The basic system package can be expanded with a wide variety of options, to adapt the system to mission and certification requirements, or to increase the overall performance and range. All options can be integrated into the HEF 32 system ex. factory and can be selected independantly of each other.
The tracking antenna can be used to significantly increase the maximum communication range of the HEF 32, or to increase the available communication bandwidth at closer range. It is based on a rugged pan & tilt unit with options for automatic stabilization when used on moving vessels. The entire tracking antenna kit is supplied in its own rugged transportation case and can be built-up and broken down in a matter of minutes. The supplied tripod allows a maximum elevation of the communication antennae of 3.5 meters.
The tracking antenna maintains the full MIMO capability of the HEF 32's communication system and it can be tuned to the entire set of available communication frequencies, ex. factory. At maximum transmission power, depending on weather conditions and frequency of choice, the tracking antenna provides in excess of 30 Mb/s communication at a line-of-sight range of 50 kilometers.
STAND-ALONE TRACKING ANTENNA
The stand-alone tracking antenna offers the same basic functionality as the conventional tracking antenna, but is constructed to be a stand-alone self-functioning system, which is able to operate independantly from the Ground Control Station. As such, it does not need any physical connection to the Ground Control Station or its periphery and can easily be positioned in another location. The antenna is supplied with a power box, which allows the system to coninue to operate for extended periods after a loss of external electrical power. The kit is built-up of the tracking antenna itself, power box, periphery and transportation box.
This system is used by operators who have specific line-of-sight requirements and want to be able to mount the antenna high-up on masts, buildings or higher terrain. It also allows an operator to use a single location for the antenna system during prolonged operations, without having to carry the system around when changing take-off locations.
The HEF 32 can be equipped with a Mode S aviation transponder. The system can be operated and controlled from the Ground Control Station at all times during flight and transmits ADS-B OUT. It is designed according to FAA TSO standards and comes with an integral GPS receiver and altitude encoder.
The HEF 32 AHRS flight control system can be expanded with a seperate IMU, providing a GPS based heading reference to the autopilot. In operation it reaches accuracies in excess of 0.3 degrees. The system is used by operators who require additional redundancy for the standard magnetometer system, or who operate in areas where magnetic field accuracy is expected to be degraded. It is ideal for operations at high latitude or from large vessels.
NAVIGATION / ANTI-COLLISION LIGHTS
The HEF 32 can be equipped with a full set of aircraft lighting. The lights are FAR23 compliant and meet the requirements for navigation and anti-collision aircraft lighting, for VFR aircraft below 7000kg. They can be activated/deactivated at any time during flight from the Ground Control Station.
EMERGENCY FLOTATION KIT
The HEF 32 can be equipped with one or more emergency flotation bags, which are designed to inflate automatically when they become fully submerged. A single flotation bag has an inflated volume of 20 litres and is sufficient to keep the entire UAV afloat after an emergency water landing. The bag's inflation system is based on CO2 and can be deactivated for airline tranport or storage. The system is not triggered by precipitation and can be used through all weather conditions which the HEF 32 is cleared for.
The HEF 32 can be equipped with a set of lightweight snow skids, for operations from soft terrain like snow and slush. The skids are designed to allow continued normal operation of the aircraft's weight-on-wheels system and create only a minor performance degradation. They can be mounted and removed from the HEF 32's landing gear in a matter of minutes.
BALLISTIC RECOVERY PARACHUTE
The HEF 32 can be equipped with a fully automatic ballistic recovery parachute system. It is designed to be controlled by the autopilot and will react automatically in case of certain emergency modes. The parachute can also be triggered manually by an operator through the flight termination system on the Ground Control Station. At MTOW, the parachute will provide a maximum rate of descent of 8 meters per second.
The parachute is a propriatary development based on Parazero's Safeair system and uses a pyrotechnic trigger for the ejection of the parachute. Following a trigger, the parachute is ejected in a state which allows full deployment of the parachute within a loss of less than 10 vertical meters. The system is mounted on top of the HEF 32's main rotor system and has a weight penalty of less than 1.0 kilogram. More information about Parazero's Safeair systems can be found HERE.
The ballistic recovery parachute is expected to be released by August 2017.