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Lockheed develops three new UAV technologies

Three new unmanned aerial vehicle technologies, including a small vertical takeoff and landing rotor aircraft, have been announced by Lockheed Martin.
By Richard Tomkins   |   April 29, 2014 at 4:16 PM

VINEYARD, Utah, April 29 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin reports that three technologies it acquired and developed for use with unmanned aerial vehicles have achieved operational readiness status.

The Indago vertical take-off and landing quad-rotor UAV, along with a handheld ground control station for it, offers a mobile surveillance, and Lockheed Martin claims that a new commercial avionics suite will maintain the performance capabilities of previous models at a lower price.

“After two years of developing these capabilities, we will now be able to deliver affordable and effective products to both military and commercial customers,” said Kevin Westfall, director of unmanned solutions at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business. “The Indago VTOL, handheld GCS and advanced commercial avionics suite will provide mobility and high accuracy for a range of missions -- now and in the future.”

The Indago, which can be folded up for carrying, is just 32x32x7 inches and weighs five pounds. It can reach a distance of as much as three miles and can fly for 45 minutes when its operator uses the handheld ground control system.

The VTOL features a 360 degree panning capability to aid area surveillance and provide enhanced situational awareness and actionable imagery.

Lockheed said its Kestrel autopilot system, which uses failsafe algorithms to increase safety throughout the mission, is at the heart of the system.

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