Lockheed Martin Procerus Technologies Announces Enhanced System and Software for Commercial, Military Operations

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In February 2015, the unmanned Indago quad rotor conducted its first real-world firefighting tasking in Western Australia to aid wildfire containment efforts by identifying hot spots and areas where people and property were at risk.

As unmanned aerial systems continue to prove their utility in multiple industries, Lockheed Martin Procerus Technologies introduced a series of software and system improvements to its unmanned Indago quad rotor. The system improvements provide a dramatic increase in functionality while maintaining flight endurance, a small system footprint, rapid deployment capability, and low noise signature.

“The enhanced Indago system provides clear, high-resolution still images and video footage in all weather conditions, while maintaining the industry-leading flight time in excess of 45 minutes,” said Jay McConville, director of business development for Unmanned Integrated Solutions at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. “No matter the mission, Lockheed Martin offers a flexible solution for customers in all markets with multiple payload and datalink options to support a variety of civilian and military applications.”

Featuring a new Internet Protocol (IP)-based digital data link, the military-grade system has a range of more than 10 kilometers, while the commercial-grade system has a range of more than 2 kilometers. The new hand controller makes use of an off-the-shelf Windows-based tablet for improved system flexibility and reduced overall weight.  This is done while maintaining a four hour run-time and the flexibility of either an external or integrated datalink option.

Software improvements include streaming, cacheable maps with terrain data, which simplifies mission planning and enhances situational awareness. This feature serves as a safety measure when flying the Indago to help operators avoid terrain real-time and while planning pre-programmed missions.

Accompanying the software and system improvements is the latest multi-mission payload, which provides a smooth, stable video capability in any weather condition. This payload is capable of 10 megapixel still images, and onboard vision processing technology that provides a click-to-track functionality. The click-to-track capability reduces operators’ workload by providing advanced autonomy when conducting surveillance or inspection missions. It also has a built in laser illuminator that allows users with night vision goggles to see subjects during military missions, such as search and rescue.

The five-pound, compact Indago quad rotor features a swappable payload capability that brings functionality to firefighting, first response, agriculture and military operations. Indago is currently being used commercially to aid farmers in monitoring crop health with its high resolution imaging.

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