Sierra Nevada Corp. and ITT Exelis said their Vigilant Stare, a manned aircraft-based Wide-Area Persistent Surveillance concept demonstrator is nearing completion and testing and operational capability is expected before September.
The system will be used aboard a Twin Otter aircraft and provide wide-area persistent surveillance "on an affordable, fee-for-service basis." It can also be used aboard other types of civilian aircraft.
"The Vigilant Stare system offers unprecedented WAPS capability to a previously unserviced market, in an affordable and flexible package," said Dave Bullock, vice president for SNC's ISR Persistent Surveillance Systems.
"The civil and commercial applications of this operations-proven technology are many and varied. We're excited about the successful completion of our concept demonstrator flight test phase and look forward to a busy demonstration and exercise schedule this fall."
The companies said Vigilant Stare's features an integrated EO/IR sensor that collects synoptic, day/night motion imagery of city-sized fields with multiple sub-views of the full field of view. Best-resolution, tactical chip-outs are provided in real time to command centers and dispersed users.
Among the system's uses in the commercial sector would be border surveillance, security at special or sporting events, port and law enforcement surveillance and search-and-rescue efforts.