UK-based Horizon Technologies released the first images of its Xtender technology Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) module mounted on a small rotary-wing UAV.
UAV testing is being conducted in order to address customer requirements for small UAV-based Sat phone SIGINT (Thuraya, ISatPhone Pro and Iridium networks). The small UAV (pictured above) is carrying the Xtender module and has essentially the same SIGINT capability as expensive manned aircraft carrying the company's FlyingFish system operational worldwide, a Horizon Technologies release said.
The Xtender module weighs 220 grams and is 20x5x5 cm. It can be deployed in handheld UAVs as part of the air vehicle, or on large UAVs as part of the air vehicle or on Horizon Technologies’ XPOD-UAV pod.
This particular configuration was developed primarily for an Asian Legal Intercept [LI] requirement and involves Sat phone geolocation and intercept combined with a 4K mini-EO camera on the UAV. The production version for our first NATO/FRONTEX customers will be Mil Spec. and fully qualified to DO-160 like all of our other airborne products.
John Beckner, Founder and Owner of Horizon Technologies, notes that, “Xtender is now a reality and it will drastically change the way this type of SIGINT is collected and passed to the warfighter. Instead of waiting for SIGINT data from larger manned aircraft and strategic UAVs, small tactical units will now be able to collect and action this valuable type of SIGINT.” Beckner adds that “Xtender will be in service and operational next year with at least three end users.”