Following its plan to expand the former Killer-Bee platform it acquired from Swift Engineering in 2009 into a family of UAVs, last monthflew the first in a new series of unmanned aircraft systems ( ). The unmanned vehicle that flew in January 2010 was the -12, a new, 12-foot wingspan (3.65 m’) version powered by a German engine made by Göbler-Hirthmotoren, originally designed for ultra-light aircraft. The -12 uses a five-blade propeller, contributing to low acoustic signature of the platform. The system was also tested with a new mission payload, comprising stabilized Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) and miniature Synthetic Aperture radar ( ).
Recently, the BAT has been integrated and tested with new payload comprising the T2 Delta dual payload micro-gimbal fromCorporation’s Cloud Cap Technology Inc, mounting the short wave infrared (SWIR) camera from and the Sentient Vision Systems’ Kestral real-time moving target indicator. In February 2010 payload integration and testing was expanded to include ImSAR’s Nano-SAR-B fused with Cloud Cap’s T2 gimbal in a cursor-on-target acquisition mode.
During recent testing, the 12-foot and 10-foot (3.04 m’) wingspan Bats were successfully launched from a transportable launcher used for the AAI Shadow. The BATs were autonomously operated from a single ground control station before recovery via net. As a communications relay using’s Software Defined Tactical Radio, BAT has also demonstrated its capacity to provide beyond line-of-sight tactical communications relay for ground forces in denied environments, a critical role in irregular warfare.