Partnering with Aurora Aerospace, and VDOS LLC, FLIR Systems announced the successful flight of the Tier II ARES Multi-Mission UAS simultaneously with FLIR's Star SAFIRE(r) 380-HD camera and multiple Harris Communications radios.
Hosted by at USMC Camp Pendleton this experiment was a first for this type of communications capability.
"As unmanned systems continue to redefine the modern battlefield, FLIR Systems is committed to providing the technology that can be successfully integrated into these important platforms," said Bill Sundermeier, President, FLIR Government Systems Division.
FLIR's Star SAFIRE 380-HD is the world's first and only full high-definition system, boasting a full spectrum, single LRU EO/IR imaging system. The stabilized multi-sensor is one in a family of four high-definition multi-sensors that all share a common interface for added flexibility and easier installation and integration.
"FLIR's 380-HD was selected due to its rugged, durable and proven capabilities," says Myles C. Newlove, President and CEO of Aurora Aerospace. "Its performance during these initial testing phases has been thoroughly impressive and serves as a great complement to the team of Aurora Aerospace and VDOS."
The Ares UAS is uniquely capable of acting as a communication relay due to its best in class payload capability of greater than 150lbs and eight+ hour endurance. This combination provides Marines ashore with the ability to maintain secure communications with ships off shore regardless of the terrain, by serving as an airborne relay, providing Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) communications even in mountainous terrain and eliminating the need for a satellite relay.
Using Harris tactical radios receiving voice and video from the Ares UAS, Marines were connected to the USS Makin Island located approximately +50 nautical miles off shore. This is the first time such a capability has been integrated into a Tier II UAS platform.