Inside Unmanned Systems

AUG 2015

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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20 unmanned systems inside September/October 2015 AIR TECHNOLOGY AND MARKETS Weighing less than five pounds including payload the Indago can stay aloft for as much as 55 minutes, said Jay McConville, director of business development at Lockheed Martin's un- manned integrated systems. The vehicle has won over at least four for- profit firms in the U.S. including Houston- based Trumbull Unmanned. Trumbull plans to focus on the energy industry, offering a wide variety of inspection and monitoring services including wildlife surveillance as well as sup- port to first responders. The firm was approved to operate a dozen different UAS as part of its service and has since filed an amendment ask- ing to add more to the list. Photos courtesy of Lockheed Martin Huntsville, Ala.-based enrGies was granted an exemption by aviation regulators in late July to use the Indago to gather aerial data. The firm has been providing operations and engineering support to government agencies for UAS mis- sions and now wants to expand its services to a wider range of applications including precision farming, infrastructure monitoring, disaster damage assessment, wildlife and wildfire moni- toring, construction, mining and UAS research. Like other companies, enrGies' plans include flying more than a dozen aircraft. Among those, interestingly, is the Desert Hawk III—another Lockheed Martin product that, in this case, has been used by the British military. The hand- INDAGO, K-MAX EFFECTIVE AGAINST WILDFIRES Government users value the timely and cost-effective imag- ing made possible by unmanned aircraft as much as their for-profi t counterparts. For police and emergency person- nel, however, the more rugged platforms originally made for the military can literally be lifesavers in dangerous situations where things just have to work. The Lockheed Martin Indago and K-MAX unmanned aircraft are being tested together as a two-pronged tool for dealing with one such kind of emergency — wildfi res. Last November the small quadcopter and an unmanned version of the heavy- lift K-MAX were used in tandem to assess and battle blazes. The Indago identifi ed hotspots and then the twin-rotor K- MAX, working autonomously, used the information to drop water where it was needed most. The K-MAX was able to deliver more than 24,000 pounds of water onto the fi re in an hour during tests at Griffi ss International Airport in upstate New York. "The unmanned K-MAX and Indago aircraft can work to fi ght fi res day and night, in all weather, reaching dangerous areas without risking a life," said Dan Spoor, vice president of avia- tion and unmanned systems at Lockheed Martin. The Indago was used later in the year by helicopter service provider Heliwest to help fi ght a fi re in Western Australia, sav- ing hundreds of homes and millions of dollars. One of the key factors was how easy it was to transport and use. The Lockheed Martin K-MAX helicopter successfully conducted a fi refi ghting mission during a demonstration on Nov. 6. Aided by the small unmanned Indago quadrotor, an unmanned version of the K-MAX extinguished several fi res, collecting and dropping over 24,000 lbs. of water onto the fl ames in one hour.

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