The Vapor PA-01 Unmanned Aircraft System
After a decade of research and development, Pulse Aerospace is leading the charge in ushering a new age of unmanned aircraft systems. The Vapor combines the world's most advanced autopilot with an FAA-compliant military grade unmanned helicopter for commercial, research and security applications. Pulse Aerospace's Vapor delivers more than one hour of flight time on a single battery charge and enhanced flight stability over any other electric UAV helicopter on the market.
Redundant Power Supply
The PA-01 Vapor's electrical power distribution is designed with safety in mind. The flight control system is powered by a fully redundant power supply. This is one of the many design features that contributes to the Vapor system's exceptional reliability.
Automatic Camera Trigger
The PA-01 system comes with an optional automatic camera trigger designed for aerial mapping applications. Users just enter lens parameters and desired image overlap and the flight control system automaically triggers the camera while flying a preprogrammed mission to achieve full coverage with georeferenced images.
The PA-01 Vapor uses a cascaded H∞ multivariable velocity controller that is synthesized around a high fidelity helicopter dynamics model extracted from flight data. The controllers are synthesized on varying models, resulting in high performance (excellent disturbance rejection and tracking accuracy) and robust stability.
Velocity Control Interface
The PA-01 Vapor Helicopter UAS features a velocity control interface port that allows the user to send simple velocity commands (forward speed, side speed, climb rate, turn rate) to the system. Users can develop and implement their own guidance algorithms (e.g., swarming, sense and avoid) without worrying about inner-loop stabilization.
Ground Vehicle Tracking
The PA-01 Vapor is capable of real-time convoy tracking through the use of a DGPS system mounted on a ground vehicle.
In the case of loss of power to the motor, the Vapor has an optional capability to perform an automatic autorotation that greatly minimizes system damage.
The PA-01 Vapor is designed with modular payload options in mind.
Click on a payload option for details:
Various DSLR camera options are available for integration onto the Vapor platform including Canon, Sony, and Nikon. These systems can be integrated in a fixed installation for aerial mapping purposes, or with pan/tilt gimbals. Each system can be integrated with an automatic camera trigger functionality.
Various infrared camera options are available including the FLIR Tau series of cameras.
The large payload capacity of the Vapor allows for the integration of high-performance stabilized camera gimbals.
The PA-01 Vapor is capable of slingloading up to a 5 lb payload. This allows for precision control of sensors that need to be separated from the aircraft (e.g., magnetometers).
We offer custom payload integration services including structural design, manufacturing, integration, and testing.
Ground Control Station
Point and Click Functionality
The PA-01 Vapor helicopter UAS has multiple modes of control including a point-and-click, map-based, ground control station (GCS) software package. This software allows users to plan and execute missions using waypoint information (latitude, longitude, altitude) or via point-and-click functionality through the calibrated map interface.
In addition, the Vapor helicopter UAS can be operated without the ground control station in "joystick mode". The joystick mode allows the user to steer the system with simple joystick commands.
Completely customizable ground control station (GCS) solutions are available. Typical GCS includes:
GCS Software License: Standard GCS software allows users to preplan missions via point-and-click functionality, modify and upload missions in real-time, and monitor critical systems.
GCS Computer: Standard and rugged laptop options are available. Alternatively, the GCS software works with any Windows-based machine, allowing users to install the software on their own hardware.
We offer customizable solutions for each component. Contact us today to discuss system options.
The systems have been used to interface with STANAG 4586 compliant systems. This allows for easy integration of our systems into existing ground control stations. Adding a Vapor VTOL UAS to your existing suite of unmanned systems requires minimal retraining or configuration.
Click on a question for more information:
The VAPOR endurance is up to 1 hour with a standard payload and battery load under normal operating conditions. The flight time will vary depending on the operating conditions (Climbing and descending, hover vs cruise flight, etc.) We are constantly working on improvements to the system with new, more efficient blade design, larger batteries, more optimized power systems, and lighter structures that will continue to push the performance of the VAPOR.
Instead of simply specifying the payload limit of the VAPOR, we should instead refer to it's "Useful Load". Useful Load is defined as the sum of payload and battery weight that can be carried by the VAPOR. The Useful Load of the VAPOR is 15 lbs. The standard batteries weigh 11 lbs, leaving 4 lbs for payload in its standard configuration. Up to 10 lbs of payload weight can be carried by reducing the batteries. This will reduce the endurance, as well as it may require specialized mounting. Please contact us for the CAD models of the mounting plate options. We can work with you to implement a custom mount for your payload.
There are multiple things that will limit your operational radius. These are:
Helicopter Range: The helicopter can travel at 50 mph and has a total endurance of one hour, so it can fly a maximum of 50 miles. (This will vary depending on flight conditions, climbing, descending, etc.)
Control Communications Range: When operating without a ground station, the communication range is limited by the handheld transmitter to around one mile. When using the ground station, the communication link limit depends on the communication options. Standard data links allow up to five miles, while upgraded links can do 20 miles. A third option is to use satellite communications.
Video Downlink Range: The video downlink requires more bandwidth, which means increasing its range is more expensive than increasing the control communication range. The standard video downlink can handle up to a 5 mile radius. Upgrades are available for longer ranges.
Yes — the VAPOR is capable of autonomous flight, from take off to landing, with the push of a button. The VAPOR uses a complete automatic flight control system (AFCS) or autopilot that uses 11 sensors (accelerometers, gyros, GPS, magnetometer, and pressure sensors) to estimate the VAPOR's attitude and position. These estimates are fed into an h-infinity robust controller that is designed for high performance (gust rejection, excellent reference tracking) with robust stability (stable under varying payload and weather conditions).
Absolutely — the AFCS supports a user directed mode that allows even a novice to direct the helicopter with a joystick. Mission mode allows flight plans to be uploaded and executed on-the-fly by clicking and dragging waypoints via a map interface.
Yes, we can interface our systems (the VAPOR and B1-100 Scout) to a STANAG 4586 compliant ground control station.
Yes, with limitations. Different payload configurations can affect the flight dynamics of the VAPOR so we prefer to help with the payload integration. We can provide payload integration services to help ensure the system will perform properly with your payload installed.
More than a decade of research, development, experience, and partnerships culminated in Pulse Aerospace's PA-01 Vapor Electric Unmanned Helicopter System. Pulse Aerospace's vision was to offer a new age of defense/security/commercial use helicopter UAVs. The PA-01 Vapor delivers through ease of use and training, increased reliability, reduced restrictions for flight in poor weather conditions, and enhanced usability over any electric UAV helicopter today.
|Endurance:||45 min to 1 hour|
|Payload:||4.4kg (10 lb)|
|Radius:||7 miles (Standard)|
|Wind Limit:||35 kts|
|Length (No Blades):||1,400 mm (55 in)|
|Width:||630 mm (25 in)|
|Height:||480 mm (19 in)|
|Rotor Diameter:||1,650 mm (65 in)|
|Empty Weight:||6.3 kg (14 lb)|
|Max Weight:||16 kg (35 lb)|