photo by Dkroetsch
UK firm Malborough Communications is demonstrating the Aeryon Scout vertical take-off and landing mini-unmanned air system (UAS) at London's Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEi) exhibition.
The 1.2kg (2.6lb) quad-rotor mini-UAS, designed and manufactured in Canada, has recently seen service with the Libyan rebels.
The Scout has been designed as a highly portable system for use by dismounted infantry or special forces personnel, said Mark Harbin, C4ISTAR and sensors capability manager at Malborough.
"If troops are preparing for a compound raid or similar then they have got an immediate ISTAR [intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance] capability available to them without the need to bring larger, more costly systems on station," he added.
Initially fitted with an Aeryon daylight stills camera and a FLIR Systems night camera as standard, the Scout was upgraded in May with an optional 10x optical zoom video camera.
If communications are interrupted between the base station and the UAS it will land autonomously, said Harbin.
In addition if the vehicle crashes or loses power, the base station can be used to track it.
Although the manufacturer specifies a maximum windspeed of 50km/h, it has been tested in gusts of up to 86km/h, he added.
The UAS can be assembled in about 80s, and has an endurance of 20min. Its payload is listed as 400g, with maximum altitude pegged at 1,640ft (500m).