【洛克希德·马丁公司新作 飞艇修补机器人Spider】

【洛克希德·马丁公司新作 飞艇修补机器人Spider】日前,飞机制造商洛克希德·马丁公司开发了“蜘蛛无人机”。研究人员称,这个小机器人分内外两部分,用磁力连接,二者通过亮光和相机扫描飞艇表面,一旦发现破损,就会开启内置修补系统。此外,Spider还会为工作人员拍下修复后的照片。

The MEGABLIMP that comes with its own drone doctor: 'Spider' craft will scour surface of Lockheed Martin's cargo carrying craft to look for holes

They were some of the first man-made machines to carry people into the sky and became the ultimate way to travel until a series of disasters brought the golden age of airships to an end.

Now aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin is hoping to revitalise the use of blimps to deliver heavy cargo and passengers to remote locations around the world - and it will even come with a drone of its own.

The firm has developed a 'spider drone' to scour the ship's surface and look for tears.

36A5BDE600000578-3711430-image-a-71_1469650241307

'One of the biggest problems facing the airship industry is locating the tiny pinholes in the airship's envelope,' said Lockheed's Bill Boys, who led the project.

'At the moment, this requires a crew of workers using a bright light.

'Spider can scan the envelope, find pinholes and patch them.'

Short for Self-Propelled Instrument for Damage Evaluation and Repair, the bots are in two parts -one on the inside and one on the outside, connected through the airship's skin by magnets.

They work together by using a bright light and a camera to scan the the whole surface of the inflated craft for pinholes.

When they find a hole, they use a built-in patching system to fix them up - and even take a picture of their finished work for operators.

The company is testing the system on a prototype of its LMH-1 heavy lift airship at its secretive Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California.

The 120ft-long (37 metre) experimental vessel, called the P-791, is designed to be a hybrid that combines lighter-than-air technology with wings other aerodynamic features more commonly seen in aeroplanes.

Its tri-shaped hull, which towers 21ft-tall (6 metres), is filled with helium, producing around 80 per cent of its lift, while the wings and motor provide the rest.

36A4EFD500000578-0-image-a-69_1469647815763 36A4EFB100000578-0-image-a-68_1469647815745

Four hover-craft style landing pads underneath give it the ability to set down on flat land without needing to be moored.

The P-791 airship uses a vector thrust system to power it, similar to the engines fitted to the F22 Raptor, which gives it far greater maneuverability.

It flies by wire using both traditional rotor pedals and a control stick.

Dr Bob Boyd, program manager for the P-791 Hybrid Air Vehicle, added: 'The air cushion landing system allows us to take off and land from remote areas including sand, snow, dirt or even water.

'These environments don't require any infrastructure for take-off and landing operations.

36A5BF6F00000578-3711430-image-a-4_1469650551548

'Not only can we take off and land with the air cushion landing system, but it doubles in grip mode that allows the system to grab the ground and hold it even in shifting winds so we don't need any kind of mooring system or tie down as we do our change operations on the ground.'

He added the airship would also be highly efficient as it can fly two to three weeks without needing to refuel.

However, the prototype is just one third of the size of Lockheed's full sized heavy-lift airship LMH-1, which will eventually be 300ft long and 78ft tall (91 metres by 24 metres).

It will be capable of carrying truck sized loads – up to 23 tons – on top of the airships 21 tons in weight alog with 19 passengers.

Last November the US Federal Aviation Administration gave Lockheed Martin the green light to begin constructing the massive $40 million airship.

320C6F5600000578-3485488-The_LMH_1_will_use_fly_by_wire_technology_cockpit_simulator_pict-m-17_1457606732875 320C6FA200000578-0-Lockheed_Martin_s_prototype_hybrid_airship_called_the_P_791_is_a-a-7_1457606355131

After nearly two decades of development the FAA approved a certification plan to allow it to be used for commercial deliveries. Lockheed Martin now hopes the LMH-1 its first flight in 2018.

However, the Los Angeles Times was given a sneak preview of what it may be like after being shown around the prototype in a hanger at Lockheed Martin's facilities in Palmdale.

It is the same site where the top secret SR-71 Blackbird spy plane and the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter have been developed.

Craig Johnston, business director for Lockheed Martin, said the LMH-1 would have a square shaped cargo bay in the back of the cockpit specially designed to make loading as fast as possible.

320C6F0F00000578-0-image-a-9_1457606362494

He told the LA Times: 'This is designed from the ground up to be a cargo vehicle.'

While Lockheed Martin said it has still to get any orders for the airship, it was already planning an even bigger aircraft which could be more than 800 feet long and weight more than 500 tons.

They argue vehicles of this size would be able to make significant sized deliveries to some of the most remote locations in the world.

Powered airships have been used since the nineteenth century but have always been slow and cumbersome. During World War One there were fears they might be used to bomb cities and fleets.

They were largely abandoned as winged aircraft took over, allowing people and cargo to be moved far faster before a series of accidents, including the Hindenberg disaster, which killed 36 people, saw them largely abandoned.

2E9CD4D100000578-0-image-a-6_1447963929613

However, a number of companies around the world now believe airships could provide a more efficient and environmentally friendly way of moving cargo around the world.

A mock-up of the LMH-1's 150 feet long gondola, which will sit underneath the vessel towards the back, has room for two pilots and airliner style seating behind them.

Grant Cool, chief operating officer of Hybrid Enterprises LLC, which has been working with Lockheed Martin on the LMH-1, said: 'We are targeting a market that is not really competing with anything else out there.

'We are looking for opportunities that don't really exist right now.'

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3711430/The-MEGABLIMP-comes-drone-doctor-Spider-craft-scour-surface-Lockheed-Martin-s-cargo-carrying-craft-look-holes.html


Comments are closed.



无觅相关文章插件