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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lockheed Martin Develops Rugged Stalker UAS

Lockheed Martin developed a ruggedized version of its Stalker Unmanned Air System (UAS), called the Stalker eXtreme Endurance (XE) UAS.

The company said the Stalker XE system has a flight endurance time of eight-plus hours, is powered by Ultra Electronics' hybrid system using a propane fuel cell and lithium polymer battery. This long-endurance fuel cell technology was developed through a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) sponsored effort led by Lockheed Martin and Adaptive Materials Inc., now a division of Ultra Electronics Holdings.

"Missions requiring real time eyes-on a situation for extended periods of time, like border patrol, pipeline surveillance and special operations can now be conducted by a small UAS versus a larger, more costly system," said Tom Koonce, Lockheed Martin's Stalker program manager. 'The convenience and lower cost of a small UAS combined with extended endurance is a true game-changer."

The complete Stalker XE system includes two aircraft, fuel cells, command and control ground station, support equipment, and small propane fuel storage tank. The standard air vehicle sensor is a modular dual daylight and night-time imager that allows persistent surveillance during the visual/thermal transition from day to night.

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