New Firewatch Payload Enhances Aerosonde sUAS Surveying Capabilities

By Mike Ball / 31 Oct 2016

Aerosonde sUAS

Textron Systems Unmanned Systems has announced that the company has begun to offer the TK-7 Firewatch precision survey sensor on the Aerosonde Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) after its recent successful demonstration in Blackstone, Virginia.

Developed by Overwatch Imaging, LLC., the TK-7 Firewatch multi-spectrum precision survey payload features a nadir-oriented multi-megapixel color focal plane array (FPA) and co-boresighted infrared (IR) sensors. The integration of these sensors with an onboard image processing system provides advanced precision mapping and multi-image orthophoto capabilities that are able to quickly synthesize high fidelity aerial imagery and detect anomalies including hot-spots for wildfire mapping. Coupled with geospatial information systems knowledge workflows developed by Textron Systems, the TK-7 Firewatch payload capability is able to provide time-critical analytics and reporting.

Find suppliers of Imaging & Vision Systems >

“We are honored to work with Textron Systems to accelerate the adoption of long-endurance unmanned aircraft systems for civil and commercial roles,” said Overwatch Imaging founder Greg Davis. “With Firewatch, we are delivering something much more valuable than video to wildland fire crews and forest health managers. We are delivering answers in the format those users need to see the data, in real time.”

“By integrating this sensor onto the Aerosonde SUAS, we believe this will be a differentiator in the emerging civil and commercial application space by providing a more advanced and cost effective method to complete precision survey,” said Textron Systems Civil & Commercial Senior Director Dennis Racine. “By supporting real-time situational awareness, which increases the safety and effectiveness of our wildland fire incident responders, the TK-7 represents a new disruptive capability platform and fills a technology gap for a core area in multiple civil and industry applications.”

The Aerosonde has amassed more than 150,000 flight hours around the world. The platform can be outfitted with sensors to give responders real-time data on fire growth, burn intensity, fuels and heat concentrations, and is also equipped to carry numerous payloads in a single flight.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact