Satellite Applications Catapult Welcomes Anduril to its Drone Test and Development Centre

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Starting from April 2024, Anduril has taken up a tenancy in one of Satellite Applications Catapult’s drone hangars at its Drone Test and Development (DTDC) Facility in Westcott.

Anduril is a US- and London-based defense contractor, who had been searching for a site to safely test and develop its autonomous drone capabilities. David Stubbersfield, Systems Engineering Lead and Anduril, explains:

“Due to the talent we want to attract, a central London HQ is essential but provides a predicament when it comes to quickly iterating on flight software and hardware. The DTDC provides a modern, comfortable and fit-for-purpose facility for quickly iterating without putting excessive travel strain on our engineers and operators.

“Anduril is committed to transforming UK and allied defence capabilities with cutting-edge technologies. In addition to software and hardware in the loop testing, real-world flight tests are a critical component of our iterative and ongoing approach to product development and testing. The Drone Centre allows us to quickly install hardware, load software, and execute real-world tests at speed, allowing us to maintain the pace of testing and development required to deliver advanced capability at mission speed.”

The DTDC is based on Westcott Venture Park in Buckinghamshire, a former RAF base which offers a secure yet accessible location for testing unmanned and autonomous air vehicles without cause for concern about other air traffic users in the area. The site has both a 270m runway and four vertical launchpads to allow for different modes of drone take-off which give access to a variety of real-world flight environments that can be used.

In addition to flight environments, the DTDC also has three large hangar-based workshops which offer facilities for on-site development, repairs, and flight monitoring which allow tenants like Anduril to make the most out of the facility whilst on-site.

You can find out more about Anduril on their website, and if you’d like to find out more about the Drone Test and Development Centre, you can do so by clicking here.

Anduril’s Ghost system is a portable system that collapses into a slim rifle case or tactical soft case. It can be assembled and readied for flight by a single operator in less than 2 minutes without tools. Ghost has flown in difficult weather conditions in a variety of operating environments. Image provided by Anduril.