New Stalker UAS version introduced

Aug. 18, 2011 at 7:04 AM

PALMDALE, Calif., Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A ruggedized version of the Stalker unmanned aerial system has been introduced by Lockheed Martin.

The Stalker eXtreme Endurance UAS quadruples Stalker's flight endurance to 8-plus hours without affecting the mobility of the unmanned system or the flexibility of its payload capabilities.

"Missions requiring real-time, eyes-on a situation for extended periods of time, like border patrol, pipeline surveillance and special operations can now be conducted by a small UAS versus a larger, more costly system," said Tom Koonce, Lockheed Martin's Stalker program manager.

"The convenience and lower cost of a small UAS combined with extended endurance is a true game-changer."

The Stalker XE system is powered by Ultra Electronics' pioneering hybrid energy source using a propane fuel cell with a small, conventional lithium polymer battery to handle power peaks.

This long-endurance fuel cell technology was developed through a U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored effort led by Lockheed Adaptive Materials Inc., which is a division of Ultra Electronics Holdings, PLC.

The DARPA project culminated with a rigorous flight test program including numerous back-to-back, long-endurance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, high-altitude and high wind flights proving that the Stalker UAS met or exceeded all technical and performance milestones.

The complete Stalker XE system includes two aircraft, fuel cells, command-and-control ground station, support equipment, and small propane fuel storage tank.

The standard air vehicle sensor is a modular, dual daylight and nighttime imager that allows persistent surveillance during the visual/thermal transition from day to night.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Houston-based LINN leaves Texas shale
Australian troops to receive new rifle variant
Saab joining BAE Systems, Patria in bid to produce armored vehicle
Gas prices could go up, AAA says
Kurdish government in Iraq selling more oil