Development of technologies for the high-altitude and long-range propulsion of uninhabited aircraft (UAVs)

Approved by Decree of the General Director of MIUR prot. 664 / Ric, of 14/10/2011. Project code: PON01_02876.


The research project is carried out by the Aerospace Technological District (DTA) srl through the executing partners ALENIA AERMACCHI SpA, CMD SpA and AVIO SpA, with the Department of Innovation Engineering of the University of Salento and the Italian Aerospace Research Center (CIRA ) of Capua (CE), the latter as co-proponents. DTA scarl is responsible for the training project. The MALET research project aims at the acquisition of technologies, and their validation, to develop propulsion systems for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that have to carry out missions at high altitudes and for a long time. The technological focus of the project is a two-stroke common rail diesel alternative engine with a multistage supercharging system in which an innovative electro-fluid dynamic machine will be integrated.

The training project attached to the MALET project entitled “Training of experts in the design of engines for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)”, will allow 18 young engineers to specialize in the development of propulsion systems for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) made to carry out missions at high altitude and for a long time. Participants will have the opportunity to acquire and strengthen basic, technical, professional, scientific and technological and managerial skills and competences that will allow them to oversee various tasks and functions within as many production sectors.

At the end of the training course:

  • there will be professional profiles with technical-scientific skills such as to be able to be included in the design, manufacture, maintenance of engines, including plant and accessory parts, in harmony with the reliability and safety requirements that are fundamental in the aeronautical field;
  • the beneficiaries will have acquired mastery in carrying out activities and roles of responsibility in the design and management of complex processes, as well as being specialists in the sector of technologies for medium-altitude and long-range propulsion of uninhabited aircraft (UAV);
  • the beneficiaries will have acquired the ability to critically and proactively address technological innovation within companies, being able to identify problems and solutions and set up, develop and manage scientific and technological research projects that solve them.

The solid preparation provided will give the outgoing profiles a vision of a complex system, which does not only include the “driving” product, but to the realization of which different skills, different production, management and economic aspects of the companies that revolve around it contribute.