Australian manufacturer Seabird Aviation says it has interest worldwide following demonstrations of its Seeker surveillance aircraft fitted with L-3 Wescam's MX-10 imaging system. This was the first time the MX-10 had been flown on a manned fixed-wing aircraft.
The aircraft has been undertaking trials this year in Queensland, Australia, providing surveillance services along the Gold Coast for the beach watch programme, says managing director Peter Adams. The trials included fitting the two-seater Seeker with a loud-hailer system to warn people on the beaches of sharks and dangerous swimming conditions. "The role is fairly broad and covers more than just beach operations," says Adams. As a result, in conjunction with L3 Wescam, Seabird has been demonstrating the low-cost electro-optical/infra-red capabilities to a much wider range of interested parties, including gas and power line authorities; coastal protection including fisheries and environmental bodies; and policing, fire and rescue authorities, says Adams.
© Seabird Aviation
"The matching of the capabilities with our Seeker aircraft gave us high-performance surveillance capabilities combined with real-time video downlink. This low-cost solution providing this level of capability is also attractive to a wide range of countries," says Adams, adding that Seabird has had enquiries from as far away as Iceland.