When conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions by way of drone, payload capability, stability and endurance are important—and all are areas the SwissDrones workforce targeted on when creating the SDO 50 V2 unmanned helicopter.
From border patrol to maritime surveillance, the system takes on quite a lot of ISR purposes, shortly offering situational consciousness and permitting decision-makers to trace objects in actual time. The UAS boasts a system-to-payload weight ratio of almost one to 1, made doable by its proprietary design.
Based on the Flettner ideas of intermeshing double rotor programs, the UAS has two rotors within the entrance and no tail rotor, Head of Sales Luca Santini defined. Stability is constructed into the design, which is usually present in manned plane just like the Kaman Ok-MAX that elevate heavy cargo.
“The major benefit of our platform is payload capability,” Head of Flight Operations Arangan Varatharajah mentioned. “We have a payload capability of about 45 kilograms, so you may carry a higher-quality payload and nonetheless get two to 3 hours of flight time.”
The SDO 50 V2 is payload-agnostic, Santini mentioned, offering flexibility. Payloads might embody a number of sensors, relying on mission necessities.
“Most of our purchasers deal with police missions, border patrol or firefighting missions so sometimes they’ll fly a gimbal stabilized digicam,” Santini mentioned. “Firefighters would possibly use further sensors which have the power to mechanically acknowledge a sizzling spot, see by smoke or detect change.”
SDO 50 V2 unmanned helicopters are additionally deployed by nationwide search and rescue (SAR) companies for SAR purposes, with many utilizing further “search sensors,” he added.
Beyond stability, payload capability and endurance, the UAS comes with different options that lend themselves to ISR. One is sturdiness; the unmanned helicopter is designed to function in harsh circumstances, together with snow, ice, rain, warmth, sturdy winds and excessive altitudes. It additionally refuels shortly, limiting downtime.
The UAS can fly at evening, one thing that may be harmful for manned plane in tight areas or dangerous climate. And regardless of when it flies, the secure platform can accumulate vibration-free video because it hovers. Unlike with a fixed-wing system, there’s no have to repeatedly rotate and level the gimbal at the focal point.
The system’s 40-kilometer vary will be prolonged by way of its 4K LTE backup in areas with 4G protection, Santini mentioned. A knowledge hyperlink permits customers to entry video footage in actual time, say at police headquarters, to make fast selections.
The system’s quiet, vibration-free turbine engine additionally works effectively for ISR missions, Santini mentioned. The workforce expects to launch a brand new rotary engine by the tip of the yr, which can additional enhance flight time.
“This new sort of engine rotary will assist us double the time within the air to 5 to seven hours, relying on the payload,” Santini mentioned. “It may even considerably enhance the time between overhaul, which reduces the working price of the platform.