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DSEI 2023: UK company launches new tethered UAV

Drone Evolution's Sentinel tethered UAV, displayed at DSEI 2023, is suited for forward operating bases or border security. (Janes/Olivia Savage)

The UK-based Drone Evolution has debuted a new tethered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at DSEI 2023, held from 12 to 15 September in London.

Known as Sentinel, the UAV can be used as an airborne surveillance solution or as a rebroadcasting node that can eliminate blackspots, enabled with Steatite's MPU5 Mesh radio, Toby Townrow, co-founder and business development director at Drone Evolution, told Janes .

By equipping the radio on the UAV, militaries are provided with a taller, lighter, and quicker-to-deploy communications rebroadcast capability than a traditional mast solution, which is typically bulky and only able to achieve heights of between 12 and 15 m, he said.

In comparison, he added, Sentinel can get much higher (50 m over a 6-hour period), and it takes just 5 minutes to set up. The ability to overcome blackspots from up to 2 km away was demonstrated in May 2023 in an urban environment in Redditch, UK.

In addition, Sentinel can be powered directly from a vehicle or a battery (no inverter or generator needed) using the company's patented Freedom Power Supply Unit (PSU), making it “truly mobile”, Townrow said.

Sentinel is also payload-agnostic and capable of carrying a variety of devices, including radios, electro-optical cameras, and thermal imaging systems weighing up to 5 kg.

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