During the Robotic Technology Exhibition in Dubai six weeks ago, Lockheed Martin demonstrated the Indago quadrotor UAS equipped with an EO/IR payload. It was steered from a portable controller with software that allowed the operator “to focus on high-level mission execution rather than flight details” according to LM. Throughout the flight, the UAS fed video and data via an LM-developed fusion tool named Hydra, into a 3D earth model to produce a growing orthomosiac map of the area it was flying over.
The Hydra technology is currently being used in the UAE to monitor daily construction progress of high-rise building projects. Because the digital architectural drawings are loaded directly through Hydra, daily progress models can be precisely compared to the drawings to determine any problems very early in the construction process. The Indago and its software will also be used once construction is complete to carry out unmanned high altitude building inspections in a safe and timely manner.