Aurora’s Skate small unmanned air vehicle system (SUAS) was awarded first place in the 2012 Border Security Technology/Product Challenge at the recently held 2012 Border Security Expo in Phoenix, Arizona. The top prize is awarded to a technology or product that best demonstrates innovation in the border security arena.
“Aurora is very proud to have won this prestigious award,” said Carl Schaefer, Director of Small UAS Products at Aurora. “The Skate SUAS is an ideal platform for gathering secure, real-time intelligence and surveillance data to assist the Department of Homeland Security in accomplishing its mission of securing our borders and stemming the flow of contraband.”
The Skate SUAS is an electric-powered, lightweight, portable system that easily fits in a small rucksack. Its modular design enables assembly and launch in less than two minutes. Its unique VTOL capabilities allow it to be launched and recovered from urban areas, confined spaces, and vehicles, with no dedicated launch or recovery equipment. With an endurance of over one hour, speeds from hover to over 50 knots, and a total air vehicle weight of only two pounds, Skate can carry a variety of available payloads to areas of interest up to five kilometers away. Available payloads include full-motion color video payload pods; Electro Optical (EO)/Infrared (IR) payload pods with Long Wave IR (LWIR) cameras with resolutions up to 640 lines; and high definition (HD) video payload pods capable of recording video at 1080p and taking still photographs with 5 megapixel resolution. Payload pods are swappable in less than one minute, allowing the operator to tailor the Skate system to rapidly changing mission needs.
The Skate system uses a Digital Data Link (DDL) to securely transmit both video and data up to 5 km from the ground control station (GCS). AES128/AES256 key encryption and a variety of operational frequencies are available.
Skate’s GCS supports fully autonomous waypoint navigation as well as stabilized, “fly-the-camera” manual flight control. The hand controller included with the system uses a high resolution, daylight viewable, on-screen display that does not require a hood to view video in bright daylight.