A wireless ground sensor and communication system developed by Lockheed Martin can now be integrated with unmanned air vehicles, allowing UAV operators to lower monitoring costs and improve effectiveness, the company says.

The monitoring system, called the self-powered ad-hoc network (SPAN), is composed of a series of small ground sensors arranged in a mesh pattern.These can detect potential threats and signal a UAV to investigate, says Lockheed.

“This linked solution enables UAV operators to focus on identified threats instead of loitering or flying pre-set mission profiles waiting for potential threats,” says Lockheed. “Fusing SPAN with UAVs lowers the total cost of monitoring a specific area, since the SPAN networks automatically prompt UAV sensors without the need to depend on a separate operator alerting system.”

The sensors, which can be powered by solar panels, can aid in missions such as border protection, area surveillance and monitoring of structures like bridges, pipelines and aircraft, the company says.

Source: FlightGlobal.com