Boeing to Assist Sky-Watch In Developing New Danish Smart Drone

Boeing has announced that it will partner with Danish company Sky-Watch to develop a new type of “smart” Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), in a project supported by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation.

Founded in 2009 and located in Støvring in northern Denmark, Sky-Watch develops, produces and sells advanced UAV systems featuring state-of-the-art control technology. The company also provides contract-based research and development for the global defense and aerospace industry. The company’s autonomous UAVs are designed to be deployed in places that are too inaccessible, widespread or dangerous for human access. Sky-Watch received a grant from the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation in December of 2013, to pursue the Smart UAV project with the Technical University of Denmark.

As recently reported here on Flight Chic, Denmark has made a strong commitment to continued Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developments in the country, and the planned development of this new “Smart UAV” is another sign of the importance Denmark places on this developing technology.

These new “Smart UAVs” will combine the advantages of existing rotorcraft UAVs with those of fixed-wing aircraft, resulting in longer range and endurance.

“[This] agreement is evidence that Danish companies like Sky-Watch are leading innovation that can attract the attention of global companies; that organisations like UAS Denmark are helping make valuable industry connections; and that a company like Boeing is well served by taking a diverse look at Danish industry in creating collaborations and technologies for the future,” said Susan Colegrove, Boeing’s director of International Strategic Partnerships for Europe.

Sky-Watch will contribute the expertise it gained from development of its HUGINN X1 quad-rotor UAV and the knowledge-base in its Sky-Watch Labs, the company’s research and development department.  Boeing will contribute its expertise in VTOL and fixed-wing technologies from its R&D organisations as well as from Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary specialising in unmanned aerial system solutions.

The new UAVs could be used in a wide range of applications including environmental monitoring, geo-data research, and maritime surveillance in Arctic regions–both Boeing and Insitu have experience in manned and unmanned maritime surveillance platforms to contribute to this project.

You can watch Sky-Watch’s UAV Huginn X1 autonomous drone system quadcopter, serving Greater Manchester Fire Rescue Service, in this video:

“The Smart UAV project is an important step forward in establishing Denmark as a leader in unmanned technology development, and we are excited to have Boeing join Sky-Watch in this effort,” said Michael Messerschmidt, Sky-Watch’s manager of Business Development. “Boeing’s experience in developing and implementing global unmanned systems will be an invaluable addition to the work Sky-Watch has started with the Technical University of Denmark.”

Featured Image: Sky-Watch UAV Huginn X1 autonomous drone system, GMFR Air Unit Video Still

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