Boeing readies A160T unmanned helicopter for ARGUS-IS persistent-surveillance payload

BY JOHN KELLER

ARLINGTON, Va.-Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engineers at the Boeing Phantom Works Advanced Unmanned Systems-Concept Exploration segment in Irvine, Calif., will adapt the company's A160T Hummingbird unmanned helicopter to carry electronics payloads for signals intelligence (SIGINT), as well as the BAE Systems Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance-Imaging System (ARGUS-IS) for persistent surveillance.

Boeing is doing the work under terms of a $12.8 million contract awarded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va. Boeing and BAE Systems are developing the Hummingbird UAV and the ARGUS-IS persistent surveillance payload under DARPA sponsorship.

Click to Enlarge
The Boeing A160T Hummingbird unmanned helicopter, shown above, will carry the ARGUS-IS persistent-surveillance payload from BAE Systems.

The autonomously flown A160T unmanned helicopter is 35 feet long with a 36-foot rotor diameter. It is designed to fly 2,500 nautical miles with more than 24 hours of endurance with payloads that weigh more than 300 pounds. Hummingbird will fly as fast as 140 knots at altitudes as high as 30,000 feet, for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, communications relay, and precision re-supply.

The BAE Systems Electronic Solutions sector in Nashua, N.H., has been developing the ARGUS-IS since 2007. The compact daytime surveillance system combines a multi-gigapixel, high-resolution sensor; wide-field optics; an ultra-high-bandwidth, real-time airborne processing system; and a ground station for interactive multitarget designation, tracking, and exploitation. The processing system can simultaneously and continuously detect and track the presence and motion of thousands of targets over an area covering tens of square miles.

BAE Electronic Solutions also is developing subsystems for DARPA called the Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance-Infrared (ARGUS-IR) system.


FOR MORE INFORMATION visit Boeing online atwww.boeing.com, or DARPA at www.darpa.mil.

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