A SpyLite mini unmanned air vehicle with a launch weight of 9kg (19.8lb) has achieved a communication range of 65nm (120km), which its manufacturer claims is a new world record for this category of system.
BlueBird says that during a demonstration for an undisclosed customer, the SpyLite reached a range of 65nm and remained over a target for 40min, before flying back to its landing point.This required it to fit the UAV with its latest-generation communication system, including a miniature airborne data terminal linked to a small, backpacked, ground data terminal weighing around 12kg.
The Israeli company lists long-range communications as one of the major challenges – alongside light weight and low power consumption – unmanned air system manufacturers are currently facing.
“This accomplishment enables BlueBird’s mini and small tactical UAS to provide long-range mission radius typically provided by much larger UAS with much larger and cumbersome communication equipment,” says company chief executive Ronen Nadir.
Originally designed to provide ground forces with a covert means of collecting “over-the-hill”, real-time visual intelligence, the SpyLite offers 4h flight endurance and a standard communication range of 27nm, which can now be extended.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com