The Israel Air Force is reviewing a new hyperspectral sensor for unmanned aerial
vehicles that it believes may be the breakthrough it needs for early detection
of tunnels and underground passageways in the Gaza Strip and
Developed by Elbit Systems, the hyperspectral imaging technology
shows the wavelengths of materials, enabling an operator to identify the unique
spectral signature of each target.
“This means that if a bush doesn’t
match the natural vegetation in an area we will be able to detect it,” an IAF
The airborne hyper-spectral system is complemented by a
ground segment that provides automatic interpretation of the images/data, and a
mission planning system.
In addition to military applications, the new
technology can also be applied for commercial and scientific use, such as by
measuring pollution levels, testing water and searching for mineral
Elbit said it has designed the new payload for installation on
the Hermes 900 unmanned-aerial vehicle and the older Hermes 450, which has been
in IAF-service for a number of years, and according to foreign media reports is
frequently used to fire missiles at terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. The air
force recently bought a number of Hermes 900s for evaluation.
900 can carry almost double the payload of the smaller Hermes 450, including an
electro-optic camera, laser designator, radar, and electronic intelligence and
electronic warfare equipment.