Austrian remote-sensing specialist Airborne Technologies has unveiled its latest product at the Singapore Airshow. Known as the S.C.A.R. (self-contained aerial reconnaissance)-Pod, the system requires no aircraft system modification, and only needs a standard hardpoint to be ready for immediate use.
“Surveillance out of the box” is how the company describes the S.C.A.R.-Pod. The streamlined carbon fiber pod is fitted with 14-inch lugs for fitment to a standard NATO stores carrier. Other than the attachment, the pod is completely independent of the aircraft and its systems. Data connection to the onboard operator station is handled wirelessly. This “plug and fly” capability allows aircraft to be re-roled for surveillance missions in a very short time.
“With our new S.C.A.R.-pod every aircraft and helicopter equipped with hardpoints can be a surveillance aircraft instantly,” said company CEO Wolfgang Grumeth. “Although the S.C.A.R.-Pod is an out-of-the-box solution, it turns out to be very flexible in fulfilling customer needs.”
S.C.A.R.-Pod has been designed to accept a variety of sensors and systems. The tapered nose of the pod can mount a gimbaled electro-optical/infrared sensor underneath, housed in either a 10-inch or 15-inch ball turret. The pod also has sufficient internal volume to incorporate moving map, augmented reality system and both uplink and downlink systems. It can also accommodate Comint and Sigint sensors. An easily changeable internal battery pack provides power for the sensors and systems for up to 10 hours.
To develop the S.C.A.R.-Pod, Airborne Technologies (Booth E67) has drawn on its expertise as a specialist in integrating surveillance and remote sensing systems into a number of aircraft to meet the requirements of various customers, including law enforcement agencies. Although the company is not tied to any particular manufacturers, its work has mainly been applied to the Vulcanair P68 Observer and A-Viator, Pilatus PC-6 and Tecnam P2006T aircraft. The latter forms the basis of the Tecnam MMA multi-mission aircraft, for which Airborne Technologies is the system integrator.