Xawk 5 UAS, SN 002 at Cruise

Xawk 5, SN 002 Completes Several Testing Milestones

STARKVILLE, Ms., June 4, 2012

Xipiter IPT’s second Xawk 5 class, low-level ISR UAS recently completed several major flight test milestones in preparation for the AUVSI Student UAS competition to be held June 13-16 at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland.

“The aircraft is performing extremely well,” said Jared Gates, Team Lead.  “We have plenty of work left to do in the next two weeks, but we’re on a fast track to success up in Maryland.”

Ship Number 002 had its first autonomous flight just two days ago, operating entirely under computer control through several “racetrack-like” laps around the test area.  Other tests performed included dynamic midair waypoint retasking and simulated safety pilot takeovers to test several practical scenarios.  On June 3rd, the aircraft again flew under autopilot control in moderate crosswinds to test tracking performance and handling qualities, as well as mission fulfillment of tight circular orbiting requirements.  The flight test team will spend the next few days reviewing data to further tune stability control settings and will resume testing later this week.

The Xawk 5 UAS offers industry-leading capabilities, including an Imperx Bobcat IGV-B4820 16-MP high-definition camera payload.  It also boasts a powerful 5.8GHz surveillance  communications platform and on-board PC104 computer from Versalogic (dubbed, Xocelot), complete with custom software to provide image processing and storage prior to transmission to a groundstation computer.  The aircraft controlled by a Piccolo SL flight management system from Cloud Cap Technology.   The vehicle is fabricated almost entirely of carbon fiber composite material and powered by a 12-HP Desert Aircraft DA-120 powerplant, providing a highly robust airframe emphasizing reliability, performance, and weight reduction.

Xipiter IPT was formed in 2003 competing in the 2nd AUVSI SUAS competition.  It announced the Xawk 5 program, its 8th, on August 31, 2010 and SN 002 began fabrication on September 15, 2011.  On May 20th, 2012, the aircraft rolled out of Raspet Flight Research Laboratory.  It completed its first flight on May 24th, 2012 and remains on schedule.

About Xipiter:
Xipiter UAS Integrated Products Team is Mississippi State University’s unmanned aircraft systems team that participates each year in the AUVSI Student UAS competition in Maryland. Unlike typical student design teams, the team is comprised of students from more than five departments within the Bagley College of Engineering at MSU. The team’s systems built were designed, fabricated, and assembled from the ground up by students. The avionics and surveillance sub-system is also planned and integrated by our students, powered almost 100% by student-written software. Over the last several years, the team has placed consistently high, winning 1st place in 2008, and 2nd place in 2010, beating out over twenty-two international teams from around the globe.