Africa Aerospace & Defence 2016

Tethered surveillance [AAD16D2]

15 September 2016

Paramount Advanced Technologies (PAT, Hangar 4, Stand W14) is showing a new tethered drone for the first time at AAD. The system is currently under development. The use of a tether, which provides both a means of powering the drone and relaying sensor imagery, allows the drone to stay airborne indefinitely, in turn providing persistent surveillance and freeing the drone from the restrictions of battery life. It also does not require a flight-qualified operator.

Based on a quadcopter drone, the new system is targeted at a variety of operations where persistence is a significant advantage. They include border control, anti-poaching, battlefield surveillance and area security.

Other missions include surveillance of buildings and crowds, and the detection of pollution and chemicals. A variety of sensor payloads is being considered, as well as communications equipment.

PAT was created out of Advanced Technologies and Engineering (ATE), which supplied the Vulture UAV to the South African Army, and PAT continues to support the system. It has also developed additional UAVs, including the 15kg petrol-powered RoadRunner, which offers a two-hour endurance and 120km/h cruising speed. The runway-operated 25kg Mwewe offers four hours of endurance and a speed of 80km/h, while the 5kg Civet is an electric-powered UAV with an endurance of one hour.

Other specialities of PAT include mission systems and systems integration. As well as supplying avionics for South Africa’s Hawk trainers, the company has upgraded Mi-24 ‘Hind’ helicopters and fitted weapons and sensors to the Mi-24 and Airbus Helicopters H135M (EC635). The FLASH weapons/ sensor suite is available for various helicopter types and is installed on a Gazelle in the static display.

(269 words)