Animal Dynamics, Manchester University “simulating wind gusts on UAS urban operations”

The UK’s Animal Dynamics has announced a collaboration with the University of Manchester to improve the realism of its simulated environment and accelerate the commercial rollout of its Uncrewed Aircraft System (UAS), Stork STM.

According to a company press release:

“Wind simulation plays a crucial role in design and development, exposing UAS to numerous wind scenarios in a virtual world which can be difficult and expensive to replicate in the real world. The relatively small size of UAS, combined with operation in built-up environments such as cities, means that they are more vulnerable to localised wind gusts. Using this advanced simulation software, Animal Dynamics is able to evaluate flight control strategies for take-off and landing under challenging wind conditions, including ideas inspired by the way birds deal with strong winds. This is set to significantly accelerate the commercial roll-out of Stork STM.

“The software supplied by the Mechanical, Aerospace, and Civil Engineering Division at the University of Manchester allows Animal Dynamics to blend simulated wind data into its virtual worlds. By combining sophisticated simulations with realistic local wind conditions around buildings and other physical features, the UAS is able to undergo rigorous and accurate evaluation in varying settings before taking to the skies.

“The advanced simulation software is expected to underpin a pioneering flight control system which will be able to respond to local wind conditions in seconds; helping to improve the tolerance of Uncrewed Aircraft Systems to gusty conditions, particularly during take-offs. This system, being developed by Animal Dynamics, is expected to create a safer airspace in the future by making Uncrewed Aircraft Systems more intelligent and adaptive.

Stork STM, an autonomous heavy-lift powered parafoil is capable of carrying 135 kg of cargo up to 250 miles (or 400 km). It has been designed to address the urgent, complex, and dangerous operational challenges, such as providing humanitarian aid in crisis zones, improving emergency response procedures in difficult to reach places, assuring delivery in varying military settings, or designing sustainable agriculture solutions for innovative thinkers.

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