Thursday, August 11, 2011

Israel Aerospace Industries to unveil lightweight vertical take-off drone



New mini-drone boasts near-silent operation, performs day or night surveillance for ground forces • Control interface is based on modern computer games • Drone weighs less than 10 pounds.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is scheduled to unveil its cutting-edge Ghost surveillance drone in Washington next week.

The Ghost is a light nine-pound unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), that looks like a miniature version of the Chinook helicopter.

The Ghost was designed for field operations. It is intended to serve a company of infantry soldiers (about 100 men). Its interface resembles the latest computer games and its intuitive design requires minimal training time.

Ghost is a versatile platform capable of performing a variety of military and civilian missions. It carries a payload of day or night surveillance equipment, has vertical take-off and landing capabilities and can perform lateral movement while maintaining altitude. The Ghost boasts a low acoustic signature, allowing for covert observation, and can hover in the air for 30 minutes. The entire system can be carried in backpacks by two soldiers.

The Ghost will be unveiled at an Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AVUSI) expo opening on August 16 in Washington D.C.

"The innovative concept is a testament to our familiarity with the needs of ground forces and combat soldiers' ability to operate [the Ghost] in the field. The Ghost is at the vanguard of [UAV] technology and is a result of years of experience in the UAV field," IAI President Izthak Nissan said.