The process of turning an aerial system from a “tactical” offering into one with “strategic” capabilities is multifaceted.
Payload capabilities and endurance are two very important factors – but payload is in many cases at the top of the list. This is true especially with unmanned air systems (UAS).
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) manufactures many different types of UAS, and the effort to sharpen their capabilities is ongoing.
One such project is equipping its UAS with advanced payloads.
The Israeli company recently unveiled its M-19HD payload, after successfully completing a first test flight on a light aircraft. Additional test flights are expected on IAI’s Heron UAS .
According to IAI the flight lasted about 2h 30min, during which sensors, payload stabilisation and tracking capabilities were tested.
IAI defines the M-19HD as a high-definition multispectral, multisensor, single line-replacement unit payload.
The package enables continuous day/night surveillance in all weather conditions, and provides excellent acquisition ranges due to its powerful sensors, stabilisation and image processing capabilities.
The M-19HD reduces the operator’s workload and improves situational awareness by virtue of its multimode automatic video tracker.
It also provides accurate geo-location services using its embedded inertial measurement unit/global positioning system.
Israel David, general manager of IAI’s Tamam division – which developed the payload – revealed it is designed to be installed on advanced UAS like IAI’s Heron 1 and Heron TP, for strategic missions.
As I mentioned, this sort of payload has become a crucial ingredient in branding an aerial system “strategic”.