FLIR Systems, Inc. announced the FLIR StormCaster™ family of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) payloads for its SkyRanger® R70 and R80D SkyRaider® airframes. The new line launches with two multi-sensor products, StormCaster-T, which delivers continuous zoom and longwave infrared (LWIR) imaging, and StormCaster-L, which provides ultra-low-light imaging, tracking, and mapping. Line-of-sight stabilization StormCaster represents FLIR Systems’ next-generation payload family for the company’s own UAS airframes gained through the acquisition of Aeryon Labs in February 2019. The new line reflects a leap forward in scalable performance, offering a 7X improvement in line-of-sight stabilization, enhanced range of motion, and greater geolocation accuracy – all in a rugged package. Easy to change modules StormCaster line will leverage continuing improvements in aircraft performance Interoperability across the StormCaster family enables users to quickly and easily change modules on the FLIR SkyRanger and SkyRaider UAS systems. The StormCaster line will leverage continuing improvements in aircraft performance, providing small units with the organic capability to conduct increasingly demanding missions such as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). New line of advanced payloads “StormCaster-L and –T are just the beginning of this new line of advanced, high-performance payloads for our small, tactical UAS platforms,” said David Ray, President of the Government and Defense Business Unit at FLIR. “For mission needs ranging from force protection and border security to clandestine operations, FLIR StormCaster will provide heightened situational awareness, bolstered by our aircraft’s onboard, real-time artificial intelligence.” “We will develop more multi-sensor payloads through 2020 that deliver on our promise to offer capabilities at the individual operator level that previously required larger, more expensive UAS,” Ray added. Features The StormCaster-T features a FLIR Boson thermal camera to support detection, recognition, identification, and target acquisition day or night, with maximum range and time-on-station. Its continuous zoom lens, with a 75-millimeter maximum focal length, permits long-distance ISR while providing clear, actionable imagery. The StormCaster-L ultra-low-light imaging camera offers superior ISR and mapping performance during twilight and night-time operations. Key features include 4K recorded video and full-color night vision in low-light conditions. R80D SkyRaider & SkyRanger R70 Developed for United States (U.S.) defense and federal agencies, the R80D SkyRaider delivers a range of versatile Group 2 and 3 payload capabilities with the agility and single-operator deployment footprint of a proven Group 1 Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. SkyRaider can carry and deliver multiple payloads up to 4.4 pounds and features an open architecture, plus one of the most powerful embedded AI computing devices available on an sUAS. Similar in capabilities to the R80D but for non-U.S. military customers, the SkyRanger R70 was designed for the most demanding UAS operators within the global defense, security, and public safety markets.
FLIR Systems, Inc. announced that it has acquired the intellectual property (IP) and certain operating assets of Aria Insights, Inc. terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Previously known as CyPhy Works, Inc., Aria pioneered the development of tethered small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS). Founded in 2008 by iRobot co-founder Helen Greiner and backed by several top technology investors, Aria notably developed the Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) tethered drone. The company ceased operations in March 2019. Enabling sustained operations Tethered drones connect to a base station or vehicle by microfilament wire, which provides both continuous power and secure communications. For certain applications, a tethered drone offers advantages over a free-flying UAS, enabling sustained operations on longer missions and persistent situational awareness so users can perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) functions. The Aria assets will be integrated into FLIR’s Unmanned Systems and Integrated Solutions Division The Aria assets will be integrated into FLIR’s Unmanned Systems and Integrated Solutions Division, augmenting the company’s technology portfolio built from its acquisitions of Prox Dynamics in 2016 and Aeryon Labs and Endeavor Robotics earlier this year. Supporting critical missions “Tethered UAS systems are becoming an increasingly valuable tool for force protection, border security, and critical infrastructure protection,” said David Ray, president of FLIR’s Government and Defense business. “Aria’s innovative technology and IP assets will enable us to enhance current capabilities and advance the range of solutions we can deliver to customers in this growing market segment.” “We’re pleased to complete the sale of our assets to FLIR Systems,” said Lance Vandenbrook, former CEO of Aria Insights. “We are proud of the technology our team developed through the operations of CyPhy Works and Aria, and we believe FLIR offers the best opportunity to see it make a difference and support critical missions in the years ahead.”