Airborne Technologies left its mark on the Singapore air show by unveiling the Scar reconnaissance pod, which the Austrian company is offering as a hassle-free adaptation for special mission tasks.
The self-contained aerial reconnaissance pod can be integrated with a host aircraft by using an external hardpoint. A Wifi connection to a ruggedised tablet device carried by an onboard operator means users can gain a valuable capability without facing an expensive modification bill.
Constructed of carbonfibre, the scalable pod can be equipped with either a 10” or 15”-diameter electro-optical/infrared camera installation, plus communications and signals intelligence sensors. It also contains a moving map system and high-definition data storage, and a rechargeable battery capable of supporting operations lasting up to 10h. The complete pod installation weighs up to 160kg (352lb) for the larger system.
“We are not only delivering the hardware, but will perform the integration and provide support as a one-stop shop,” says chief sales officer Marcus Gurtner. The company’s first customer is expected to be a European operator of the Pilatus PC-9, he says, pending the completion of capability trials to be conducted with the operator during June. Other future payload options could include a radar and self-protection equipment, he adds.
Other candidate platforms for the Scar system include twin-turboprops such as the Tecnam MMA, plus helicopters and unmanned air vehicles. Speaking at the show, Gurtner says additional recent interest has come from a potential buyer in South Africa.