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Aeronáutica SDLE Made A Micro-UAV For Special Forces

June 24, 2019

Via Aeronáutica SDLE.

Operators on dangerous missions can now better navigate indoor and difficult to access areas with an ultra-lightweight quadcopter made of aluminum with additive manufacturing. This latest innovation from Aeronáutica SDLE is called the Individual Recognition Platform (IRP). It adds to the company’s growing portfolio of unmanned systems that includes the Zarek V1/2 and a proven counter-UAS device. The IRP was first shown in public at IDEX 2019 in Abu Dhabi and then FEINDEF 2019 in Madrid two months later. It’s one of the newest–and perhaps smallest–micro-UAVs in the European Union right now.

What makes the IRP a superb addition to an operator’s kit is its sturdy aluminum airframe making it easy to carry along with the rest of their gear without adding excess weight. Rather than keeping it in a bag or container, the IRP can be clipped to a harness and its modest dimensions means it won’t encumber its pilot.

GPS Denied

When activated, the IRP is launched by hand and travels for up to 15 minutes. Extremely silent during flight, the IRP is a perfect tool for instantaneous search and reconnaissance. In volatile situations where special forces must conduct a room-to-room search, the IRP can save lives by flying inside the structure to find anomalies or booby traps, sparing the lives of team members who won’t need to set foot inside the objective until their aerial recon finds it clear.

Equipped with a high definition EO/thermal camera, the IRP is able to capture live images and footage even in GPS denied areas, flying without the need for external sensor or satellite coverage. The remote pilot only needs one hand to guide its flight, so the operator can quickly react if they need to take action.

On-site security will find the IRP valuable too. Rather than check a perimeter on foot, the security guard and their colleagues have the IRP to scan a facility and observe locations that might be compromised by malicious actors. Because of its size, the IRP does have a modicum of “stealth” with its noiseless flight, making it an unintrusive observation device that won’t upset workflows or attract unwanted attention.

Additive Manufacturing

Emergency responders will be impressed with the IRP too. When a location affected by a disaster needs to be locked down, sending the IRP for a quick search saves precious minutes. In a site where either toxic substances or a major fire hazard poses extreme risk, the IRP gives rescuers a flawless tool to examine the extent of the problem…and find survivors.

What makes the IRP so useful is the airframe’s composition. Aeronáutica SDLE took full advantage of its additive manufacturing capability to form a compact and robust unmanned system with a range of applications. If it must be carried by a person, a carabiner or a velcro clip is able to hold the IRP and kept on their vest. Special operations forces, emergency services and site security are well-served by having an IRP at hand.

Besides being faster than other manufacturing processes, through additive manufacturing the thicknesses, and therefore the weights, of a design can be easily modified. The initial design of the IRP can be adapted from this technique, customizing the chassis according to the end user’s needs. With this type of manufacturing, SDLE obtains different highly resistant, lighter and custom components for repair and maintenance of combat vehicles and other equipment.

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