Elistair has announced that it has developed the Orion 2, a new tethered unmanned aerial system (UAS) designed for military, government, and industry users. The hexacopter platform provides persistent round-the-clock surveillance for up to 24 hours at a time, which according to Elistair could previously only be done by much larger helium-filled tactical aerostats with complicated logistical trains.
The lightweight, durable Orion 2 has been designed as a quick-deploy system, with an automated push-button takeoff and landing capability. It features a 330 foot (100 meter) micro-tether, providing greater altitude and surveillance coverage than its predecessor, and can carry up to 2kg (4.5 pounds) of payload. The system can serve simultaneously as an ISR and telecoms platform, stream georeferenced electro-optical and infrared imagery at the same time, and deploy 4G/5G communications nodes thanks to a new fiber optic cable option.
The original Orion drone is a proven platform deployed around the world, including at the Ryder Cup in September 2018, where it flew over crowds of 300,000 attendees for 8 to 11 hours a day. It has also been employed by the French police, British military, and Singaporean government.
Timothée Penet, CTO and co-founder of Elistair, commented: “Small, unmanned multi-rotor systems are great if you want a hover-and-stare capability, but they’re also notoriously short on battery life. Powered tethering stations, like our Safe 2 and Ligh-T 4, offer a solution by increasing a platform’s time in the air—and that’s great for many missions. But what if you need to be on station for a whole day?”
Pierre-Moana Levesque, R&D Director at Elistair, said: “We developed redundancies at every level to ensure that the Orion 2 could stay up that long. For example, we made it IP54; we optimized the lifespan of the components, including the motors; and we added a safety battery that could recharge in the air.”
Guilhem de Marliave, CEO and co-founder of Elistair, stated: “The Orion 2 tethered drone is a clear advance over the very capable Orion in terms of persistence, logistical footprint, and data control. We are thrilled by this product launch.”
Watch a video showcasing the Orion 2 below: