by Staff Writers
Paris, France (SPX) Jul 12, 2010
The Patroller medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) drone built by Sagem (Safran group) has successfully completed its latest series of tests, validating overall system operation.
Carried out at the Istres air base in southwest France from May 26 to July 2, 2010, these tests included ten qualification flights in manned operational mode, and five flights in drone mode, without a pilot.
For this latest series of tests, Sagem deployed a Patroller system comprising an aircraft and a ground control station. There were also two control rooms to monitor all flight and mission parameters in real time, one at Safran's premises in Istres, and the other in Sagem's R and D center in Eragny.
The latest drone flight tests were used to validate the performance of the aircraft's triplex avionics equipment, which gives it outstanding reliability, and its imaging system, comprising a Euroflir gyrostabilized optronics pod from Sagem, and a Ku-bank link.
Tests proved the drone's expected endurance, exceeding 30 hours, flight parameters in line with expectations, excellent tolerance for crosswinds on the ground, and its ability to integrate air traffic around the base.
Not only do these results confirm Patroller's ability to carry out demonstration flights starting this summer, they also show Sagem's ability to deliver a fully operational Patroller system to a launch customer within 12 to 18 months.
Patroller is a 1-ton class MALE drone system, based on an aircraft certified to EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) standards, the S-15 built by German firm Stemme. It incorporates technologies developed by Sagem for its own Sperwer Mk.II tactical drones, as well as combat experience logged by Sperwer/SDTI drones in Afghanistan.
Patroller is designed to meet the long-endurance surveillance mission requirements of both armed forces and joint-ministerial programs, while keeping costs under control.
Because of its modular design, it can be fitted with pod-mounted satellite links and payloads to carry out missions lasting 20 to 30 hours at a maximum altitude of 25,000 ft.
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