PARIS, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- France's Interior Ministry has tapped Sagem, part of the country's Safran Group, to conduct operational trials of its Patroller surveillance drone system.
The service tests will take place Aug. 16 -31 over the Provence-Alps-Cote d'Azur region of southern France in support of civilian security missions such as fire-spotting and search and rescue.
Sagem said the Patroller drone will be outfitted with the company's Euroflir gyrostabilized optronics pod with daytime and infrared sensors and will be operated from a ground station.
The Patroller ground station will be connected via radio and satellite links to the French Civil Security Division's command centers and field units will also be equipped with a Sagem RVT portable remote video terminal for direct image reception the drone while it is in flight.
Sagem said that although the aircraft will be operated in drone mode, it will also carry a pilot to enable it to integrate civilian airspace, as required by current regulations.
The Patroller is a 1-ton-class medium-altitude, long-endurance based on an S-15 aircraft built by Stemme of Germany and certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency.