Hermes 900 drone UAV_390.
(photo credit: Courtesy Elbit Systems)
Will the IDF soon be able to better identify enemy targets hidden by camouflage?
On Monday, Elbit Systems unveiled a hyper-spectral payload with revolutionary
intelligence capabilities that can be installed and used by the company’s Hermes
450 and 900 unmanned aerial vehicles.
Developed by Elop – Elbit’s
subsidiary that specializes in electro-optics – the hyperspectral imaging
technology enables simultaneous imaging of a target of interest at different
wavelengths, enabling an operator to identify the unique spectral signature of
each imaged material.
“The sensor is ideal for detecting different
materials,” explained Adi Dar, Elop’s general manager.
“Visually, if you
have two sheets that look like metal you will not be able to tell what each is
made from since they will look the same. This system can read the wavelength and
identify the material.”
The airborne hyper-spectral system is also
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 deposits.
“The new system can detect anything that
emits material above ground,” Dar said.
“The advantage is that it does
not look just at the visual but at the material and the connection of the two
Elbit unveiled the new technology ahead of the Singapore Air
Show, which will open later this month with the participation of leading Israeli
Defense Ministry director-general Udi Shani will lead
the delegation to the exhibition.
Elbit said it has designed the new
payload for installation on the Hermes 900 UAV and the older Hermes 450, which
has been in IAF-service for a number of years, and according to foreign media
reports is used frequently to fire missiles at terrorist targets in the Gaza
Strip. The Israel Air Force recently purchased a number of Hermes 900s for
The Hermes 900 can carry almost double the size of the
payload of the smaller Hermes 450, including an electro-optic camera, laser
designator, radar, electronic intelligence and electronic warfare.