Micro-etched components for surveillance UAV

A miniature surveillance UAV helicopter is an interesting design-win for Birmingham-based Precision Micro, a photo chemical etching specialist.

precision micro

The miniature unmanned aerial vehicle’s engine operates using miniature motor laminations, etched to tight tolerances. The laminations use Precision Micro’s ‘R bond’ technique, which uses the photo resist protecting the material surface during chemical etching as the bonding agent.

“This approach offers improved performance versus conventional punched, riveted or welded laminations,” said the company.

Eliminating the option of conventional machining A further engine component, which requires micro radii, can only be produced by combining Precision Micro’s photo chemical etching and wire EDM technologies.

After chemical etching a 1mm thick blank, a 100µm wire is used to profile the 0.1mm feature to sub-10µm tolerances, negating the option of conventional machining techniques, such as precision presswork or laser cutting.

Another component that could not be manufactured by conventional means is the magnetic pole plates used to tilt the rotors and steer the nano UAV.

For the helicopter to effectively navigate obstacles and identify hidden dangers and enemy positions, the composition of the base metal must not be compromised during manufacture.

An ambient, non-contact process, photo chemical etching does not induce any material stresses, meaning original properties remain unaltered throughout the process.

Communication integrity to the ground elements is maintained by the miniature shielding cans also manufactured by Precision Micro, protecting the sensitive electronics from EMI and RFI interference.


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