Available Technology

Unmanned aerial vehicle catcher

Launch and recovery of an aerial vehicle by a forwardly moving surface vehicle relies on a winch module having a winch to selectively reel out and reel in a towline and a sensor capable of sensing tension in the towline. A lifting body assembly having a pair of lifting bodies and a snagging wire is connected to the towline. The lifting bodies lift and laterally extend the snagging wire between the lifting bodies. An aerial vehicle flying through the air engages the snagging wire by a hook. A first signal representative of tension of the towline causes the winch to reel in the towline and to bring the aerial vehicle to the surface vehicle, and a second sensor associated with the hook generates a second signal representative of tension in the hook and causes the aerial vehicle to cut its motor.

Helmut Portmann

Patent Number: 
Patent Issue Date: 
October 4, 2007
Lab Representatives
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