Zenith Aerotech mounts radar, networking radio, and EO/IR camera on small, tethered drone
INTEGRATION DEMONSTRATES VERSATILITY OF LONG-ENDURANCE, HEAVY-LIFT, READILY DEPLOYABLE QUAD 8
AFTON, VA: Zenith Aerotech announced today that it has integrated an advanced flight radar, gimbaled EO/IR camera, and mobile ad hoc networking radio on the company’s Quad 8 tethered mid-range, unmanned aircraft system (sUAS). The engineering work, which was done at the behest of an unnamed Federal customer, demonstrates how the long-endurance, tethered sUAS can support force protection and early warning missions.
Able to fly at 400 feet AGL for hours—and even days—at a time, the tethered Quad 8 draws power from an easily transportable ground power unit. Zenith Aerotech’s sUAS line, can carry a variety of payloads, from 10 to 24 lbs. Until now, the company has never flown this combination of advanced sensor and communications equipment on the Quad 8.
“We are very excited to have worked with so many cutting-edge industry partners on this effort,” said Kutlay Kaya, CEO of Zenith Aerotech. “With their collaboration, we were able to have our Quad 8 carry Echodyne’s Advanced EchoFlight radar, Trillium Engineering’s HD45 gimbaled EO/IR camera, and the Persistent Systems MPU5 mobile ad hoc networking radio.”
The next step for the company is to demonstrate the capability of the platform with all these integrated payloads, said Mr. Kaya.
“We plan to show how we can simultaneously collect high-resolution imagery, both electro-optical and thermal, as well as air- and ground-based radar anomalies and then securely deliver these collections through the MPU5, providing a robust overwatch capability,” Kaya said. “The MPU5 also acts as a radio/data relay to support disaster recovery operations and provide secure communications.”
The planned platform/payload demonstration shows the versatility of Zenith Aerotech in meeting customer’s needs, whatever they may be. “Whether our customer is a first responder agency, media company, or armed service, we strive to develop and deliver relevant capabilities in a timely fashion,” Kaya said.