Sony Joint Venture Aerosense Offers Preview of its Unmanned Aircraft

Sony Joint Venture Aerosense Offers Preview of its Unmanned AircraftAerosense Inc., the recently formed joint venture of Sony Mobile Communications and ZMP Inc., has introduced the prototype of its new autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which will integrate technology from Mitsui Chemicals Inc.

Mitsui Chemicals is providing Aerosense with a hybrid product of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminum joint parts made by the company’s POLYMETACTM technology, which will provide full support in shaping and designing the parts for the frame of the aircraft.

Earlier this summer, Sony and ZMP first announced the formation of Aerosense, which will develop and provide enterprise solutions using UAVs for image capture and cloud-based data processing.

It aims to roll out these services – for applications including measuring, surveying, observing and inspections – for enterprise customers in 2016.

Aerosense has released test-flight footage of its vertical takeoff and landing, fixed-wing UAV. (Footage of a multi-rotor aircraft can also be found here.)
1453_sony_x_zmp_vtol_image.jpgAccording to Mitsui Chemicals, the POLYMETACTM reduces the UAV’s weight and helps cut down on the number of parts and steps in the manufacturing processes. The technology will also enhance the structural rigidity of the vehicle and eliminate the need for fasteners such as bolts, the company says.

A Wall Street Journal report says Aerosense’s fixed-wing UAV will be capable of carrying a 22-pound payload for over two hours at 106 mph.

“Mitsui Chemicals used its cutting-edge simulation technology to design simple joint shapes with a single part – which were originally composed of approximately 20 pieces. The technology contributes to a 50 percent weight reduction of joint parts while improving rigidity,” explains Akio Hirahara, general manager of Mitsui Chemicals’ new market development (automotive materials) division.


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