Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) is an integral part of our U.S. Military mission. CSAR and RSTA (Reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition) missions are mostly carried out by Special Operations Forces (SOF) through stealth operations, using sensor-equipped wheeled armored vehicles, or light armored vehicles to deploy patrols on foot for shorter-range missions. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) platforms support and even perform many of the key CSAR tasks on the modern battlefield to include finding, fixing, supporting, and recovering isolated personnel; thus allowing commanders to maintain battlefield synergy with manned platforms while reassuring isolated personnel that recovery is imminent.
Currently the services maintain a variety of aircraft dedicated to personnel recovery operations in hostile environments. Because of the complex nature of this type of operation, Command and Control arrangements must be clearly defined and require a great deal of flexibility from supporting units. As such, real-time intelligence data is the critical element in determining the enemy threat level.
Collins Aerospace TASE™ imaging systems collect full-motion video utilizing multiple sensors in support of a breadth of intelligence operations. TASE systems provide solutions to complex tactical situations through the use of high-definition and unique imaging solutions and today have over 500,000 operational hours, and are a leading source of real-time intelligence to the warfighter and first responders. When selecting EO/IR sensors, a key capability for CSAR and RSTA missions is superior resolution. Low-resolution video systems may be useful for spotting large targets (e.g., cars, boats), but will have limited utility in spotting individuals especially in a cluttered environment. The TASE400 BLK ll utilize High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC); H.265 has a significantly higher compression ratio which preserves more of the original image than H.264 and can save around 50% of the bit rate. Delivering higher quality imagery faster gives CSAR mission commanders the information needed so isolated personnel can be authenticated, a suitable extraction site located, and the actual recovery can occur.
Due to shrinking force structures and decreasing military budgets, leaders must find ways to “do more with less” in the current operational environment. The US armed forces have turned to UAVs as a means of dealing with the limitations imposed on our armed forces. UAVs are increasingly becoming the weapon of choice for a variety of missions from ISR. Isolated personnel will normally not be recovered until their identity has been positively confirmed.
Our Piccolo™ Flight Management System is the industry standard, and is flying on more types of aircraft than any other autopilot. The Piccolo family of systems provides a complete solution in autopilot, navigation, flight management, and ground control; offering the highest performance available. Collins Aerospace can offer you high-clarity imaging and precision UAV flight control that work together with the seamless engineering of a single source.
SkyRunner selected the TASE400 BLK ll and the TASE400 LD STANAG 3733 imaging sensor. The SkyRunner MK3.2 is the first FAA certified, Light-Sport aircraft to support DoD and CSAR missions. Autonomous flight was needed to expand the SkyRunner mission profiles. The
Collins Piccolo flight management system was selected to provide navigation with GPS / INS accuracy and support SkyRunner in their complex unmanned missions where a quick response and sustaining operations are needed.