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Robot Planes Win With Northwest Nano

March 16, 2010

Here’s a Real Win-Win-Winner Story for the Willamette Valley

UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are a hot and growing technology for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. These robot flying machines can be deployed in both teleoperated and automonmos modes and can be used as passive “Eyes in the Sky” or as proactive “Hunter-Killers.” This is our first in a series about UAVs.

Northwest UAV headquartered in McMinnville, partnered with Corvallis based ONAMI and MBI in developing an innovative fuel injection system using MEMS (Microelectromechanical) technology.

Northwest UAV with ONAMI and MBI’s help uses microfluidics similar to HP’s inkjet technology to improve the range and fuel efficiency of small engines made for UAVs.

It takes a bit to explain the technology and introduce the players but we’ve got good articles and videos that help tell the story.

High flying Northwest UAV (NWUAV) was founded in 2005 and has grown to around fifty people. They specialize in UAV engine development, principally for Boeing’s Insitu, Inc. Insitu is a pioneer and leading provider of small tactical unmanned aircraft systems. NWUAV also provides advanced manufacturing and rapid prototyping services for other companies who want to develop their own UAVs.

When NWUAV needed critical advanced research in order to grow their business and meet tough government standards on emissions, they turned to Business Oregon. Business Oregon was set up to help grow business and create jobs in the state. It has invested significantly to build out the capabilities of ONAMI for just such a partnership. Business Oregon introduced NWUAV to ONAMI.

This excellent video shows how government, business and research organizations can win together.

Northwest UAV Works with ONAMI to Develop New Fuel Injector

More about this technology and the collaborative partnership…

Designed for Heavy Fuel Engines
Multifuel ability (JP5, JP8, Bio-Fuels)

The NWUAV MEMS Fuel Injection System promises to enhance the capabilities of UAVs by increasing fuel efficiencies and by allowing multifuels to be used on the same engine platform. This will help the U.S. Department of Defense implement its single-fuel-concept policy.

The NWUAV MEMS Fuel Injection System will allow longer duration flight times and reduced (green house gas) emissions as a result of the ability to digitally control the fuel delivery and droplet size to a level much smaller than is conventionally possible using carburetors and COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) fuel injectors.

The NWUAV MEMS Fuel Injection System uses Hewlett Packard Ink Jet technology to atomize a variety of fuels including JP5, JP8 and logistical fuels used in internal combustion engines. See a company video on how it works…

As impressive as the fuel injection and engine technology is for these machines, there’s nothing like it when it all comes together as a fully operational UAV.

Watch the ScanEagle go to work…

Here’s an example of a successful but graceless “landing”.

ScanEagle coming home and snagged by it’s SkyHook recovery system

Image may be subject to copyright

I love the term SkyHook , when I was a navy avionics technician, and “Old Spice” was just known as “Spice”, a skyhook was what we sent boots (newbies) looking for, kind of like the scouts had a  ”Snipe hunt“.

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And now a word from our sponsor…

Innovational Musing’s wrote about Sanda Communication’s work with ONAMI in an earlier post. We created their great looking logo, tag line, and much of their marketing materials. We are pleased to see ONAMI, Oregon Business and NWUAV working together to develop a clean winning technology. ONAMI has been a real stand-out as an example of successful state, university and business cooperation.To learn more about ONAMI visit their website.

ONAMI logo creation

Read the story on how we created the design and see the short video

What you might have missed in the above videos and articles referenced on NWUAV was the role that MBI played. “The Microproducts Breakthrough Institute is a unique collaboration between Oregon State University and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory focused on the development and commercialization of microchannel-based technologies for energy, medical, environmental and national security applications. Formed in 2003, the MBI model is to include academic, federal laboratory and industrial researchers in the same facility and to support the researchers with unique fabrication, modeling and testing capabilities tailored to the development of microchannel devices.”

At Sanda we were fortunate to work with the MBI team on creating their new logo too. They wanted us to design something that was in harmony with the ONAMI design because MBI is part of the ONAMI network and they like what we did for them. So we used the look and feel of the ONAMI logo but incorporated some of the key underlying scientic principles of microfluidics to tell a relevant story with new MBI logo.

Microproducts Breakthrough Institute logo

Compare the MBI logo to the droplets shown on the NWUAV website video which wasn’t available when we did the original design. See how you think we did combining the ONAMI look with the science behind MBI.

“Video from a high speed camera was used to analyze droplet shape and size. The video clip below shows droplets ejected at 285Hz using piezo actuation.”

At Sanda we are proud to be able to work with clients like MBI and ONAMI in creating their logos and marketing materials. Our tagline is “Storytellers for the Information Age” and we believe, when designing logos, that as Rod Stewart said: every picture tells a story

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