iSTART UAV unveiled
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.
More from Uncrewed Vehicles
Third order for German 2-in-1 drone for Ukraine
On 31 May, Quantum Systems announced that the Ukrainian MoD had ordered 300 additional Vector drones under a third order that the German government is funding.
US Army moves forward on future tactical UAS without AeroVironment
AeroVironment has been dropped from the hunt to provide the US Army with a Future Tactical UAS (FTUAS), leaving Griffon Aerospace, Northrop Grumman, Sierra Nevada and Textron Systems in the running.
Navantia, SAES and Perseo to jointly develop line of uncrewed underwater vehicles
At FEINDEF in Madrid, Navantia, SAES and Perseo announced an intention to develop a line of uncrewed underwater vehicles (UUVs).
British Army eyes new small armed UAS capability
The UK MoD has released a request for information on small armed UAS which could be used by the British Army.
General Atomics delivers first new build extended range MQ-9A to US Marine Corps
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) has delivered the first new build MQ-9 Extended Range (ER) to the US Marine Corps (USMC).
Highway landing opens door to future MQ-9 Reaper capabilities
The US has landed an MQ-9 Reaper UAV on a highway for the first time as part of Exercise Agile Chariot.