A parametric study of factors affecting successful ship recovery of UAVs – Red30 and Red45 wind conditions


  1. Wong. F.C.
  2. Gagnon, E.
  3. Lee, R.
  4. Veilleux, F.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
UAVs are becoming more prevalent in military operations for dull, dangerous and dirty tasks. Maritime forces have a need for ship-based UAVs to extend their observation horizon and increase their situational awareness. The principal logistical problem for ship-based UAVs is the safe and reliable recovery of the platform because it requires the platform to pass from steady air into turbulent air. If UAVs must be used on board ships, a reliable method is needed to recover them. This study continues the examination of parameters that affect successful fixed-wing UAV recovery on a ship. The study focuses on how the Red30 and Red45 airwake environments along with the UAV flight characteristics and autopilot characteristics interact along the UAV’s final approach towards the capture device to allow or to hinder a successful recovery on board the ship. It was found that slower ship speeds are desirable because it reduced the magnitude of the airwake turbulence behind the hangar. Higher UAV airspeeds resulted in smaller miss distances from the recovery location. The study found that recovery devices located either near the hangar or further aft on the port side of the stern had increased probabilities of successful recovery. Future studies will examine techniques to reduce the strength of the airwake and the effect that more manoeuvrable or more stable UAV’s have on recovery success.

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

Report Number
DRDC-VALCARTIER-TR-2010-120 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Jun 2010
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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