Launch and recovery of drones involves special equipment as drones are sometimes required to operate from areas where the terrain is too rough to serve as a runway, and, to save weight, many drones are built without landing gear.
To deal with these factors, catapult systems are used to launch drones and nets are used to recover them. However, drone launch and recovery using catapults and nets can damage or accelerate wear to a drone due to abrupt accelerations experienced by drones during catapult launches and abrupt decelerations experienced during net recoveries.
Lockeed Martin has designed and filed a patent for a specialized all-terrain vehicle that can launch and recover a drone while the drone is moving.
Publication number: US 20160167805
Patent Title: UAV Launch and Recovery
Publication date: Jun 16, 2016
Filing date: Dec 9, 2015
Inventors: Thomas Sandlin McKee; Steve Conrad Roden;
Original Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation