Animal Dynamics Stork Drone Constructed to Resist the Wind

Animal Dynamics Partners with University of Manchester for Advanced Virtual Wind Simulation

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Bio-inspired autonomous systems developer Animal Dynamics has announced a collaboration with the University of Manchester for the improvement of its simulated environment in order to advance the commercial production of its Stork STM Uncrewed Aircraft System.

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Wind simulation within a virtual environment allows for the exposure of Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) to a variety of wind scenarios that would be too challenging or costly to recreate in the real world. The advanced simulation software supplied by the Mechanical, Aerospace, and Civil Engineering Division at the University of Manchester allows Animal Dynamics to perform more accurate simulations with simulated wind data, providing a means of testing flight control strategies for take-off and landing under challenging wind conditions.

The introduction of this software is enabling Animal Dynamics to establish a flight control system capable of responding to local wind conditions in mere seconds, increasing the tolerance of UAS to extreme wind conditions and resulting in a safer airspace.

“Simulation holds the key to unlocking aerial autonomy. It is crucial that we are able to expose our systems to challenging environments in virtual worlds,” said Ian Foster, Head of Engineering at Animal Dynamics. “Thanks to the team at the University of Manchester we can now blend realistic wind data into our simulated environments, something that will accelerate our ability to be able to address the urgent, complex, and dangerous operational challenges across the globe.”

“Research is an important part of my role at the University of Manchester aside from teaching,” said Ben Parslew, Senior Lecturer in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Manchester. “I really enjoy working with innovative companies like Animal Dynamics to develop new technologies and new engineering products. In this particular project we only just scratched the surface of what is possible with simulation, so it is exciting to think about all the further things we can do together in the future.”

Animal Dynamics’ Stork STM is a heavy-lift powered parafoil able to transport a payload weighing 135 kg for up to 250 miles. Stork STM is designed to address critical and hazardous operational challenges, including providing humanitarian aid in crisis zones, improving emergency response strategies in inaccessible locations, enabling delivery in military settings, and developing sustainable agriculture solutions.

Stork STM will join Animal Dynamics’ previous UAS, the ST-25, designed for last-mile logistics with a payload drop capability of 10 kg over 40 km, infrastructure monitoring, and numerous LiDAR and other surveillance missions.

Read more about Animal Dynamics and other heavy lift last mile logistics solutions:

Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.

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