360º IR Sensor Flown on UAS
Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., has announced that it has successfully tested a new infrared sensor turret aboard its Desert Hawk III unmanned aircraft system (UAS), marking the first time a small UAS has flown with a 360° IR sensor. According to Lockheed, the hand-launched Desert Hawk III has provided the British army with critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The small UAS (54-in. wingspan) is specifically designed to operate at high altitudes, in high winds and in extreme temperatures. By providing 360° IR coverage, troops obtain greater target location accuracy and superior image stability. Combined with an upgraded 360° color electro-optic sensor, operators gained 10× continuous zoom capability, significantly aiding in contact identification.