Flight management system (FMS)
The onboard FMS calculates optimal flight patterns based on mission parameters, and can have a mission sent to it to follow or take direct instructions from the base station operator. Mission parameters are sent to the FMS from a browser-based system (based on Google Earth). The FMS also contains systems for the UAV to maintain flight, avoid stalls, start/stop engine, and auto return to home based on fuel or loss of communications. The FMS and starter are powered by dual-redundant, high-power lithium-ion batteries.
Each UAV has a hot-swap bay in its nacelle, allowing the operator to insert the mission-specific electronics, such as photo/video, sonar, radio jamming, or other. A second, smaller bay accepts various communication modules, including long-range WiFi, LTE/3G, satellite, or a combination thereof. This system "future proofs" each UAV: As newer modules are introduced over time, there is no need to swap out the UAV—just acquire the new module.
When two or more of Tactical Services UAVs are paired with one another, they form a redundant coverage network for a given mission. While one UAV is on mission and due to return home, a paired UAV can be launched that will automatically take up the continuation of the mission without missing any data. All paired UAVs will write to the same databases and video/photo storage networks. If running photo/video modules, all information will also be stored on-board, shock-proof SSD drives.
Easy launch capabilities
Any pressurized air source—as little as a bike pump for the U300 and U500—can be used as the launch propellant. The larger models include a built-in countdown system for launch so the operator isn't required to be close to the UAV.