An unmanned Aerial Vehicle or UAV Flight Control Actuator is used, as the name suggests, to control flight control surfaces on UAVs. These include the ailerons, tailerons, rudders and flaps. The intelligent actuators are controlled, and hence the aircraft flown, via various communication protocols with a remote pilot or totally autonomously through an on-board pre-programmed computer. Actuators of similar design are also used for ground functions such as vehicle steering and braking.
UAV flight control regulations are very strict which means actuator control systems require continuous on-board computer monitoring and readjustment via a feedback loop processes.
There are significant benefits to using OTM servo actuators in unmanned drone flight control such as reduced weight, high reliability, greater positional accuracy and faster response times.
For over 40 years OTM has delivered successful flight control actuation systems to the Aerospace and Defence industries. Our solutions are specifically designed and customised for UAVs in particular the flight control surface actuation where reliability, positional accuracy and supreme power to weight ratio are vital.
Delivering successful actuator solutions in Aerospace and Defence has been at the core of our success at OTM. It’s our in-depth understanding of the particular needs of UAVs in particular that helps us stay one step ahead in solving the problems that continue to defeat many of our competitors. When we successfully delivered the suite of actuators to the BAE Systems Herti UAV we were the fourth company to tackle the problem but the only one to succeed.
Our core technology has been tried and tested over many UAV flight control projects and our actuator units are flight qualified across the environmental and reliability spectrum. Importantly all our Actuators are ITAR Free, so there’s no prohibition on supply. We specifically design our actuators using OTM’s plug and play methodology. This means they are easily adapted and used in other similar applications without having to re-design entire systems. By building this flexibility into our solutions we can drastically reduce lead time in new actuator development projects.
OTM has worked in Aerospace and Defence for over 40 years and as a result has devoted a significant amount of thinking time to developing accurate and reliable UAV flight surface actuation. To facilitate the journey towards achieving the best possible end result, we have honed our design and build process through decades of learning how best to solve the toughest problems in defence and aerospace.
When we approach the problem-solving process, we first define exactly what the problem is to be solved. At this point we can then come to a conclusion on what the successful solution would look like. The OTM design process is a collaborative one where our designers and engineers consider all possible solutions in a constraint-free environment. The pool of knowledge and experience within our Innovation Lab enables us to carry out full analysis and comparison with evidence-based assessment on likely success.
From there we can draw on the analysis and our expertise to select the best
solution and implement it using tried and tested methodology. Once prototyped we can then put the chosen actuator solution through a rigorous testing process to ensure that the theory matches the practice.
In the case of UAV drones the actuator must also pass stringent civil safety and reliability regulations in order to be put into active service.
In addition to our Intelligent Flight Control Surface Actuators we provide the complete actuator solution. These include UAV flight control actuators, UAV throttle actuators as well as UAV nose wheel actuators.