|Aeryon Scout micro-UAV|
|First flight||August 2007|
Aeryon Scout is a small aerial vehicle that can capture and transmit images and video. An unmanned aerial vehicle (or UAV), it was designed by Aeryon Labs in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The vehicle was developed from 2007 to 2009 with beta trials conducted late in 2009. The craft is a vertical take-off and landing VTOL quadcopter requiring no launch equipment. It can hover in a fixed position. The Scout weighs less than 3 lbs and is powered by four brushless DC motors. It is nearly silent during operation.
The Scout can be operated beyond the line of sight up to 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) from the user, with a designed operational altitude above ground level of 300 to 500 feet at flying speeds of up to 50 kilometres per hour (31 miles per hour). The Scout's ruggedized and wind sealed design is intended to allow reliable operation in adverse weather conditions. The system has sustained wind speeds of up to 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph) and temperatures ranging from -30°C to +50°C.
Communications and control
The Scout is unique in that it is controlled with a Tablet PC-based interface. This system differs from the customary method of joystick control in allowing users to operate the vehicle with minimal training. The Scout is piloted by pointing to an area on the map. Height is controlled using a scroll on the touch screen interface. The system operates using custom or commercially available map data in several formats including MrSID. Real-time maps can also be used during flight and the Scout can be flown real-time by the operator or pre-programmed to fly a series of GPS waypoints. To ensure safe operation of the vehicle, the Scout has built in safety features. The system constantly monitors external conditions of wind speeds as well as internal functions such as battery level. With the ability to constantly monitor conditions, the Scout is able to make an automated decision on a course of action to take. The built in intelligence allows the Scout to either;
- return home
- land immediately
- hover and wait
All communications with the vehicle are digital and encrypted. This prevents hijacking and video interception as happened with the US Predator in Iraq.
In addition to the tablet ground station, a STANAG 4856 compliant interface is available as well as STANAG 4609-compliant video. This allows control of the unit using a standard ground station, and integration with other vehicles. The video from the mission is both stored on board the vehicle and transmitted down to the control station. The video format is standard MPEG-4 and images are geo-tagged JPEG.
|The Complete Scout System|
- Crew: none
- Length: 80 cm (28.8 in)
- Rotor diameter: 80 cm (28.8 in)
- Height: 30cm (1 ft)
- Loaded weight: 1.4 kg (3.1 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 1.7 kg (3.74 lb)
- Powerplant: 4 × Electric motor, Intelligent LiPo battery () each
- Propeller diameter: 30 cm (12 inch)
- Maximum speed: 50 km/h (31 mph)
- Cruise speed: 40 km/h
- Range: 3 km (2 mi)
- Service ceiling: 1,000ft/333 m AGL (15,000 ft/5,000 m ASL)
- Rate of climb: 2 m/s (6 ft/s)
High resolution, day/night cameras with optical and digital image stabilization and mechanical pan/tilt/zoom
The Scout has a quick-change payload interface with standard protocol interfaces including USB and Ethernet. This allows custom payloads to be developed easily. The system is able to detect the type of payload connected, and configure it and operate it appropriately. The payload capacity of the system is 250 grams. Offered payloads include:
- 2-axis/3-axis gimbaled 5 megapixel digital still/video camera
- 3-axis gimbaled NearIR camera for remote sensing
- 2-axis gimbaled FLIR night-vision camera
- 2-axis gimbal stabilized 10x Optical Zoom camera
The gimbaled camera allows the system to compensate for the movement of the vehicle, which is of particular issue with small UAV systems, due to wind gusts. The payload is controlled by the vehicle to remain geo-targeted. Aeryon also works with various military, public safety, commercial and educational institutions to develop custom payloads for the Aeryon Scout. Previously developed payloads include Carbon Dioxide and Methane sensing payloads.
- Version 4
- ZoomSnap: allows the operator to take a high-resolution photograph of a specific point of interest in the video and have it instantly streamed to the operator. The photograph provides the equivalent of between 5 and 10 times the level of detail in a typical video stream. The image is geotagged, stored on board the Scout and available on the Ground Control Station (GCS) tablet instantly for on-the-ground analysis.
- LiveMaps: build maps in real-time, replacing out-of-date information and flying more easily in unmapped areas
- FollowMe: allows the Scout to automatically follow vehicles and troops, giving a continual visual overview of the surrounding terrain This automatic operation, enabling the Scout to follow the base station without operator interaction. The Scout can either hover directly above the base station or fly at a fixed offset. This feature is targeted at counter-IED missions and convoy support, where the Scout can keep a constant and automatic watch.
- Version 5
- AutoGrid: automatically creates a gridded waypoint path based on a number of user defined variables such as altitude, desired overlap of imagery, etc. AutoGrid™ ensures images provide the desired amount of coverage, which is essential for GIS Mapping or Search & Rescue operations.
- Dynamic FollowMe: allows control of the Scout while in FollowMe mode. This is used when taking off or landing on a moving platform. This feature was demonstrated in the US DoD 2011 Empire Challenge where the Scout was launched off a moving US Marines river boat.
- Dynamic Flightplans: Flight plans can now be dynamically created and adjusted while the Scout is in the air. The Flight-plan Editor displays waypoints in decimal degrees, decimal minutes, degrees-minutes-seconds of latitude and longitude as well as UTM and MGRS.
- Pix4D: The Scout uses an end to end GIS Solution to produce high quality orthorectified imagery and datasets. The system now works in tandem with integrated GIS software, Pix4D, creating automated outputs of the systems collected visual information.
- Related lists
- "Scout Technical Specifications". Aeryon Labs
- "Flying Surveillance Robots Coming Soon from Aeryon – Rafe's Radar". CNET News.
- "Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Version 4 Press Release". Aeryon Labs.
- "Version 5 Press Release". Aeryon Labs.
- "Empire Challenge Press Release". Aeryon Labs.
- . Aeryon Labs.
- . Aeryon Labs.
- Ha, Tu Thanh (August 23, 2011). "How High-Tech Canadian Drones Gave Libyan Rebels a Boost". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
- "OPP testing unmanned flying drone". May 9, 2013.
- "Photo of Saudi Army with Aeryon Scout UAV".
- aeryon.com , Aeryon Labs Inc. official website