Saturday, December 2, 2023

Teledyne FLIR unveils new laser target designator for military drones

Teledyne FLIR Defense has announced the launch of an innovative and first-of-its-kind small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) payload that can be used to provide NATO Standard laser target designation for laser-guided weapons.

Called the StormCaster-DX, the system is an advanced, multi-role laser designator payload. It can be fitted to a number of different small drones, though it’s made to fit, especially with the compact FLIR R80D SkyRaider UAS platform. It is designed to manage target areas using a Laser Spot Tracker while affecting the terminal guidance of laser guide munitions.

StormCaster-DX uses a coded laser beam and two FLIR Boson 640 long-wave infrared thermal cameras to seek out and illuminate targets both at night and during the day to guide in airstrikes, naval gunfire, and precision-guided mortar rounds. User-defined target tracking on StormCaster-DX captures accurate coordinates, heading, and speed of moving objects and vehicles, enabling clandestine monitoring and marking.

The DX payload delivers unmatched stability in all-weather conditions and leverages class-leading payload capacity, plus multi-modal operations – tethered or untethered, mounted or dismounted – as well as Artificial Intelligence/Computer, Vision-based targeting features.

The laser designation can track and locate targets with a high degree of precision. It can also detect potentially hostile lasers, decode them, and geolocate either the emitter or the beam’s termination point.

“StormCaster-DX is an absolute game-changer for small unit operations and represents a significant force multiplier,” said Dr. JihFen Lei, executive vice president and general manager of Teledyne FLIR Defense. “For the first time, warfighters will be able to survey and manage the battlefield while performing laser designation with standoff from a rucksack-portable drone, allowing faster decision-making and targeting that help ensure mission success

“We believe customers will embrace what StormCaster-DX can mean for troops in harm’s way. When seconds weigh heavily on an operation’s outcome, DX saves minutes,” Lei added.