TRI's newest design, the JumpShip, is a VTOL transitioning UAV system designed specifically with commercial operations in mind. The JumpShip prototype was unveiled to the public at the Drones DataX 2015 conference in Santa Cruz, California.
TRI is developing the control system and flight software as well as providing autopilot hardware for the Lotus, a transformational VTOL UAV platform under development by Joby Aviation as part of a NASA sponsored project. In addition, TRI provides testing support, aerodynamic analysis, and mechanical design.
Control system development and technology demonstration efforts for the project followed a spiral development path starting with small vehicles and increasing in scale. TRI participated in the design, construction, controls and flight software development and ground and flight testing of each of these sub-scale vehicles.
TRI is providing aerodynamic design and aircraft configuration identification support for this Joby Aviation project to build an electric, VTOL, 200 mph personal airplane.
TRI is providing aerodynamic design and aircraft configuration identification support for this NASA supported Joby Aviation project to utilize electric propulsion for general aviation aircraft.
TRI collaborated with MBARI on a research mission in the Monterey Bay and successfully demonstrated both VTOL and transitioning UAV operations from the unmodified deck of the RV Zephyr.
TRI designed, manufactured and retailed this award-winning new concept in hobby remote-controlled aircraft. Winner of the 2010 Cool Idea! award and featured in Make Magazine.
Autonomous transitioning control system development: The TRI team developed flight control software utilizing quaternions to control the transition of a tailsitter vehicle such as the Quadshot smoothly into stabilized, on-wing, forward flight at the flick of a switch or completely autonomously based on the position of the next waypoint if in auto mode. This flight control software has been developed in a manner that makes it applicable to a variety of VTOL systems, including tail-sitters, tilt-wing and tilt-engine aircraft.
The current fully autonomous Quadshot system can take-off vertically, fly between waypoints in vertical or forward on-wing flight and land with a CEP accuracy of 1.6m, all at the touch of a ‘Go’ button on a computer screen or tablet.
TRI worked with the ERC Highwind research team at the KU Leuven, Belgium, in collaboration with PhD student Gregory Horn and under Prof. Moritz Diehl to integrate an aerodynamic analysis tool into the group’s optimization and simulation solutions for MPC controlled flight vehicles.
TRI has sponsored university autonomous flight teams including VAMUdeS (Universite de Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada) and TU Delft’s team ATMOS for DARPA’s UAVForge competition.