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What do operators of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), also known as Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), require these days? That they will hover / cruise very quietly, to have them provide quality real-time intelligence, VTOL (vertical horizontal take-off and landing) like helicopters, and much more.
Those who deploy UAVs want more. It seems the greater and more diverse the capabilities UAS feature, the larger the appetite for more features. This applies to UAS of all shapes and sizes.
So what are the primary features in demand? A noiseless UAS which would cruise and hover over the target silently, that the UAV will feature VTOL, akin to helicopters and will be able to provide quality real-time intelligence, to feature long range observation, as well as provide day and night imagery using state of the art cameras. The UAS is also expected to feature real-time of the data and info it gathers to intelligence clients over encrypted and non-encrypted communications networks, including audio relay.
At the upcoming iHLS Autonomous Unmanned Systems & Robotics Expo on November 25-26 2014, IAI’s Malat Division will be showcasing two families of advanced UAVs which meet these operational requirements: the BIRD EYE family and the PANTHER family.
Director Of Sales And Marketing Malat Division Avi Bleser: “noiseless UAVs that provide real-time data – that’s the name of the game. They are designed for armed forces, law enforcement and HLS missions. Surveillance is best done low-key. To conduct reconnaissance quietly from above and identify the hostile element or the explosive charges, or whatever the target, these are the roles UAVs play. They best be noiseless. This feature is achieved using a quiet electric engine and propellers with zero sound signature at low altitudes. Being able to hover over the target zone, complete with VTOL are also important, in order to minimize the mission zone and draw as little attention as possible.”
“There is an interest from Asian countries which are looking into UAVs as part of deploying Special Forces on surgical missions which necessitate zero sound. There are other applications. For instance, a force enters a parking lot by night. Prior to entry, the must ensure the coast is clear and that there is no ambush or any surprises lurking – so a small, silent UAV would get the job done. Here are additional features forces require: the UAV should be able to feature parachute-less landing, to prevent detection, as well as small take offs or launches which can be performed from within a forest, a jungle, a field or an orchard. The UAVs we feature have proven capabilities to do all that,” notes Bleser.
The BIRD EYE family comprises two UAVs which provide real time intelligence using high resolution video cameras.
- BIRD EYE 650 D mini: features a fuel engine and endurance of over 20 hours! Also features long range communications and a take-off weight of over 30kg.
- BIRD EYE 650: features an electric engines with shorter endurance of 4 hours, but it has a major advantage: electrical propulsion for minimal noise.
Both UAVs can operate from the same ground control station.
The unique feature of PANTHER UAVs: VTOL and tilt rotor capability. These UAVs can take off from one point and land in another, per the operator’s choice. This system can carry a dedicated stabilized electro-optic payload featuring a laser pointer. This system too features low-noise communication.
PANTHER UAVs have a crew of 3-4, and this can be reduced further in the case of special ops. The Mini-PANTHER UAV requires only two operators. The PANTHER’s take-off weight is 65kg, including an electro-optic charge, and the Mini-PANTHER’s take-off weight is merely 13kg, including its dedicated payload.