Pipistrel has chosen Honeywell’s compact satellite communications (SATCOM) system for its fixed-wing Surveyor and unmanned Nuuva V300 and V20 platforms. According to Honeywell, its UAV SATCOM system is designed to provide unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV/drone) operators with global coverage and real-time video streaming to the ground along with enabling beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) capabilities. The system weighs in at 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds), making it 90 percent lighter than Honeywell’s next smallest connectivity system.
“Honeywell’s small UAV SATCOM system is a game-changer for small or medium-sized unmanned aircraft, such as the Nuuva cargo or Surveyor aircraft, that previously couldn’t be equipped with satellite communications,” said Stéphane Fymat, Honeywell Aerospace vice president and general manager for unmanned aerial systems and urban air mobility. “Now, they have access to everything we’ve come to expect from the large-aircraft experience, like global connectivity or fleet monitoring—but it’s been packaged in a size that is conducive to a much smaller aerial vehicle.”
Still in development, Pipistrel’s Nuuva V300 UAV is an autonomous hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) design aimed at cargo operations. It is expected to be capable of carrying loads up to 460 kilograms (1,014 pounds) with a range of more than 300 kilometers (162 NM). The smaller V20 is designed as a lightweight cargo courier with a payload capacity of up to 20 kilograms (44 pounds). The Surveyor is a fixed-wing aircraft used primarily for applications such as wildlife management, coastal patrol, traffic observation and search and rescue.