Sagem's Patroller completes flight testing
Sagem has announced the successful completion of a series of flight tests of its long endurance surveillance UAV, Patroller. According to the company, 14 tests were carried out in total from September 19 to October 21 at the Istres air force base in southern France.
The testing confirmed a of the aircraft's in-flight performance, including automated landings at a steep glide slope; integration of a new data link for taxiing, and a new, higher-performance imaging chain for target identification; and qualification of new flight control functions supporting degraded operating modes, as well as automated touchdowns in case of actuator or propulsion system failure.
According to the company, the redundant avionics suite showed a significant improvement in flight safety, enabling Patroller to receive authorization from French authorities to overfly densely populated zones in controlled airspace.
During the test programme the UAV was also operated over the Mediterranean Sea to test
operational maritime and coastal surveillance scenarios, representing missions for homeland security and to combat illegal immigration.
The Patroller UAV is designed for a wide range of defense and homeland security long-endurance surveillance missions. It is a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) drone in the 1-ton class, based on an EASA-certified (European Aviation Safety Agency) aircraft. It capitalizes on technologies already developed by Sagem for the Sperwer Mk.II tactical drone, and field experience in Afghanistan. Patroller features a modular design, allowing it to carry different pod-mounted payloads, and offers flight endurance of 20 to more than 30 hours, at a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet.
According to the company, Sagem now expects to be able to deliver a complete, fully operational Patroller system within 12 to 18 months.
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