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1 juin 2011 3 01 /06 /juin /2011 11:30

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June 1, 2011 defpro.com

 

As the German Army recently announced, a team of instructors has been deployed to Afghanistan to introduce German soldiers in the operation of a new small tactical reconnaissance unmanned air system (UAS). The Mikado AR 100 B, built by the German manufacturer AirRobot GmbH & Co. KG, is intended to provide additional situational awareness to troops in northern Afghanistan.

 

The vertically take-off and landing (VTOL) system is powered by four rotors and is equipped with a video sensor, which transmits the collected data in near real-time. The images are being processed by a ground station and can be stored for detailed analysis at a later moment. With a maximum payload of approximately 200g, the system’s can be equipped with different cameras, including daylight, twilight or infra-red cameras, and supports troops in a effective radius of 1,000 metres during a maximum flight period of 20 minutes. With a maximum

 

“Finally, we have something that enables us to look behind obstacles without having to expose own forces to direct threats,” a soldier explained after a training course on the new system. The portable Mikado UAS, with a span of merely 1 metre, will help troops on patrol to detect and identify suspected persons, weapon systems and vehicles from a safe position, providing the soldiers with an improved situational awareness and reducing the risk of undesired surprises before they further approach the area.

 

The instructor team is training a total of 48 soldiers in six training courses to operate their new asset. The first course for the “Army’s small eye” involved some 495 training flights with a duration of 10 to 20 minutes. According to the Army, the system is easy to handle and can be quickly deployed with the troops. Its four rotors allow for a stable and easy to control flight and enable the system to hover nearly silently over the target, providing video footage from any desired angle. The only limitation are winds stronger than 8 m/s, making a stable flight difficult to impossible.

 

AirRobot provides the German Army with six of these small VTOL systems, as well as with two rechargeable batteries and a battery charger. Providing power to the system’s four rotors and the video camera, the batteries allow for an operational range of 500 metres with analogue video operation and 1,000 metres with a digital video operation. In case of a technical failure or low battery power, Mikado automatically returns to the ground station or a pre-determined point and autonomously carries out an emergency landing.

 

The German company, which has offices in Germany and the USA, has originally designed the Mikado AR100-B for civilian purposes and expanded the system’s operational scenarios to defence and security purposes, including military, police and rescue missions. (nvk)

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