Military Embedded Systems

Sensor flies on U.S. Army UAS pod to test long-range detection use


June 09, 2023

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Sensor flies on U.S. Army UAS pod to test long-range detection use
Photo courtesy Logos Technologies

FAIRFAX, Va. Sensors and image-processing company Logos Technologies (a subsidiary of Elbit Systems of America) reported that its that its BlackKite IR wide-area motion imagery (WAMI) pod was successfully employed for the first time on a U.S. Army Group 4 uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) during the Experimentation Demonstration Gateway Event (EDGE 23) held during May at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona.

The BlackKite WAMI system -- designed to image, track, and record hundreds of targets moving across a city-sized area -- was used during EDGE 23, with the Army's UAS standing in as a substitute for a future air-luanched effects (ALE) UAS under development by the Army.

Doug Rombough, VP of Business Development at Logos Technologies, said that BlackKite is able to stream both live and archived imagery to users on the ground for situational awareness for different types of missions, including force protection, tactical-level persistent surveillance, route reconnaissance and overwatch, or border security. "We demonstrated how our lightweight BlackKite pod could be used in the long-range detection of enemy vehicles and air defense systems. And even though the Group 4 UAS was only meant to serve as a surrogate for ALE, we also showed how our platform-agnostic BlackKite pod could work with long-endurance Group 4 UAS."

According to the information on the EDGE 23 event, the pod-carried version of BlackKite weighs less than 38 pounds and can be mounted to planes, helicopters, and Group 3 (or larger) UAS. At an altitude of 12,000 feet, BlackKite can image an area as large as 16 square kilometers (6.18 square miles) and can store over eight hours of recorded and georeferenced imagery with its onboard processor.

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