COLUMBUS, Miss., 14 Aug. 2011. Stark Aerospace, an IAI North America company in Columbus, Miss., , is introducing a 9-pound twin-rotor manpackable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called Ghost for silent urban operations in daylight and at night. IAI will unveil the covert-operations UAV this week at the AUVSI Unmanned Systems North America trade show in Washington.The Ghost small hovering UAV, which looks like a tiny version of the Boeing CH-47 Chinook twin-rotor heavy-lift helicopter, is designed to provide real-time intelligence to ground forces working in cities and towns where densely located buildings and other urban cover can conceal enemy forces, terrorists, or other hostile combatants. IAI North America is part of Israel Aerospace Industries headquartered at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel.The UAV can be fitted with a variety of imaging and other kinds of sensors, such as visible-light cameras and infrared sensors. Sensor data can be datalinked back to operators.
The Ghost unmanned helicopter has automatic vertical takeoff and landing capability and can loiter for as long as 30 minutes. IAI engineers designed the system with two rotary electrical engines so it can operate silently and support day and night special operations missions, IAI officials say.
IAI designed the Ghost UAV and its control system based on computer gaming to make the system intuitive for operators, who need little training to work the system, company officials say. Two soldiers can carry the entire system in their backpacks. System components include two UAVs, batteries, control unit, and communications. Ghost is suitable for paramilitary and homeland security applications, IAI officials say.