Japan's first level 3 flight of the fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) conducts aerial survey of marine debris in Tsushima City, Nagasaki Prefecture

November 18, 2021

ShinMaywa Industries, Ltd. (Head Office: Takarazuka City, Hyogo Prefecture, President IsogawaTatsuyuki) was developed by our company from October 18 (Monday) to 19 (Tuesday), 2021, and from November 1 (Monday) to November 4 (Thursday), 2021 with the cooperation of Tsushima City, Nagasaki Prefecture and Tsushima Airportthe fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) We conducted a demonstration experiment of an aerial photographic survey of marine debris using "XU-S (Experimental Unmanned / Utility aircraft by ShinMaywa)".

The following points are the first in Japan in this demonstration experiment:

  • Aerial photographic survey of marine debris during level 3 flight (uninhabited land, unassisted flight beyond visual line of sight)
  • Level 3 flights with an airport that operates regular flights serving as the takeoff and landing point
  • Connection between the fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and drone operation management system (UTM) controlled by satellite communication
The fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) "XU-S" taking off from Tsushima Airport

This experiment was conducted as part of the "Project for Realizing an Energy-Saving Society in which Robots and Drones Are Active'' (DRESS Project), sponsored by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a national research and development agency. Tsushima City, as a co-proposing municipality, and as a cooperating partner, participated in the "Demonstration Project for a Flight Management System Considering Regional Characteristics and Scalability" (Regional Demonstration), which was planned by NEDO and publicly solicited by Persol Process & Technology Co., Ltd., which serves as the secretariat. It was submitted together with the Meiji University Institute for Autonomous Driving Society (MIAD) and was selected.

In recent years, Tsushima City has been exploring the possibility of using autonomous driving technology with MIAD and others to address the issues of declining birthrate, aging population, and depopulation, and is also considering the use of unmanned aircraft to combat the increasingly serious marine debris problem. Masu. Meanwhile, our company is developing the fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) "XU-S" that is powered by LiPo (lithium ion polymer) batteries that do not produce exhaust gas and is capable of long-distance flight. We have made a joint application.

In this experiment, we conducted a flight connected to the UTM developed in the DRESS project. Our group company ShinMaywa Soft Technologies, Ltd. was in charge of developing the connection interface between "XU-S" and UTM.

During the test period, Tsushima Airport, which has regular flights, will be used as a take-off and landing base, and the "XU-S" will be controlled and operated by satellite communication, and will conduct level 3 coastal aerial photography surveys and floating objects on the west coast of Tsushima Island. conducted multiple search flights. The maximum continuous flight was 1 hour and 12 minutes, and approximately 63 km.

Aerial survey flight route of the west coast of Tsushima Island
Maritime search flight routes on the west side of Tsushima Island (2 routes)

The content of the shooting is ``aerial photography of garbage washed ashore on the shore'' and "aerial photography of garbage drifting on the sea,'' both of which cannot be handled by typical rotary-wing drones due to their short cruising time and range. , we used multiple cameras to take aerial photographs using the "XU-S," which features long-distance and long-distance flights.

Aerial image 1
Aerial image 2

Currently, surveys of the actual condition of stranded garbage in Tsushima are carried out by surveyors who come ashore by boat and walk ashore, but even on the west coast, where there is a relatively large amount of stranded garbage, the area covers several hundred kilometers, so there is no leakage. difficult to investigate. If the aerial photography survey using the fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) demonstrated this time is put into practical use, it is expected that stranded garbage surveys will become more efficient and more detailed. In addition, if floating garbage can be discovered early through sea searches, it will be possible in the near future to collect it by boat before it washes ashore, which can also be expected to improve the environment.

In the future, we will continue to provide services in a wide range of fields such as observation, monitoring, and communications, such as aerial photography of air pollution and marine debris, which we have demonstrated so far, as well as unmanned aircraft that match the operations and requests of our users. We aim to become an engineering business that includes the design and manufacturing of.

Overview of the fixed-wing unmanned aircraft "XU-S" used in the experiment
Size Total length 2.5m, total width 6.0m, total height 0.4m
Own weight (including battery) 17kg
Main material Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP)
Flight control system Radio control system, autonomous control system
Propulsion system Electric, propeller, twin engine

Contact Information Regarding this Matter

For news organizations

ShinMaywa Industries, Ltd. Public Relations/IR Department Corporate Planning Headquarters

1-1 Shinmeiwa-cho, Takarazuka, Hyogo, 665-8550, Japan

About products

Engineering Department, Aircraft Division, ShinMaywa Industries, Ltd.

(Aircraft Division Representative Number)

1-1-1 Ogi, Higashinada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 658-0027, Japan


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