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French UAV’s Imaging System Passes Flight Tests

Tests included in-flight performance of the imaging system, automated landings system, a new data link for taxiing and new flight control functions.

The Patroller, a medium-altitude, long-endurance unmaned aerial vehicle (UAV) being developed by the French company Sagem, has successfully completed a series of flight tests including tests the UAV’s higher-performance imaging system for target identification.

In addition to in-flight performance of the imaging system, tests of other UAV systems performance includes on its automated landings system; a new data link for taxiing; and new flight control functions, Sagem said.

The UAV’s improved flight safety resulted in French government authorization for the Patroller to fly over densely populated zones in controlled airspace, the company said. During the tests in September and October 2011, the UAV operated over the Mediterranean Sea to test maritime and coastal surveillance scenarios.

Sagem said it expects to deliver a complete, fully operational Patroller system within 18 months. The UAV, which capitalizes on technologies developed by Sagem for its Sperwer Mk II tactical drone, features a modular design for carrying different pod-mounted payloads. It has a flight endurance of as much as 30 hours at a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet.