Silent Falcon: Small Unmanned Aircraft System
Silent Falcon UAS Technologies of Alburquerque, New Mexico in collaboration with Bye Aerospace has recently introduced the latest in the small UAV class Silent Falcon. Silent Falcon is a man-portable small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) for long-duration intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. The craft is made of lightweight carbon composites and uses solar electric propulsion system, which enables it to have 14 hours flight endurance. Its electric motor makes the craft noiseless beyond about 100 feet (30.5 m). The power comes from thin film photovoltaic panels built into the wings with lithium polymer batteries for storage. The 1.77 meter (5.8 ft) long Silent Falcon is modular with three sets of interchangeable wings giving it a span ranging from 2.1 meters (6.9 ft) to 5.2 meters (17 ft). The craft is suitable for both military and civic use: it is light enough at a maximum of 12.3 kilograms (27.1 lb) to be carried and hand launched (though rocket launching is also possible); it features top speed of 112 km/h, (60 knots), an operational flying altitude from 100 feet (30.5 m) to 20,000 feet (6,096 m) and a range of 25 kilometers (15.5 mi). . The main advantage over the other small UAVs is that Silent Falcon features a special FalconVision system, comprising a high-definition dual imager with night vision capability, a laser pointer, an onboard HD video processor, permitting to send back stable, high-definition images, identify and track targets and perform geo-location and geo-tracking operations. Commercial production of this Aircraft System is planned for the beginning 2013.
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