UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
23 Jun 08. Miniature Radar Altimeter for Unmanned Air Vehicles. Roke Manor was promoting their next generation of Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) Miniature Radar Altimeters (MRAs) Type 1 and Type 2 at Farnborough. Using technology from within their portfolio of innovative radar systems, Roke has designed and manufactured a product to meet the increased use of autonomous, semi-autonomous, and uninhabited air vehicles (UAVs). Both Type 1 and Type 2 MRAs offer an array of unique benefits to meet this need: ease of installation, compact and lightweight design, ruggedized compact radome/integrated antenna, low altitude operation, highly precise height positioning, low probability of intercept waveforms (LPI), ROHS compliancy and are designed to meet RTCA/DO and
MIL standards. It is widely recognized that UAV Systems are the next evolutionary step for the aerospace industry. These systems have the capability to fulfil a number of key market applications including military, paramilitary, civil monitoring and surveying tasks. To meet these requirements, Roke offers two variants of the MRA – Type 1 and Type 2 for medium and low altitude Above
Ground Level (AGL) measurement precision. The Type 1, 4.2-4.4 GHz MRA, is designed to operate between 1.5 – 800m with a nominal precision of 0.625m. The Type 2, 76-77 GHz MRA, is designed to operate between 0.2 – 100m with a nominal precision of 0.02m – ideal for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) applications.
16 Jul 08. Thales UK’s Watchkeeper program is moving forward, with the first production UAV) platform flying since April of this year. The first flight took place in Israel. The second aircraft is being completed by U-TacS, the joint venture company established by Thales UK and Elbit Systems in England. Flight-testing is expected to continue in Israel until fall, focusing on envelope expansion, airworthiness and sensor testing. By fall the first and second aircraft will transition to ParcAberporth in Wales, where special corridor and operating airspace have been established for these unmanned aerial systems. “The coming months are critical for the program,” said Alex Dorrian, Thales UK’s CEO. With the platform undergoing flight-testing, the next steps will include integration and testing of the EO/IR/laser target designation capabilities, automatic takeoff and landing and the I-Master radar and dual payload flights. (Source: Aviation Week)