FLIR has unveiled a new line of unmanned aerial system payloads for its SkyRanger and SkyRaider drones.
The new line launches with two multi-sensor products: StormCaster-T, which delivers continuous zoom and longwave infrared (LWIR) imaging, and StormCaster-L, which provides ultra-low-light imaging, tracking and mapping.
Back in January, FLIR completed the $200m acquisition of Canadian drone hardware specialists Aeryon Labs. That deal put Aeryon’s proven airframes under the control of FLIR and was testament to the potential drone technology has in the world of public safety.
The new FLIR StormCaster payloads can be used with the SkyRanger R70 and R80D SkyRaider.
“StormCaster-L and –T are just the beginning of this new line of advanced, high-performance payloads for our small, tactical UAS platforms,” said David Ray, president of the Government and Defense Business Unit at FLIR.
“For mission needs ranging from force protection and border security to clandestine operations, FLIR StormCaster will provide heightened situational awareness, bolstered by our aircraft’s onboard, real-time artificial intelligence.
“We will develop more multi-sensor payloads through 2020 that deliver on our promise to offer capabilities at the individual operator level that previously required larger, more expensive UAS,” Ray added.
Next-generation payloads for intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance
FLIR says the new StormCaster payloads reflect “a leap forward in scalable performance”, pointing to a 7X improvement in line-of-sight stabilization, an enhanced range of motion, and greater geolocation accuracy.
The new payloads can be used interchangeably between FLIR SkyRanger and SkyRaider UAS systems and will help the military, public safety and security teams make the most of advances in aircraft performance.
Regulations are developing around the use of drones at night and beyond line of sight. The number of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions are expected to grow considerably on top of the military demand that already exists for situational awareness tools.
The StormCaster-T houses a FLIR Boson thermal camera to support public safety and military teams with detection, recognition, identification, and target acquisition day or night. The StormCaster-T has a continuous zoom lens with a 75-millimeter maximum focal length, for long-distance ISR and clear, actionable imagery.
The StormCaster-L is designed for ultra-low-light imaging. The camera offers superior ISR and mapping performance during twilight and nighttime operations, with 4K recorded video and full-color night vision in low-light conditions.
Malek Murison is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for tech trends and innovation. He handles product reviews, major releases and keeps an eye on the enthusiast market for DroneLife.
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