced without impact to the overall component strength. In addition to the SCM process, the SHARK employs composite castings which allow for light weight embedded parts and in the near future, injection molded parts. This translates to low per unit airframe costs, allowing the end user to operate with more advanced payloads and sensors. The system depicted incorporates a light weight gyro-stabilized pan, tilt sensor unit capable of housing an optical zoom EO color camera, a long wave infrared camera, or a short wave infrared camera. This permits the SHARK to perform both daytime and nighttime operations.
Initial SHARK flight testing began in early 2010. The flight tests were performed by means of an inflight mother ship launch. This series of air launches proved the advanced control systems and allowed Brock Technologies to tune the gains before tube launching. Video from one of the initial test flights can be seen on YouTube at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vplOlVF1-Ck&feature=feedu
The SHARK UAS measures 31 inches in length and spans 38 inches with the wings deployed. This small lightweight system has a payload carrying capability of 1.0 lb. The small system footprint coupled with a quiet propulsion system makes the SHARK difficult to see or hear.
Brock Technologies Assists VOTREX2 with APSv3.0
VORTEX2 stands for Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment (VORTEX). This is a multi-agency field program to investigate (i) tornadogenesis, maintenance, and demise, (ii) tornado near-ground wind field, (iii) relationships among tornadoes, their parent thunderstorms, and the larger-scale environment, and (iv) numerical weather prediction of supercells and tornadoes. The University of Colorado at Boulder RECUV Team contacted Brock Technologies about their project and system needs. Brock Technologies designed the APSv2.0 non-continuous rotating tracking antenna back in early 2008 and has now redesigned the antenna with continuous rotation and the ability to point at unmanned systems while on the move! This is the new APSv3.0 seen below on the RECUV Team's mobile operations van (Left) and a close up on the right.
The APSv3.0 antenna from Brock Technologies allows the group to maintain a backup command and control link to UA at long distances.
The RECUV team has had numerous successful flights and storm chases which can be seen on their website or on their YouTube page.
Brock Technologies Announces the Successful Demonstration on the SPEAR UAS
Brock Technologies Inc. recently participated in a series of flight demonstrations with the SPEAR Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) during the months of January through March. The SPEAR UAS was designed and manufactured by Brock Technologies Inc. to provide users with a lightweight, robust and portable airframe with the capability of carrying payloads of up to 14 pounds.
The SPEAR UAS is the first of Brock Technologies’ products to possess an independently shifting wing and fuselage. The system was designed to support various payload locations and weights, thereby omitting the need for ballast. This feature was demonstrated on multiple occasions as the SPEAR UAS wing was shifted to support each flights' varying payload weights. The standard SPEAR UAS weighs 8 lbs empty. This empty weight includes the weight of the autopilot and a custom pan, tilt, zoom gimbaled camera. In addition to this equipment, the SPEAR performed flight tests with payloads ranging from 5 to 13 pounds. Both the forward and aft payload bays were utilized during flight demonstrations. The SPEAR UAS places itself in an elite family of UAS capable of carrying a payload far greater than its own weight. UAS of this size, weight and class generally are restricted to payloads much less then their empty weight.
Customization and modularity are valuable components of the SPEAR UAS. The SPEAR’s variety of wing sizes ranging from 10 to 14 feet in length are rapidly interchangeable in the tool-less SPEAR system, catering well to varying customer flight envelopes and payload requirements. The recent SPEAR UAS flight demonstrations were conducted with 10 and 12 foot wings. Customization and modularity is provided by the SPEAR’s composite, longitudinal shaft which the body, wing, and tail sections all separately mount to. This modularity can be transposed with affordability. The SPEAR design lowers operational costs by allowing aged parts to be replaced and allows for affordability in future growth. For example, an entire aircraft does not need to be purchased to replace or upgrade a particular portion of the airframe. Observers of the flight demonstration witnessed various launching methods. The standard SPEAR UAS is capable of hand, as well as vehicle launches and is recovered via belly skid landing. Powered by an electric motor, the SPEAR UAS demonstrated endurances in excess of one hour with the gimbaled camera and the payload greater then 12 lbs. With a MGTOW stall speed of 30 knots, and a max dash speed of 50 knots, the SPEAR UAS is an excellent platform for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) as well as research operations.
Onboard video from altitudes in excess of 500 feet above ground level was streamed from the Brock Technologies Inc. custom gimbal to a video display for observers. The UAS can be configured with a number of commercially available gimbals and autopilots in order to support various ISR missions. ISR and autopilot subsystems are integrated based upon the user’s mission requirements. COTS products produced by Cloud Cap Technology and Procerus Technologies are typically utilized. Furthermore, the SPEAR UAS is transportable in a 56 x 16 x 11” shipping container. Assembly requires no tools and provides users with the capability to go from the box to the sky in as little as 5 minutes.
Brock Technologies Releases The APS v3.0 Kit
The Brock Technologies APS v 2.0 has provided customers with long range communications through an accurate antenna pointing system (APS.) The APS v2.0 has a rapid flip to enable 360 degree coverage. The new 3.0 version provides the user with the same highly accurate pointing system as the 2.0, but with the capability to continuously rotate 360 degrees without the need to flip or "unwind."
FLIGHT Daily News Posts Article on HAVOC UAS
Brock Technologies Completes HAVOC UAS Design
Brock Technologies Releases The Drive By Joystick Kit
The Brock Technologies Drive-By-Joystick Kit is designed to support the driving of any vehicle via an onboard joystick. This kit provides onboard operation via a joystick as an alternative to conventional driving inputs for disabled individuals that may be unable to utilize a conventional steering wheel, brake pedal and/or accelerator pedal. The kit includes all the electronic and hardware components necessary to convert a vehicle, such as a full size car or off-road vehicle, into a joystick controlled asset. Simply mount the kit components via the installation manual instructions or select to have installation performed by qualified Brock Technologies technicians. With the user inputs you can customize the throw of each actuator to fit each specific vehicle installation and adjust the sensitivity of each axis of the joystick to the preference of the operator. Our low-cost kits are the ideal solution for extending the control capabilities of a conventional vehicle.
Brock Technologies officially announces the release of a their pneumatic launcher for small UAVs.
Brock Technologies Machine Vision used in convoy following applications. In the above video the left rear tail light was selected (The Red Dot) and our ARGV autonomously followed it around the streets.