Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Danish company Sky-Watch today signed an agreement that will enable Boeing to explore assisting the company in its development of a new type of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) under a project supported by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation.
The goal of the “Smart UAV” project is to develop a new generation of vertical take-off 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 will explore ways to assist Sky-Watch in the effort.
Boeing and Sky-Watch signed the agreement today at an event at UAS Denmark, the unmanned aerial systems 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.
“Today’s agreement is evidence that Danish companies like Sky-Watch are leading innovation that can attract the attention of global companies; that organizations like UAS Denmark are helping make valuable industry connections; and that a company like Boeing is well served by taking a diverse look at Danish industry in creating collaborations and technologies for the future,” said Susan Colegrove, Boeing’s director of International Strategic Partnerships for Europe.
To achieve the goals of the “Smart UAV” project, Sky-Watch will contribute expertise from development of its HUGINN X1 quad-rotor UAV and from Sky-Watch Labs, the company’s research and development department. Boeing will contribute expertise in VTOL and fixed-wing technologies from its research and development organizations, as well as from Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary that is an industry leader in unmanned aerial system solutions.
Such aircraft could be used for a wide range of missions, including environmental monitoring and geo-data research, in addition to maritime surveillance in Arctic regions. Boeing and Insitu have significant experience in both manned and unmanned maritime surveillance platforms to contribute to the project.
“The Smart UAV project is an important step forward in establishing Denmark as a leader in unmanned technology development, and we are excited to have Boeing join Sky-Watch in this effort,” said Michael Messerschmidt, Sky-Watch’s manager of Business Development. “Boeing’s experience in developing and implementing global unmanned systems will be an invaluable addition to the work Sky-Watch has started with the Technical University of Denmark.”
Founded in 2009 and located in Støvring in northern Denmark, Sky-Watch develops, produces and sells advanced UAV systems with state-of-the-art control technology. The company also provides contract-based research and development for the global defense and aerospace industry. The company’s rugged and highly autonomous UAVs are designed to be used in places that are too inaccessible, widespread or dangerous for human access. Because of its UAV experience and HUGINN X1 quad-rotor vehicle, Sky-Watch received a grant from the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation in December of 2013 to pursue the Smart UAV project with the Technical University of Denmark.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $33 billion business with 56,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.