Element 6 Composites has worked with multiple companies to help develop and manufacture a variety of unmanned ground and air vehicles. Combining decades of experience in composites, structural design, and aerodynamics, Element 6 Composites supports customers in basic configuration design and analysis, component optimization, prototyping, and production manufacture. With former and current projects ranging from military ground robotics to lighter than air vehicles to vertical takeoff and landing UAVs, we have both the expertise and facilities to support your project. Below are a few examples of unmanned vehicles and components Element 6 Composites has helped design and/or produce.
Remote Aerial Tripod Specialists
Element 6 Composites worked with Remote Aerial Tripod Specialists [www.ratsinc.net] to develop carbon fiber gondolas and tail fins for use in unmanned airships. Some of these parts are shown in the pictures below, as well as an image of the entire vehicle in flight. By utilizing carbon fiber components, a significant weight savings was achieved.
Carbon fiber has also been used to create a sophisticated camera mount. These mounts are used for video or still photography to create stunning aerial photography.
International Climbing Machines
Element 6 Composites worked with International Climbing Machines [www.icm.cc] to develop a composite chassis for a revolutionary wall-climbing robot that was almost entirely made from carbon fiber. Using a combination of custom composite parts and CNC Dragonplate flat material, a robust, yet lightweight vehicle body was constructed. This robot is used in the nuclear industry, airplane inspection, wind turbine blade repair, and many other applications where the environment is either extremely harsh to humans, or the ability to climb sideways and upside down would result in drastically reduced labor time (as in the case of inspecting an airplane fuselage or wing). By replacing the original metal structure with one made from carbon fiber, ICM was able to greatly increase the robots performance and payload carrying ability.
Element 6 Composites is currently partnering with Propulsive Wing, LLC [www.propulsivewing.com] to develop a revolutionary new airplane technology. The Propulsive Wing is a patented aerodynamic platform that integrates an embedded, distributed cross-flow fan propulsion system within a thick wing for both thrust and flow control. This configuration maintains smooth airflow, increasing lift, decreasing drag, and preventing stall. Early research was conducted at Syracuse University under funding from NASA Glenn Research Center. Propulsive Wing, LLC worked closely with Element 6 to develop a series of prototypes that have successfully demonstrated controlled flight, the most recent being a tailless model with a 20 inch wingspan. Development work continues, with applications ranging from hand-launched military surveillance to forest fire fighting to high altitude, long endurance sensor deployment.
Element 6 Composites worked with AAI to develop carbon fiber control vanes for a small vertical takeoff and landing UAV. Due to the application, high tolerances and manufacturing consistency needed to be maintained.
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