The Patroller Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) recently completed a series of eight test flights ending with a 10 hour flight. The UAV was the result of a joint French-German industrial partnership, which incorporated technology from the two firms. With a profile not unlike that of a powered glider, Patroller combines Sagems expertise in drones and Stemmes specialty in long range high performance gliders. The result is a single engine long endurance UAV system with excellent performance (reliability and time in the air).
Patroller weighs a ton, has a wingspan of 18 meters (59 ft) and a max speed of 315 kilometers an hour. It can stay in the air for up to 30 hours at an altitude of 25,000 feet.
Sensors include a synthetic aperture radar pod, Euroflir gyrostabilised observation system and a Satellite Communication system. Future developments will include maritime radar and airborne relay. Total payload is 550 pounds. The Patroller shares commonality with Sagems earlier SperWer Tactical UAV, using both the same ground control and similar avionics.
Patroller joins a growing number of long-range UAVs, such as Israels twin engine (two ton) Dominator 2, the single engine, 1.5 ton American Skywarrior and 12 ton jet powered Global Hawk.
Dominator 2 can stay in the air for 28 hours, Sky Warrior for over 30 hours and Global Hawk for 42 hours. -- Mike Perry