We're experts in both manned and unmanned automated aerial refueling. We've developed, flight tested, and implemented advanced refueling technologies, including an Optical Reference System used to track and position drogues and receivers to allow aircraft to be refueled in flight.

When it comes to automatic air-to-air refueling of unmanned air vehicles (UAV) in particular, GPS and optical systems have significant shortcomings. GPS is vulnerable to attack, and optical systems don't have the availability, continuity, and integrity needed during long operations.

CTSi has been working to create an aerial refueling system that supports radio silence or Emissions Control (EMCON) operations, without using GPS, while still providing flight control equivalent levels of safety. This is a game-changing capability, designed to require minimal modification to the tanker and receiver, using capabilities already present on many tankers and UAVs. 

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Name, Company

Complementary to this effort, we've developed a hose and drogue physics model to give a complete understanding of a drogue's movement as it is trailed behind a tanker. This knowledge can be applied to the development of the controls used in guiding UAVs in AAR operations.


  • Concept development and GUI design
  • Design and development of hardware and software
  • Design and installation of optical reference system (KC-707)
  • Writing of concept of operations for X-47, MQ-25, and NATO's UAV AAR