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Controp introduces IDF Sky Rider battalion’s new payload

Controp has developed an updated version of its T-Stamp stabilised electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) payload that will be incorporated into the Israel defence force’s “Sky Rider” unmanned air vehicle battalion.

Introduced during the AUVSI Xponential show in New Orleans, Louisiana, the modified sensor benefits from enhanced resolution within a similar-sized payload as its predecessor.

“We are now developing a new T-Stamp,” Uzi Zurgil, programme director at Controp, says. “The current one is 3.3kg and the new one will be 3.6kg, but will have twice the resolution for daylight and 1.3 times the resolution for thermal imaging.”

Controp has an agreement to provide payloads for the Sky Rider battalion’s Elbit Systems Sky I-LE UAVs, and Zurgil says that the new sensor will be incorporated into that contract. Additionally, there are three other customers for the system, including one in the US, and it is yet to be tested, Zurgil says.

“With UAV technology, everything is shrinking in size and weight, and in Israel and other countries it is not just the air force that wants this capability; ground forces will operate them - not a pilot - so it has to be easier to operate,” he adds.

One way in which the sensor benefits ground troops is through the added inertial navigation capability, providing the coordinates of where images are taken. This adds the capability of operating in “fly by camera mode”, by which the camera can be directed by the coordinates that are fed into the system.

The payload is suitable for UAVs weighing some 10kg (22lb) and up, and is a gyro-stabilised EO/IR payload that includes a cooled IR camera with a continuous zoom lens, a day camera and an optional laser pointer. It can be mounted in the nose, belly or on top of the aircraft.

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