Bigger Eyes for Standoff Missions
New mission payloads tailored for large drones are capable of performing stand-off reconnaissance and persistent surveillance, providing a higher level of security for the drones. Such payloads are being unveiled – by IAI and RAFAEL. Elbit Systems has been operating such payloads for quite some time.
Developed by Tamam, IAI’s EO Division, M19HD as a long-range multi-sensor EO payload, M19HD is carried by MALE UAVs (Heron, Heron TP) and manned aircraft operating long-range, persistent surveillance and ‘area dominance’ missions. Weighing up to 85 kg, the payload comprises up to seven sensors operating simultaneously, including two HD day cameras, HD IR imager with high power zoom, four laser systems – rangefinder, designator, pointer and illuminator, and Short wave Infrared (SWIR) or electron-multiplied charged coupled device (EMCCD) camera. The sensor ensemble provides high-definition, multispectral, day/night observation and targeting for multiple users. The payload offers outstanding acquisition ranges due to its powerful sensors, high stabilization and unique image processing capabilities.
RAFAEL is showcasing the RecceLite XR, the latest version of its combat proven reconnaissance pod, designed for use with unmanned aircraft or fast jets. This multi-spectral system provides real time reconnaissance from standoff range. The system consists of the airborne pod, and a wideband digital datalink feeding images collected by the pod to the ground exploitation station.
Reccelite XR simultaneously collects high-resolution imagery in the Near Infrared (NIR), SWIR, Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR) and visible Color bands. Images are obtained at a high rate, using Long Range Oblique Photography during standoff or Vertical photography in stand-in missions. It’s High resolution imagery is supported by the gimbaled platform, enabling the pod to acquire images at any direction, regardless to the aircraft flight path. The system automatically supports scanning modes covering different types of terrain, providing persistent wide area scanning, gate keeping, line search, mapping and 3D modeling.
Other types of mission payloads include electronic sensors, such as the Emerald AES-210V (ELINT) and the SkyFix (COMINT) systems from Elbit Systems, enabling detection, identification and location of ground-based, airborne and ship-borne radars, and communication emitters. When required, such systems are supported by SkyJam communications and radar jammer that manages multiple frequency sub-bands, predefined threats list, and priority jamming with automatic or manual control.