Israeli defence technology company Rafael Advanced Defence Systems is showcasing a new lightweight airborne EO/IR sensor for wide-area persistent surveillance (WAPS) operations at Singapore Air Show.

The MicroLite sensor can be mounted on small airborne platforms including unmanned aerial vehicles, balloons, and manned aircraft to complete EO/IR intelligence, surveillance, targeting and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.

At the show, Rafael said it would showcase the system mounted on an Orbiter-4 UAV made by Rafael-owned Aeronautics.

, Rafael says the system uses high-resolution mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) and visual HD colour sensors to enable persistent wide-area surveillance and can work in tandem with a laser designator to locate and designate possible targets.

The MicroLite sensor is mounted on a gimballed turret allowing it to scan a wider area and features a self-contained onboard processing system.

In a press release, Rafael said that the system offers armed forces the capability to simultaneously track multiple targets. Video captured by the system can be tied to geographical data and sent to multiple users enabling personnel on the ground to know the exact location of a threat.

The system weighs 11kg and has several scanning modes, from strip scanning, where an area is mapped in rows, to a ‘gatekeeping’ mode where the sensor maps and area and then repeatedly watches over fixed points at the UAV orbits a given area.