The Taranis is unlike most UAVs currently in development in that it is jet powered. It uses stealth technology which means that the physiology of the air frame itself is very crucial to its successful operation. The positioning of any moving part is determined very much by the need to maintain the aircraft design shape. The throttle actuator had to be mounted close to the jet engine which meant that ambient temperature would rise very rapidly during operation.
The linear throttle actuator that OTMS was designing for the Herti UAV was appropriate in its basic make up for use in this application also. The issue would be adapting it to be able to handle the high temperatures next to the engine of the Taranis UAV where it was required to sit. In its then current form it could not function in that position.
The end solution was an engineering triumph. We designed a new temperature sensor to work with the actuators to enable them to function next to the Taranis jet engine. The basic Hall effect sensors of the Herti throttle actuators were not good enough for this application so the commutation of the actuator was re-configured to work within the required temperature levels next to the Taranis engine.
While OTMS engineers were working on the throttle actuator project, another issue came to light. Each Taranis aircraft has two high torque linear actuators that open and close the air brake. The aircraft designers were struggling with the problem of where to position these actuators for maximum performance. While these were not OTMS designed units, our engineers lent their expertise to work hand-in-hand with the BAe engineers to figure out the optimum location on the aircraft for maximising performance.
The units were successfully installed and fully operational on the Herti drone. Although this simplex actuator was developed for use in primary flight control surface actuation, it has also proved its worth in secondary functions such as braking and steering without having to undergo major re-design. Despite the unit being tailored to a very specialised functionality within the limited space of the aircraft wing, the OTM plug and play technology proved itself versatile enough to be put to equally good use in other applications.