UV - Unmanned Vehicles

DSEi 2011: Blue Bear's shake and iStart

15th September 2011 - 15:56 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


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Blue Bear has launched the iStart one-man portable UAV as part of a UK MoD design requirement.

The platform can go 'from box to launch in under five minutes' and the only time-consuming thing during a mission is 'waiting for the GPS', Ian Williams-Wynn, Business Development Manager for the company told Shephard at the DSEi exhibition in London on 15 September.

The platform has a 'shake and start' engine, a 40 minute endurance, and folded wings for easy carriage.

It is derived from the company's larger Black Star, of which the UK MoD is a customer.

The system has a 'plug and play' payload architecture, and the company is looking into decreasing the size of the payloads in order to potentially be able to fit several onto the system at once.

It also has a forward looking EO camera installed onboard, as well as an ultrasonic sensor, and it can land fully-autonomously. 

It was developed in 18 months with police input, and is ultimately designed for special forces operations, Williams-Wynn said. 

As for civilian applications, Williams-Wynn added that the iStart was 'designed very much in mind that it has a crossover'.

The company is also involved in the Northrop Grumman's Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle programme for the US Army, for which it provides several elements, including flight control guidance, and essentially 'makes it fly'.

Blue Bear also provides specific parts for rotary UAV programmes, and said it is bringing out its own rotary platform early next year.

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