Flight Demo for Thales-Aerovision’s UAV Fulmar

17.01.2012 Europe
Flight Demo for Thales-Aerovision’s UAV Fulmar

Flight Demo for Thales-Aerovision’s UAV Fulmar

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Thales and Aerovisión have given a real flight demonstration of the UAV Fulmar (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) for the European Agency Frontex, the organism in charge of coordinating the border control operations of the European Union member states.

Fulmar is a wholly Spanish project that is a global solution that uses the Maritime Surveillance Systems of Thales Group. These systems supply images and video in real time and integrate the information in a security system, as is the case with border control. Such systems facilitate surveillance and control of maritime and border traffic and can provide inestimable support to rescue operations.

The UAV Fulmar is a small-size model (3.1 meters) weighing only 19 kilos that can fly at a height of 3,000 meters and achieve 150 kilometers per hour, with an 8-hour flight range that would allow it to fly up to 800 kilometers without having to refuel.

The demonstration for border authorities organized by Frontex was held at the Aktio Air Base in the Greek locality of Preveza. For three days, several international UAV manufacturers performed test flights patrolling the west coast of Greece, with Fulmar being the only Spanish product to demonstrate its capacities in a market dominated by unmanned aerial vehicles from the United States and Israel.

The demonstration confirmed the ease of installation and flying of the UAV Fulmar, as it does not require a runway for takeoff and landing given that it is launched from a catapult and is recovered by means of an impact-absorbing net. Both elements are simple to install in a short time and in different places. This facilitates the assembly and handling of the system and differentiates it from other models on the market. A demonstration of the UAV Fulmar flight can be viewed here (video).

In the demonstration for border authorities organized by Frontex, the UAV Fulmar flew for two hours, detecting the information sent in from the different points established for the flight and sending images and video in real time that were viewed by the attendants at the ground base. The Fulmar thus displayed its capacity to integrate with maritime surveillance systems such as radars, a crucial aspect in this type of unmanned aerial surveillance system.

At this event Thales and Aerovisión have demonstrated that the Fulmar is a competitive solution that can be adapted to different needs and can integrate with other systems to provide a global solution. Fulmar is currently operative in Malaysia, where it performs border surveillance tasks in the Strait of Malacca.


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