A high-flying ‘Peeping Tom’

When neighbours become angry, frustrated, impatient or even violent, you tend to look over the fence to be ready for any possible outburst.

This is exactly what happens now in the Middle East, and that forces Israel to have the capability to see what is going on in its neighbours’ yards, and sometimes in their living rooms.

This is one reason why the Elop division of Elbit Systems is upgrading the capabilities of its long-range oblique photography system (LOROPS), which is marketed under the name Condor-2.

The extra capabilities are aimed at allowing Israel and other countries to get stand-off intelligence under all conditions.

Elop general manager Adi Dar confirmed that the system is being upgraded so that it can operate above the 100km range that is the official operational range.

He was not ready to give specific performance details but said that the new range will be “tens of kilometres better”.

Dar also confirmed that the company is improving the night capability of the system.

The Condor-2 is housed in a 300-gallon pod, which contains the camera with an array of CCD detectors in the focal plane, a video processing unit and a scanning mirror. The peripheral units such as the data link transmitter, digital VTR, air conditioning unit, power supply and recce management unit are also installed in the pod.

 

The LOROPS has day and night capabilities that are interchangeable during missions.

 

The Condor-2 EO/IR generates simultaneous high resolution visible and IR images, covering wide areas in a short time span.

 

Dar said that the main advantage of the oblique photography system is the reduced risk to the aircraft by enabling photography at higher altitudes and longer stand-off distances. “Stand-off intelligence is becoming a very high priority operational requirement.”

Israeli sources have pointed out recently that changes in countries such as Egypt and Syria create the stand-off operational need.

The fully autonomous system can operate from a wide variety of platforms including supersonic fighter aircraft, business jets and maritime patrol aircraft at altitudes of up to 65,000ft.

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