Redkite Wide-Area Sensor Takes First Flight with Insitu Integrator UAS
FAIRFAX, Va. — The Redkite wide-area sensor — developed by Logos Technologies and Insitu, a subsidiary of The Boeing Co. — made its initial flight test successfully aboard the Integrator small tactical unmanned aircraft, Insitu announced in a Feb. 15 release.
Conducted in early February in Boardman, Ore., the test marks the first time a wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) system has been carried in the internal payload bay of a small unmanned aerial system (UAS).
“In the past, we’ve mounted podded versions of our lightweight WAMI systems to rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft,” says John Marion, president of Logos Technologies. “Now, thanks to further reductions in weight, we can easily fit a Redkite inside a tactical unmanned platform, as demonstrated with our recent flights on the Insitu Integrator.”
Despite its compact form, Redkite can image a city-sized area (more than 12 square kilometers) all at once — detecting, tracking and recording all significant movers within the scene. It also stores up to eight hours of this geo-tagged mission data on onboard solid state drives.
While the WAMI sensor is flying, multiple users on the ground can select real-time and/or historical video feeds within its expansive coverage area and view them on desktop screens, tablets and other mobile devices. Redkite can transmit up to 10 unique views to hundreds of users at one time.
“Insitu is pleased to collaborate with Logos to provide yet another way for our customers to get the critical information they need,” said Pete Kunz, chief technology officer for Insitu. “Integrator with Redkite enables an even broader set of missions to aid the warfighter in a complex operational environment.”
In addition, the new sensor weight (under 30 pounds) means that Redkite can potentially be integrated with even smaller unmanned aircraft in the future, notes Marion.
Logos Technologies unveiled a full-size model of the new internal payload version of Redkite at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.