Xawk X-2C UAS

Program Overview:

The Xawk X-2C UAS couples a robust student designed and built airframe with a combination of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and student-designed software components into a dynamic system capable of gathering imagery of targets of interest during fully autonomous flight.  The airframe is fabricated using pre-impregnated carbon/fiberglass hybrid material and able to carry a payload of up to 25lbs.

The onboard systems include a Piccolo LT autopilot, a digital pan/tilt/zoom camera, and a broadband ethernet bridge.

To ensure safety, a flight control redundancy system has been installed using the Emcotec DPSI Twin, which allows for two receiver inputs as well as two power inputs. With the one receiver interfaced with the Piccolo LT, and the other connected to a bare R/C receiver, the pilot is able to completely remove the autopilot system from the control loop in the event of an autopilot failure. This dually redundant system is complete with a primary and secondary battery guaranteeing operation of the flight control system.

Operational Success:

At the 2008 AUVSI Student UAS Competition, the Xawk X-2C system won Best Flight Award and top prize of more than $10,000.  Xipiter also finished with the highest score ever logged in the event’s six-year history.  The aircraft was again flown at the 2009 AUVSI Student UAS Competition and placed 5th.

Xawk X-2C was officially retired in Fall 2009 and is on display at MSU’s Raspet Flight Research Laboratory in Starkville, MS.