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Air Platforms

Update: LAAD 2019: IAI expands Heron UAV unified control station availability worldwide

04 April 2019
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Key Points

  • IAI is making its Heron UAV unified control station available worldwide
  • The company focuses on touch-screen simplicity and reducing information overload

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is expanding worldwide the availability of the unified control system (UCS) for its family of Heron medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Santiago Machtinger, marketing director for Latin America, told Jane's on 2 April that the company developed the UCS with simplicity in mind. Instead of adding more information and sophistication, Machtinger said the UCS was designed with touch-screen simplification. He said the goal was to provide efficient user interfaces.

IAI's unified control system for its Heron family of UAVs features two 61 cm LCD screens and a tablet-sized screen for a mapping application. (IHS Markit/Pat Host)IAI's unified control system for its Heron family of UAVs features two 61 cm LCD screens and a tablet-sized screen for a mapping application. (IHS Markit/Pat Host)

"It's much less stressful," Machtinger said at the 2019 LAAD Defence and Security exposition. "With less stress, you can operate more confidently."

The user can use touch control to perform automatic take-off and landing and change mission course and altitude, among other functions. The UCS, based on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment, has three simple screens - two 61 cm LCD screens for the basic payload and a third tablet-sized screen for a mapping application. The UCS also includes a keyboard, mouse, DVD drive, USB ports, optional joystick, left-hand module, voice-over internet protocol (VOIP) headset, and a PC, according to a company statement.

Machtinger said the UCS allows one user to have complete control of the aircraft while also reducing the training time required to qualify a pilot on a Heron.

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