Elbit unveils camouflage detector

Device designed for Hermes unmanned aerial vehicles.

February 7, 2012 01:49
1 minute read.
Hermes 900 drone UAV

Hermes 900 drone UAV_390. (photo credit: Courtesy Elbit Systems)


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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 sensors.”

Elbit unveiled the new technology ahead of the Singapore Air Show, which will open later this month with the participation of leading Israeli defense contractors.

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 evaluation.

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.

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