The Next Generation of Miniature EO/IR Payloads (by Unmanned Systems Magazine)
CONTROP Precision Technologies Ltd., specializing in electro-optics for UAS, has developed the revolutionary STAMP (stabilized miniature payload) family of products, combining advanced surveillance capabilities with a unique image stabilization level. The company is now working on developing the next generation of miniature payloads, integrating improved operational capability with even more advanced analytics. The company’s US subsidiary – CONTROP USA Inc. is branching out in North America to ensure that these state-of-the-art electro-optic systems are integrated with the most cutting-edge platforms, where they are needed most.
In today’s world where asymmetric military challenges are increasing, the delivery of airborne ISTAR capabilities to the division, brigade and battalion levels is a major advantage. Small tactical UAS are the most cost effective platforms for these needs, while enabling ongoing covert operations and providing real-time intelligence during day, night and adverse weather conditions. A high-resolution, gimbaled and stabilized EO/IR payload facilitates a wide-range of applications including force and convoy protection, strategic infrastructure protection, over-the-hill intelligence, border patrol and security operations.
There are only few companies in the UAS world that can trace their activity back to the 1980s. Controp, which is celebrating its 30th year of operation, is one of these unique companies. For three decades, the company has been developing products and solutions for electro-optic systems, primarily for military, defense and homeland security applications.
The company boasts its wide-range of EO/IR solutions for aerial platforms such as UAS, mini-UAS and quadcopters, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, as well as solutions for naval platforms of all sizes, ground-based border protection systems, including coastal and strategic site protection, and solutions for AFVs.
“Controp’s primary mission was to be a leading, stand-out supplier in the field of UAS EO/IR payloads. From there, the company branched out in applications and enhanced its technology, and today it is in the worldwide first class of companies in this field”, says Hagay Azani, the company’s VP Marketing.
He states that the company has focused over the years on the development of unique solutions in the electro-optics field for UAS, with emphasis on minimizing SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power Consumption) and high performance. “In fact, the company’s persistent aim has always been to develop solutions that provide the best performance, which are lighter and have a lower power consumption. This is done by optimization of parameters and volumes, and implementation of unique solutions in the field of image stabilization and algorithmics”, he explains.
Indeed, as a revolutionary company in its field, Controp was the first one to present the market with long focal thermal cameras with a continuous optic zoom lens. This capability brought new and added value to UAS operators in their ability to contend with UAS surveillance challenges. The advanced cameras allow the UAS operator to investigate targets in a narrow field-of-view without losing orientation during zooming.
Miniaturization is a critical component in the ability to carry payloads. What are your solutions in this field?
“In the early 2000s, Controp entered the miniature payloads field. The introduction of new mini and micro-UAS systems, together with advanced energy and datalink solutions associated with UAS operation, allowed field units to procure small UAS. That significantly boosted their intelligence and operational independence, resulting in a need for lightweight, high performance miniature payloads.”
“The company entered this world and developed revolutionary solutions over the years, in the form of the STAMP family of STAbilized Miniature Payloads (hence the acronym STAMP), which weigh from 10oz to 13lbs. These miniature cameras combine very high surveillance capabilities with a globally unique, gyro-based image stabilization level, which is essential for maximizing the capabilities of the sensors in all flight scenarios, especially for lightweight platforms of this type.”
What developments are underway presently?
“Today, and with greater vigor in coming years, the company is focusing on developing the next generation of miniature payloads. In effect, in many fields, the future is already within our reach. Controp is at the forefront of miniature UAS technology with advanced multi-sensor capabilities. Our miniature payloads combine improved operational capabilities with advanced analytics that assist the operator to discern the most important details, and therefore greatly advance the operational process. We’re really excited about the new opportunities facing CONTROP USA Inc. and pleased that our advanced systems continue to be integrated into some of the most advanced UAS programs.”
Reading: The Next Generation of Miniature EO/IR Payloads (by Unmanned Systems Magazine)