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Terminal Guidance for Autonomous Aerial Refueling

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
NAVY 10-073
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Cybernet Systems Corporation
3885 Research Park Drive Ann Arbor, MI 48108-2247
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Terminal Guidance for Autonomous Aerial Refueling
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: N68936-10-C-0115
Award Amount: $69,835.00


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are serving an ever increasing role in U.S. military operations. There are many reasons why UAVs are becoming the platform of choice over manned air assets for many missions. UAVs can be used to perform dangerous missions that would be too risky with a human pilot and can operate for long durations without concern about pilot fatigue. However, overall mission length is affected by both pilot issues and the need for fuel, the UAV can only carry a certain amount before needing to be refueled. The probe and drogue method has been used successfully to refuel both manned and unmanned aerial vehicles in flight, effectively extending the maximum mission length for these platforms. Typically, refueling of UAVs is done with a human pilot teleoperating the aircraft. However, the long-term goal for UAVs (and the focus of much current research) is to make them operate autonomously. Therefore, there is a need for a system that allows a UAV to autonomously rendezvous with a refueling tanker and then correctly insert the refueling probe into the drogue. Cybernet proposes to build such a system by leveraging our exiting tracking visual tracking technologies

Principal Investigator:

Glenn Beach
Sr Engineer

Business Contact:

Charles Jacobus
Small Business Information at Submission:

Cybernet Systems Corporation
727 Airport Boulevard Ann Arbor, MI 48108

EIN/Tax ID: 430924383
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No