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IAI shrinks EOIR payloads

14th March 2017 - 11:03 GMT | by Gerrard Cowan in Dublin

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Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has announced the launch of two new tactical electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) payloads, with the market for unmanned vehicles a key target.

The systems comprise a new, very small payload called NanoPOP and a new version of IAI's MicroPOP payload. They are the latest products in the company's POP family of payloads.

The NanoPOP weighs 200 grams and features a day and night camera, the company stated. It was designed with small robotic vehicles and UAVs in mind and according to IAI, the system provides high-quality observation capability over hundreds of metres during day and night, with 'robust image stabilisation capabilities' allowing a long-range observation performance and an ultra-fast panoramic image capturing rate.

While the system could be used on quadcopters, very small UAVs and unmanned ground vehicles, it could also be used on manned land vehicles as well as in stationary positions, said Naveh Bahat, director EO research and development and business development at IAI Tamam, the Israeli company's inertial navigation and EO division. The company sees a number of utilities for the system, due to size and price considerations.

'It's very small, it has the ability to see targets for hundreds of metres,' and is a good choice for monitoring and protecting smaller areas, he told Shephard. 'And of course it's small and cheap.'

Additionally, the company announced an upgraded version of its MicroPop payload, to dual-channel day and night mode. The MicroPop is aimed at use in tactical UAVs, loitering munitions and small robotic vehicles, IAI said. It is a new version of the company's MicroPOP system, hundreds of which have been sold to clients in a number of countries around the world.

The new MicroPop could also be used in manned land vehicles, Bahat said. Again, the system is relatively small – at 1.1 kg – and inexpensive, he said.

Avi Elisha, general manager of IAI Tamam, said the market for tactical EO/IR was growing rapidly, and that the company saw 'strong business potential among integrators and partners that need high-quality, light-weight stabilised payloads'.

The new systems will be displayed by IAI at the LAAD Defense & Security exhibition in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in early April. They are the latest additions to the company's EO/IR family, which also includes the M19, the MiniPOP, the POP300LR, and the POP300.

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