Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing will assist Sky-Watch in its development of a new type of UAV under the “Smart UAV” project, supported by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation, which gave a grant to Sky-Watch in December to pursue the project.
The goal of the project, Boeing says, is to develop a new generation of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAVs that will combine the advantages of existing rotorcraft UAVs with those of fixed-wing aircraft for longer range and endurance.
Sky-Watch and the Technical University of Denmark’s National Space Institute and Department of Environmental Engineering are collaborating on the project, and Boeing says it will explore ways to assist Sky-Watch in the effort.
Boeing and Sky-Watch signed the agreement at an event at UAS Denmark, an unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry group based at the Hans Christian Andersen Airport in Odense. Boeing joined the group in 2013 and learned about fellow member Sky-Watch through UAS Denmark.
To achieve the goals of the Smart UAV project, Sky-Watch will contribute expertise from the development of its HUGINN X1 quadrotor UAV and from Sky-Watch Labs, the company’s research and development (R&D) department.
Boeing will contribute expertise in VTOL and fixed-wing technologies from its R&D organizations, as well as from Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary that provides UAS solutions.
Such aircraft could be used for a wide range of missions, Boeing says, including environmental monitoring and geo-data research, in addition to maritime surveillance in Arctic regions.
Susan Colegrove, Boeing’s director of international strategic partnerships for Europe, says that “a company like Boeing is well served by taking a diverse look at Danish industry in creating collaborations and technologies for the future.”