10 Feb 16. Elbit Systems Introduces Skylark 3: The Latest Addition To Its Family Of Mini-UAS. Elbit Systems has developed the Skylark3, a new autonomous mini-Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), best suited for brigades and divisions in “beyond the next hill” reconnaissance, counterinsurgency and force protection missions, as well as for use in a range of civil applications, such as border and coastal security and anti-terror operations. The new system has already been selected by an undisclosed customer.
Leveraging the proven technology and operational experience of the Skylark family of mini-UAS, Skylark 3 offers a wide range of system enhancements, including a significantly larger range (more than 100 km), flight endurance (up to 6 hours) and payload capacity (up to 10 kg). Launched via a pneumatic launcher, mounted either on the ground or on a vehicle, Skylark 3 offers upgrades such as improved payloads with better target detection, classification and surveillance capabilities. These deliver superior Electro Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) video and photographic imaging in both day and night operations and in adverse field conditions. The aerial vehicle incorporates an electric motor which reduces sound signature and enables operating over long distances and at high altitudes, has a 4.8 m wingspan and a maximum takeoff weight of 45 kg. It has a service ceiling of 15,000 ft.
To support interoperability, Skylark 3 uses the same advanced technologies and know-how found in other Elbit Systems’ UAS. In addition, through a shared GCS, two Skylark 3 vehicles can be assigned to the same mission simultaneously, meaning a consistent target acquisition is maintained from two aspects. This also offers ground forces the ability to significantly extend the flight endurance of their mission by UAS hot-swap.
Elad Aharonson, General Manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR Division commented: “Skylark 3, the latest addition to our family of ultra-lightweight UAS, delivers brigade-level and division-level units, an ideal solution for carrying out complex ISTAR missions in a truly organic network-centric manner. Its easy launch, autonomous maneuverability and control, coupled with its cutting-edge payload technology, provide ground force commanders unrivaled situational awareness and enhanced force protection capabilities, ultimately allowing them to make faster, smarter and more cost-effective decisions.”
09 Feb 16. Camcopter demonstrates sense-and-avoid system. Austrian company Schiebel has conducted sense-and-avoid trials of its Camcopter S-100 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in the environs of an airport in the Netherlands, the company announced on 9 February.
The trials, which were conducted at De Kooy Airfield in Den Helder in December 2015, saw the autonomous helicopter demonstrate the newly developed AirScout sense-and-avoid system as part of the Dutch Air Traffic Management (ATM) Innovative RPAS Integration for Coastguard Applications (AIRICA) project, which involves the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), the Netherlands Coastguard, and the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF).
For the test, a Dornier Do-228 aircraft of the Netherlands Coastguard and an Aerospatiale Alouette helicopter of the RNLAF acted as airspace ‘intruders’ during several different scenarios. According to Schiebel, on each occasion the Camcopter successfully determined in real-time the corrective action to ensure the necessary separation from the intruder aircraft.
The AIRICA project is funded through the European Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme (part of the Single European Sky initiative), with a key focus being the integration of a UAV into Dutch airspace for coast guard applications. This aim, said Schiebel, “was effectively demonstrated” during the flights.
The 200 kg Camcopter used in these trials is designed to operate day or night and in adverse weather conditions to a line-of-sight range of 200 km and a service ceiling of 18,000 ft. It has an endu