Lockheed Releases New Drone Technology

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Lockheed Martin, a veteran of aerospace defense is getting deeper into the drone business with the release of several new technologies. The drone – compact Indago VTOL will be powered by the second technology, a handheld ground control station. The drone will run the Commercial Avionics Suite available in other Lockheed aerospace offerings and is now available on unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

The compact Indago VTOL, folds up and requires no assembly, and achieves ranges of up to five kilometers for up to 45 minutes when operated using the handheld ground control station (GCS). The VTOL has a 360 degree panning capability to aid area surveillance and provide enhanced situational awareness and actionable imagery in support of emergency response needs including search and rescue situations, disaster relief or other surveillance missions.

The handheld GCS, which runs for four hours and is designed for outdoor readability, can be used with Indago and as a standalone system with other aircraft.

Powering this system is the Kestrel autopilot system. The Kestrel autopilot uses “failsafe algorithms” to increase safety throughout the mission, and has flown in more than 60 aircraft.

The Indago will become the newest part of Lockheed’s drone portfolio which includes the Desert Hawk III small UAS, to the rail-launched Fury UAS, to the K-MAX cargo resupply UAS.