Israel’s Elbit showed the latest member of its UAV family for the first time at the Paris Air Show in June. The Hermes 90 has an 85-kilogram mtow, of which 25 kilograms can be sensor payload. It can be operated by a crew of two, who can turn it round between missions in about 15 minutes. Endurance is over 18 hours at an altitude of 15,000 feet.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
News and issues relating to civil and military unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) of all kinds and sizes, including those used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), combat (unmanned combat air vehicles, or UCAVs), law enforcement, research and other applications. Of particular focus is the FAA's planned integration of UAS into the U.S. national airspace system.
Schiebel (Hall 4 Stand A24) is poised to announce a civil customer for the Camcopter S-100 unmanned rotorcraft to be used for pipeline surveillance. The company also is looking at developing growth variants.
The Teal Group’s latest Market Profile and Forecast for the unmanned aerial vehicle concludes that expenditure on UAVs will rise from an annual $4.4 billion in 2009 to $8.7 billion by 2018. At the same time, the aerospace analysis group forecasts a rise in UAV payload expenditure from $2 billion to nearly $5 billion.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.’s Recce-U real-time reconnaissance system is making its debut here at Paris. The system has been developed from the RecceLite fast-jet tactical reconnaissance pod, an outgrowth of the widely used Litening targeting pod. Recce-U comprises a self-contained multi-sensor ISR system, a ground data link station and a ground exploitation station.
Northrop Grumman’s AN/ZPY-1 STARLite unmanned aerial vehicle radar begins tests with the U.S. Army next month aboard the General Atomics MQ-1C Sky Warrior ERMP. In October, the company is to deliver the first qualified production units.
In the Israeli Pavilion, avionics specialist Rada Electronic Industries is unveiling a new line of compact avionics systems designed specifically for unmanned aerial vehicle applications. The company has developed a range of interface control processors, engine control and payload management computers, modular avionics and inertial navigation systems, and electrical power management units.
Aerodrones (Hall 4 Stand CD61bis) is here with its portable ground control station for unmanned aerial vehicles and the 2009 version of the built-in software. Aerodrones claims to have an intuitive interface. The user can turn on the computer and have
all mission plans and tools available in less than 30 seconds.
Civil certification of unmanned aerial vehicles has taken on new momentum over the past few years with the realization that there could be a large number of potential uses for them–from law enforcement to, eventually, air cargo. A UK-based European consortium now claims to be leading the world to get UAVs approved for flights in civil airspace in conjunction with Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority.
Alenia Aeronautica’s Sky-Y unmanned technology demonstrator has completed its most recent series of tests in Italy. The Sky-Y has made 19 flights, in Sweden and in its home country, and the Finmeccanica subsidiary (Hall 2 Stand A165) claims that it is the only entirely European unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to have begun flight testing.
The X-47B is the only stealthy UAV under development that is currently acknowledged by the Pentagon–unless you count the recently revealed Predator-C, which General Atomics says has been built with the company’s own funds.