Zenith AeroTech has integrated advanced flight radar, gimbal EO / IR camera, and ad hoc mobile network radio into the company’s US-made Quad 8 tethered drone.
It is a complex integration project that takes the term “flexible payload” to the next level – and expands the possible applications for the Quad 8. “The engineering work that was carried out on behalf of an unnamed federal customer shows how long it takes. Persistent, connected SUAS can support the protection of the armed forces and early warning missions, ”said a press release from Zenith.
The connected Quad 8 already offers considerable advantages: It can fly for hours or even days with an AGL of 400 feet and is connected to an easily transportable power source. Zenith AeroTech, headquartered in Afton, Virginia, designs, manufactures, assembles and tests its attached drone systems at an 84,000 SF facility on a 10-acre secure site near the Blue Ridge Mountains. With markets such as Emergency Services, Law Enforcement, Industrial, and Defense, Zenith AeroTech is one of the few US-made tethered drone providers.
The Quad 8 can carry payloads from 10 to 24 pounds. So far, the company has never flown this combination of advanced sensor and communication devices.
“We are delighted to have worked with so many cutting-edge industrial partners,” said Kutlay Kaya, CEO of Zenith AeroTech. “Through their collaboration, we were able to equip our Quad 8 with the Advanced EchoFlight radar from Echodyne, the gimbal HDO-EO / IR camera from Trillium Engineering and the mobile ad-hoc network radio MPU5 from Persistent Systems.”
Stay tuned to see more demonstrations of what this new payload combo can do. “We want to show how we can simultaneously capture high-resolution images of both electro-optical and thermal, as well as airborne and ground-based radar anomalies, and then securely deliver these collections via the MPU5 to ensure robust monitoring,” said Kaya. “The MPU5 also acts as a radio / data relay to support disaster recovery processes and provide secure communication.”
Kaya says meeting a customer need prompted the project, but shows the company’s willingness to tailor payloads to meet individual needs. “Regardless of whether our customer is a first aid agency, a media company or a military service, we strive to develop and provide relevant functions in a timely manner,” said Kaya.