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iSTART UAV unveiled

5th October 2011 - 16:31 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


A pioneering Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) developed by Bedford-based BlueBear Systems, has been launched to acclaim from the defence industry.

The iSTART is a small, lightweight UAS that can be operated by a single user and is designed for use in military, law enforcement and civilian applications. With an endurance of 40 minutes the iSTART feeds real-time electro-optical or infrared video footage to a ground control station giving a bird's eye view of the terrain.

Unmanned air systems are often used for the most dangerous military missions, providing surveillance of enemy activity from a safe distance. However, UASs are increasingly being used for diverse civil applications such as emergency service assistance, search and rescue and routine monitoring of difficult terrains. BlueBear recently delivered the Cybermoor ‘Flying Shepherd' project, which involved trialling the use of unmanned air systems to monitor livestock in remote areas. The trial was broadcast on BBC's Countryfile on Sunday 2 October 2011.

With a wingspan of just 75cm, iSTART is highly portable. The airframe, ground control station, and associated equipment fit into a single backpack. This allows the entire sytem to be carried by a single person on foot, in the boot of a car or on the load rack of a quad bike.

iSTART is easy to use. It is deployable using a rugged ground control system with a simple point and click user interface that enables fully automated flights. The operator does not need to manually fly the aircraft. The operator simply chooses the flight location and area to survey, sets the waypoints on the ground control station and specifies a landing location. The airframe is then launched by hand and the ensuing flight is automated - including the landing.

iSTART is rugged, modular and upgradeable. The hot swappable modular batteries and payloads facilitate maximum operational flexibility and the modular design allows the systems to be easily upgraded as technology moves forward.

The iSTART system is the first production UAS manufactured using Selected Laser Sintering (SLS) technology. BlueBear pioneered the use of this technology for UAS manufacture. The use of this technology enables the design and manufacture of complex structures rapidly and cost effectively.

iSTARTdeveloper, BlueBear Systems, is an innovative research and development consultancy that specialises in designing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Unmanned Aerial Systems using cutting-edge technology to extend the boundaries of what is possible.

Source: BlueBear


The Shephard News Team


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