At Eurosatory, BlueBird Aero Systems – a leader in the design, development, and production of Micro, Mini and Small Tactical UAS, revealed a new Cargo Release capability of the ThunderB; a small, long range, long endurance, tactical UAS.
According to Ronen Nadir, CEO of BlueBird Aero systems, “We are proud to reveal the new, exciting cargo release capability of the ThunderB UAS at Eurosatory 2018. This remarkable addition is the result of lessons learnt from operational needs required by our operational customers and was designed to extend the capabilities delivered by our field-proven systems. This capability, on board the cost-effective, reliable, high performance ThunderB UAS, enables to perform new missions associated with the modern battlefield, the HLS requirements, as well as with the commercial market.”
ThunderB is a small, innovative, long-endurance tactical UAS (~30Kg, 4m wing-span) that creates a new niche in the tactical UAS arena providing capabilities previously found only in much larger UAVs usually with weight of above 150Kg.
The ThunderB UAV has the ability to carry small cargo units under each wing, and release the cargo automatically or by a GCS command. The cargo is carried and released by an integrated, electro-mechanical release mechanism. The released cargo is housed in an aerodynamic enclosure (capsule) to reduce the drag to the minimum.
Upon automatic release of the capsule, it will reach the target with high accuracy following a ballistic trajectory. The cargo capsules can also be dropped with the aid of a small parachute to prevent damage to fragile items.
The ThunderB Cargo Release ability can be used in numerous missions and scenarios such as:
- Lifesaving search and rescue (S&R) missions where after finding the objective, it is important, as a first response, to provide rescue measures i.e communication device (phone, portable radio, etc), a bottle of water, floating device, etc.
- Dropping of essential material such as drugs in an epidemic situation
- Scattering small ground intelligence sensors to achieve wide ground coverage
The ThunderB supports a wide range of optional payloads including a triple sensor, three-gimbal gyro-stabilized payload, with a Cooled thermal imager, HD day color camera and Laser Pointer and BlueBird’s RGB, NIR and Radiometric photogrammetric payloads. The ThunderB can also be integrated with other payloads such as non-imaging payloads, small SAR and others.
With its long endurance capability (up to 24 hours), its extended control range (150Km), and its variety of optional payloads, the ThunderB is an ideal solution for long, covert, low signatures ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) and/or tactical mapping on demand (TMOD) missions.