Navy Recognition reports: ECA Group and French DGA Working on Tethered UAV Project Similar to DARPA'
Based on the IT180-999 prototype, an electric and captive variant of the existing IT180 UAV, the project shares many similarities with TALONS. TALONS is a joint research program between DARPA and the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research.
At MILIPOL 2015, ECA Group introduced the "Unmanned Aerial Watchtower". The IT180 captive drone (IT180-999) has been modified to connect the drone to the ground by a thin cable which unwinds from a winch on the ground. The cable supplies the drone with energy and is used for communication, turning the airborne drone into a surveillance point over a wide perimeter.
Talking to Navy Recognition, Francis Duruflé (Sales Manager at ECA Group) explained that ECA Group and the DGA will test the concept at sea from a barge in early 2016. Tests will include deployment and recovery of the UAV while the barge is in movement. The IT180-999 presented at MILIPOL was mounted on a mobile pick-up-type vehicle.
Naval applications include area surveillance (with a gimbal from DST Control featuring both day and IR sensors) as well as communications relay. With the VTOL UAV going as far as 150 meters in altitude, it is expected that radio range can be extended from 10 km to 60 km. This solution would be particularly usefull in coastal area.
Publishe on the web site Navy Recognition.com, November 2015