Boston area police to test UAS

Oct. 3, 2012 at 11:11 AM
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MANASSAS, Va., Oct. 3 (UPI) -- A major metropolitan police consortium in the United States is to test and evaluate the use of a small unmanned aerial system in SWAT operations.

Aurora Flight Sciences, manufacturer of the Skate SUAS, said that, under an agreement with the Boston area Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council, it will set up an evaluation program for the council's Special Weapons and Tactics operations, train MetroLEC personnel to operate the system and provide other support for it.

"MetroLEC SWAT is an extremely forward-thinking and innovative agency that has great ideas on UAS applications in law enforcement," said Carl Schaefer, Aurora's director of Small UAS Programs. "We are excited for this opportunity to work with them to evaluate the capabilities of Skate to support law enforcement."

Skate is an electric-powered, portable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance UAS. It combines fixed-wing and vertical takeoff-and-landing technologies and was designed for use in urban environments.

MetroLEC, a consortium of more than 43 Boston area police departments and law enforcement agencies, is in the process of obtaining a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Certificate of Authorization for the evaluation testing, which will be performed during training and live SWAT exercises.

"Our team is excited to explore the fantastic potential that this technology will provide to us," said Peter McGowan, MetroLEC SWAT control chief. "Working with Aurora to offer real world, hands-on feedback to the engineers and designers makes this a great opportunity for all of us."

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