Daytona Beach, Florida (PRWEB)
September 02, 2017
A computer-controlled hybrid flying machine that lifts off vertically like a helicopter, leans to a 90-degree angle and flies horizontally like an airplane – developed at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – has garnered international research support.
The Mark II aircraft, designed by researchers at Embry-Riddle’s Eagle Flight Research Center (EFRC) and a related business spinoff called Heurobotics, promises precision farming as well as improved search and rescue, infrastructure inspection and more.
The project was among the fourth-round winners of industrial research and development funding provided by Space Florida, the aerospace and spaceport development authority for the State of Florida, and the Israel Innovation Authority, an organization committed to maintaining Israel’s position at the forefront of global innovation.
The Space Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership Program, established in October 2013, is a $2 million recurring joint fund supporting research, development and commercialization of aerospace and technology projects that benefit both Israel and Florida. Embry-Riddle and Heurobotics teamed up with Israel’s Agrowing company to become one of five winners of the latest Space Florida-Israel Innovation Partnership grants.
The Mark II vehicle, which moved from design to production in February this year, could prove useful for precision agriculture as well as search and rescue missions, remote detection of flaws in bridges or buildings, security and surveillance, and other uses. For example, the Mark II was recently used to determine the minimum height of antennas used for infrastructure data transmission.
Featuring a mechanically simple airframe similar to a twin-engine helicopter with fully articulating rotorheads, the Mark II is highly intelligent, stable, and maneuverable, thanks to a mathematical solution that stitches together control algorithms for both aircraft and spacecraft, explained Richard “Pat” Anderson, director of Embry-Riddle’s Eagle Flight Research Center. “We used spacecraft attitude estimation algorithms, married to our own aircraft control algorithms,” said Anderson, professor of…