USSOCOM Evaluates Mini Tactical Drone for ISR Missions

By Caroline Rees / 13 Mar 2020
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USSOCOM Evaluates Mini Tactical Drone for ISR Missions

ATLAS C4EYE, a fixed-wing mini tactical drone developed by Terra Drone member company C-Astral Aerospace, has successfully completed the 2020 Expeditionary Organic Tactical Airborne ISR Capability Set (EOTACS) evaluation conducted by the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

C-Astral’s US-based distributor, Planet Inhouse, demonstrated the capabilities of the ATLAS C4EYE sUAS to USSOCOM observers from Feb 24 to Feb 27, 2020. These observers included experts from combat development directorates as well as operators from the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), and the Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC-WARCOM).

The ATLAS C4EYE team completed the final reconnaissance scenario without any technical malfunctions and without being detected by the observing red force units. The team also successfully demonstrated night operations, ‘Cursor On Target’ functionality with on-the-fly annotations of the points of interest and targets, full interoperability, and blue force tracking capability. The evaluations were led by the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) teams and took place on and from the McMillan Airfield on the Camp Roberts Army National Guard Base in central California.

The ATLAS C4EYE successfully cleared the following EOTACS evaluation parameters:

  • Cyber Assessment: Conducted by the Joint Vulnerability Assessment Branch (JVAB) and consisting of assessments of the overall UAS, data exfiltration, RF/cyber, onboard data storage, and forensics.
  • Acoustic Assessment: Completed by NPS researchers. The acoustic assessments created wave files for each platform, which were then analyzed for time series, spectrogram and frequency spectrum.
  • Ground Assessment: Performed by an NPS data collection team to verify the manufacturer’s UAS specific dimensions and logistics information.
  • Flight Performance Assessment: Consisted of vehicle flight performance assessments completed by the NPS data collection team during day and night flying and ‘real world’ scenario operations.

As per the USSOCOM requirements, all EOTACS drones should be capable of providing Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) data to Special Operations Forces during both day and night operations and under adverse environmental conditions. The ATLAS C4EYE met all the requirements and demonstrated its platform specifications.

The mature system is ready to be integrated into active Special Operations units, law enforcement, firefighting as well as non-governmental ecological monitoring tasks. For this purpose, Planet Inhouse has chosen Milwaukee, Wis.-based Menet Aero, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) as the training partner for ATLAS C4EYE operators within the US.

With a vision to solidify US market presence with manufacturing, training and support capabilities, C-Astral and Planet Inhouse are already in discussions for further system capability demonstrations throughout the United States.

As a system that has been designed in an allied NATO country (Slovenia) by a small enterprise with market presence in more than 60 countries, the ATLAS C4EYE and the entire C-Astral Aerospace family of unmanned systems are well-positioned to replace the current NATO and US sUAS legacy systems with secure, upgraded, open, and interoperable drones at an affordable acquisition price.

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact
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