Unmanned Systems Soaring over Tel-Aviv

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Heron performing a low pass over the demonstration range on the live rehearsal today at Rishon Lezion. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
The Amstaf 6x6 autonomous ground security vehicle demonstrated a live security mission, self driving under remote operator supervision.
The Amstaf 6×6 autonomous ground patrol vehicle demonstrated a live security mission, self driving under remote operator supervision. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
IAI flew today its Heron I Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) south the city of Rishon Lezion, as part of a dress rehearsal for the upcoming unmanned systems event planned for November 26.
IAI flew today its Heron I Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) south the city of Rishon Lezion, as part of a dress rehearsal for the upcoming unmanned systems event planned for November 26. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update

Citizens of the seaside town of Rishon Lezion, south of Tel-Aviv woke up today to an unfamiliar sound, as an IAI Heron I unmanned vehicle roamed low over the edge of the city, buzzing over the ‘Yes Planet’ range. Defense-Update reports.

The heron was not alone here. Some of Israel’s leading unmanned systems manufacturers gathered here today, to test their systems in a live rehearsal, prior to the Autonomous Unmanned Systems & Robotics event, scheduled at this site on 26 November.

The test provided an opportunity to test the operational protocols, safety measures and necessary preparations required for safe and impressive display.

This unprecedented display has been coordinated between Israel’s Civil Aviation Authorities, Airport authorities, the displaying companies and representatives from the event organizer for months, adhering to the regulation procedures the CAA has been implementing in recent years, and ensuring that safety measures and environmental concerns are followed.

Shilat optronics tested its Light Eye aerostat borne sensor. Light Eye is designed for high altitude flight of up to 800m, with coverage of 360°. The systems' light weight exempts it from flight restrictions, when deployed below a safe altitude. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
Shilat optronics tested its Light Eye aerostat borne sensor. Light Eye is designed for high altitude flight of up to 800m, with coverage of 360°. The systems’ light weight exempts it from flight restrictions, when deployed below a safe altitude. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update

The Heron I is the largest UAS taking part in the display. Apart from the Heron, IAI will debut an Autonomous Surface Vessel here, along other systems displayed at the static park.

Apart from the Heron I which made its first ever ‘official’ flight over the city edge, the Orbiter II was also flown here by a team from Aeronautics. On the ground, the Amstaf unmanned ground patrol vehicle performed, simulating a security mission, with the Light Eye aerostat-borne surveillance system from Shilat Optronics watching from above. Light Eye and the Hovermast 100 from Skysapience, are both making their public demonstration debut at the event.

Other participants will include the Guardium and TAGS robotic vehicles from G-NIUS, and the Orbiter III from Aeronautics.

Aerial vehicles, aerostats and ground vehicles will be feeding live video and sensor data to a large display, enabling the audience to experience the performance of unmanned systems first hand.

Heron flying low over Rishon Le'Zion, during the live rehearsal for the unmanned systems demonstration, scheduled at the place for 26 November. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
Heron flying low over Rishon Le’Zion, during the live rehearsal for the unmanned systems demonstration, scheduled at the place for 26 November. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
The Orbiter II is prepared for the flight, taking off from a nearby dune. On the 26th Aeronautics plans to conduct a live display of the Orbiter III for the first time. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
The Orbiter II is prepared for the flight, taking off from a nearby dune. On the 26th Aeronautics plans to conduct a live display of the Orbiter III for the first time. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update.