AerialX is finalising the development of DroneBullet: an intuitive, high-speed multi-rotor kinetic energy interceptor solution designed to counter small multirotor and fixed-wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) threats.
In development for the past 18 months, DroneBullet is effectively "a hybrid between a missile and a quadcopter", Noam Kenig, Chief Executive of Vancour, Canada-based AerialX told Jane's . "It's more like a missile in terms of its design, flight behaviour, and exceptional approach speed to the target, particularly from above. However, it also has the capability, because it is multi-rotor, to do things that a missile cannot do: stop, land, attack from above, or below, change position, etc; lots of other things that we cannot do in a missile. It doesn't fly like a normal quadcopter, it flies in a hybrid, high-speed mode," he added.
Designed as a very lightweight man-portable multi-system capability, DroneBullet has a take-off weight of 910 g, is 269 mm in length, and 160 mm in diameter. Housed in a carbon fibre casing, the system is furnished with a nose-mounted day/night camera and a GPS/INS/IMU navigation assembly. Terminal guidance is delivered by an onboard 'deep learning and machine vision' system.
Powered by lithium-ion polymer batteries and an electric motor, DroneBullet has a stated maximum range of 3 km, a stated operational altitude limit of 3 km, and an operational endurance of 10 minutes. The system can achieve attack speeds of between 150 km/h to 200 km and has a dive attack speed of up to 300 km/h.
Apart from its significant engagement speed, which is designed to optimise the effector's hit-to-kill capabilities, the key technology key discriminator is DroneBullet's terminal guidance solution: an artificial intelligence (AI)-led capability that enables the system to autonomously identify, track, and engage (or not engage) the target.
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