Schiebel has successfully completed flight testing of the Thales-built I-Master radar system onboard a Camcopter S-100 unmanned aircraft system (UAS), at its test facility in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.
Both the sensor performance and stability of data transfer between radar operator and the airborne I-Master have been successfully proven during the test flights, which lasted for several hours.
Thales UK Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance vice president Eddie Awang said the flight tests demonstrated the radar’s ability to successfully operate on the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAS, thus addressing specific challenges of unmanned platforms without interference or operational impact.
"Whether installed alone or to complement electro-optical / infrared sensors, I-Master greatly improves the effectiveness of any surveillance scenario,” Awang added.
Schiebel Group chairman Hans Georg Schiebel said the I-Master radar integrated easily with the UAS, proving the flexibility of both the UAV and the radar.
"With the I-Master installed, the system performed even above our high expectations, and provides invaluable surveillance, detection and recognition capability," Schiebel added.
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Weighing 30kg, the I-Master is a high-performance radar designed to provide ground moving target indication (GMTI) and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) capability for all-weather surveillance and targets detection and recognition missions at long stand-off ranges.
Supporting easy installation with plug and play integration, the radar has been built with the similar footprint as a standard 15in electro-optical / infra-red (EO/IR) sensor turret, enabling simple air worthiness and certification.
Integration into S-100 system provides operators with high-fidelity imagery for classification and positioning of various targets through 360°, in addition to enabling accurate detection and location of moving targets, ranging from fast moving vehicles to individuals.
The Camcopter S-100 is a combat proven VTOL rotary wing UAS designed to carry several payloads, including EO / IR sensors for military and civilian operations.
Image: Camcopter S-100 unmanned aircraft system during its test flight. Photo courtesy of © 1997 – 2013 Schiebel Corporation.