GE Aviation to join SuperVolo high endurance drone test program

GE Aviation is supplying the IT for a high endurance drone being developed by drone company Hybrid Project, flight testing of which is expected to start within the next two months.

GE, alongside Swiss-software provider Auterion, will provide the airborne computing hardware platform, flight and safety management systems for Hybrid Project’s SuperVolo UAV, a 35 lbs aircraft which can fly for up to six hours at a time with a range of 500km, fueled by 3.8 litres of gasoline.

Hybrid Project’s vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAV is being designed for use in commercial applications and is expected to be ready for use next year. Hybrid Project has already tested the UAV in a mapping application.

GE Aviation’s computing platform enables flight control and airborne computing power at the edge while maintaining an independent and authoritative safety controller. Auterion’s Enterprise PX4 operating system will be used on the vehicle, in the cloud, and the ground station.  GE Aviation and Auterion announced earlier this year to partner on providing an all-in-one hardware and software platform for commercial drones.
Matt Vacanti, product leader of Avionics Systems at GE Aviation said, “The combination of Hybrid Project’s SuperVolo airframe, GE Aviation’s computing platform and Auterion’s software stack enables an all-in-one solution that readily scales for commercial applications. A highly integrated system is critical to achieving scalable commercial UAV operations.”
“This collaboration, and the combined solution, will increase commercial operator flexibility, efficiency, and overall performance to a level not previously available in its class,” said Ryan Pope, co-founder of Hybrid Project.
Auterion’s Enterprise PX4 software is built on top of open software standards that are supported by a global developer community. The software also provides the infrastructure enabling online workflows, compliance monitoring, and enterprise fleet management.
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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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