The HCUAV RX-1 is 4 meters long, takes off at a speed of 2.8 meters per second and can develop a speed of 190 km per hour. With a range of 150 km and autonomy 11 hours, it can fly day and night and transmit real-time, relevant and detailed information, from a 2 km height.
The project took 36 months to complete and it was designed and built from scratch.
The drone can support civil protection services and public safety by monitoring land and sea borders, protect vital infrastructure, support rescue investigations, supervision of woodland to timely extinguish fires, soil sampling, water and air pollutants, monitoring roads and provide aerial photography of areas of interest.
This is the first Greek production on such scale. The HCUAV RX-1 made its first flight on August 4. The test flight lasted 15 minutes and can be considered a success by its makers.
The head of the project is Kyros Yakinthos, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. It is a collaborative effort, as AUTH designed the airborne vehicle, made the aerodynamic analysis, the engineering design, developed geometry optimization and conducted the flight tests.
The Democritus University of Thrace designed the robotic vision, environment perception and signal processing. Spacesonic, a company from Farkadona, Trikala, undertook the construction of the airborne vehicle; Intracom Defense Electronics developed and installed communication systems, mobile earth stations and intelligent software systems; MLS installed the GPS system and supplied the maps.
“Greece can create extraordinary things, with the collaboration between universities, research organizations and Greek companies. In Greece there are great human resources, but there is also the problem of lack of investors,” Yakinthos told ANA-MPE news agency.
The project head said that Greece must look beyond the issues that are given priority today because there are people with vision and persistence who have achieved lots with very little. At the same time he criticized bureaucracy that has hindered the project and “tied their hands” several times.