CONTENT PREVIEW
Air Platforms

NOMAD flight vehicle completes at-sea demonstration from LCS

03 November 2017

Key Points

  • NOMAD is a low-cost rotary-wing UAV forming part of ONR’s wider NEMESIS Innovative Naval Prototype
  • Testing from USS Coronado demonstrated NOMAD’s upgraded launch and control capabilities, as well as a new recovery capability

The US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has revealed details of new at-sea tests of its Netted Offboard Miniature Active Decoy (NOMAD) flight vehicle.A NOMAD flight vehicle launches from the flight deck of USS Coronado (LCS 4). (US Navy)A NOMAD flight vehicle launches from the flight deck of USS Coronado (LCS 4). (US Navy)

Performed from the Littoral Combat Ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) in late August, testing demonstrated NOMAD’s upgraded launch and control capabilities, as well as a new recovery capability.

Forming part of the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR’s) wider NEMESIS (Netted Emulation of Multi-Element Signatures against Integrated Sensors) Innovative Naval Prototype (INP), NOMAD is a low-cost rotary-wing mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by NRL’s Vehicle Research Section under ONR funding.

Tube-launched for compact storage and rapid deployment, the NOMAD vehicle deploys its flip-out rotor system post-launch. NOMAD is capable of flying either as a single platform or in teams of multiple decoys to provide unmanned, persistent electronic warfare (EW) capabilities.

While designed-to-cost to allow for expendable operations, the NOMAD vehicle now has a recovery feature that allows operators to retrieve and reuse vehicles multiple times in support of development, testing, training, and potentially future operational missions. “NOMAD is a low-cost rotary-wing vehicle in which researchers can test remote control, autonomous flight control, station keeping, and safe co-ordinated flight supporting any number of possible future payloads,” said co-principal investigator Steve Tayman, senior aerospace engineer with NRL’s Vehicle Research Section. “The unique form factor provides compact, lightweight storage in an integrated launch tube, and allows for storage in a ready-to-use condition for quick reaction deployment.”

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