Sagem tests UAV, announces contract

June 14, 2012 at 12:50 PM
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PARIS, June 14 (UPI) -- Sagem of France reports new testing of its Patroller UAV and a new contract for infrared seekers used on missiles.

The announcements were made at the Eurosatory exhibition this week in Paris.

The Patroller is a long-endurance unmanned aerial system for surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence missions. It is based on an aircraft that earned European Aviation Safety Agency certification and features technologies Sagem developed for the Sperwer Mk II tactical drone system used by France in Afghanistan.

Sagem said the Patroller, in the 1-ton class of UAVs, has a modular design allowing for pod-mounted payloads.

It can fly for as long as 30 hours at a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet.

In a series of recent tests it was configured for multi-sensor coastal surveillance and homeland security missions.

Sagem said the Patroller drone was equipped with a new version of the Sagem Euroflir 350 gyrostabilized optronic pod, including an HDTV channel, third-generation HD infrared channel and a laser rangefinder; an AIS receiver, enabling the real-time monitoring of maritime traffic over a large zone; and a beacon for detecting distress signals.

A total of 18 flight tests were performed to demonstrate the aircraft system's ability to fuse information from different sensors and successfully transmit the data to a coastal surveillance command-and-control center.

Sagem said the Patroller already transmits streaming video in the NATO Stanag 4609 standard, which was developed by Sagem and which is used by French army's Sperwer UAVs.

Complete test details weren't revealed but Sagem said they validated ease of system integration and successful system compatibilities of optronic and electronic sensors used on the unmanned aircraft.

On the contract front, Sagem is to supply Europe's MBDA with infrared seekers for Mica air-to-air missiles.

The Mica target seeker, which also functions as a sensor, provides tactical information to air crews through the use of high sensitivity imaging algorithms, bi-spectral imagery, automatic target acquisition and pre- and post- firing lock-on capabilities.

Nearly 200 Mica seekers were ordered by MBDA, Sagem said, but monetary value of the contract wasn't revealed.

The infrared system array used by the seeker was developed by a joint venture company, Sofradir, owned by Sagem and Thales.

More than 1,000 Mica IR seekers have been produced by the company for the French air force and navy aircraft.

More than 30,000 seekers have been produced for Magic, Mistral and VL Mica Vertical Launch missiles.

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