Electronic Weapons: Off-The-Shelf Gear for UAVs


July 28, 2007: An Israeli firm has developed yet another user-friendly sensor for small aircraft, ships and UAVs. The 35 pound POP (Plug-in Optronic Payload) is the latest version of the fully articulate ("dual axis gyro-stabilized," when mounted underneath the aircraft, it can rotate 360 degrees and move to see in any direction) sensor housing that can have a new sensor plugged in within minutes. With current technology, it can take an hour or more to mount a new sensor (thermal imager, night vision camera, laser rangefinder, and so on). POP is compact, easy to install and easy to maintain. Over the past decades, the sensors have become lighter, cheaper and more reliable. But on many smaller UAVs, carrying capacity is limited, and time to change components is limited. So POP solves a lot of problems. The POP type equipment comes in various sizes, from under three pounds, to 15 pounds and 35 pounds. This type of equipment is intended mainly for commercial markets, which makes it an inexpensive and readily available option for military vehicles.


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