Sky-Y, the first European MALE UAV with European sensor to accomplish live ground surveillance missions
The Sky-Y of Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica company, is the first European unmanned aircraft of the MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) class to have completed a series of ground surveillance missions, by using a European-made electro-optical sensor, to have transmitted data to the ground through a satellite system and to have accomplished missions in any weather condition. Alenia Aeronautica has successfully completed an important final testing phase for the mission system of the unmanned Sky-Y aircraft at the Vidsel testing range in Sweden.
The Sky-Y has been developed as a demonstrator for innovative technologies created for unmanned aircraft of the MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) class and the aircraft has now made six flights during which the following products were tested for the first time: electro-optical sensor EOST-45 developed by SELEX Galileo, another Finmeccanica company; the mission computer developed by Quadrics, a subsidiary of Alenia Aeronautica; a new datalink used for the sensor's remote control and for sending images to the ground, and new functions of the Tactical Control Station with a Remote Sensor Operator Station also developed by Alenia Aeronautica.
"The total assessment of the Sky-Y campaign is exciting", Nazario Cauceglia, Chief Technical Officer of Alenia Aeronautica has underlined. "These tests, live ground surveillance missions, have proven the platform's capabilities of integration with the new equipment and functions and Sky-Y's great reliability and flexibility of use with performances and an operational potential which have far exceeded our expectations".
In the tests Sky-Y reached a distance of over 125 km from the Ground Control Station during which checks were carried out on its automatic take-off and landing; search operation modes, land "target" identification and surveillance (visible, hidden, "warm", moving); night flight and landing; "real time" capabilities of reception and image-data management and delivering to several web recipients, video and infrared image transfer to the Central Operation Unit of the "Civil Defence Agency" of the Piedmont Region (through the satellite link developed by Telespazio, a Finmeccanica/Thales company) and, finally on the performance of the datalink system.
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