Eurosatory 2018: BlueBird to Reveal New Cargo Release Capability of the ThunderB UAS

The ThunderB tactical UAS is equipped with releasable cargo capsules under each wing. The company will also display the SpyLite Mini-UAS and the recently-revealed configuration of the MicroB Micro-UAS

Photo: BlueBird

BlueBird Aero Systems, an Israeli designer, developer, and producer of Micro, Mini and Small tactical UAS and peripheral equipment, will reveal a new cargo release capability of its ThunderB UAV at Eurosatory 2018.

ThunderB, a small, long-endurance tactical UAS (approx. 30Kg, 4m wing-span), can carry small cargo units under each wing, and release the cargo automatically or by a GCS command. The cargo is carried and released by an integrated, electro-mechanical release mechanism. The released cargo is housed in an aerodynamic enclosure (capsule) to reduce the drag to the minimum.

Upon automatic release of the capsule, it will reach the target with high accuracy following a ballistic trajectory. The cargo capsules can also be dropped with the aid of a small parachute to prevent damage to fragile items.

The ThunderB supports a wide range of optional payloads including a triple sensor, three-gimbal gyro-stabilized payload, with a cooled thermal imager, HD day color camera and Laser Pointer and BlueBird's RGB, NIR and Radiometric photogrammetric payloads. The ThunderB can also be integrated with other payloads such as non-imaging payloads, small SAR, and others.

With a long endurance capability (up to 24 hours), extended control range (150Km), and a variety of optional payloads, the ThunderB is suitable for long, covert, low signatures ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) and/or tactical mapping on demand (TMOD) missions.

“This remarkable addition is the result of lessons learned from operational needs required by our operational customers and was designed to extend the capabilities delivered by our field-proven systems,” says Ronen Nadir, CEO of BlueBird Aero systems. “This capability, on board the cost-effective, reliable, high-performance ThunderB UAS, enables to perform new missions associated with the modern battlefield, the HLS requirements, as well as with the commercial market.” 

Additional platforms to be displayed at Eurosatory 2018:

SpyLite, a combat-proven extended-performance electric Mini-UAS, is optimized to provide covert, “over-the-hill” or extended range real-time visual intelligence. SpyLite can operate for up to 4 hours, even in severe weather conditions, and has a communication range of up to 80 km. The system can be configured to back-packed, vehicle-mounted or HQ stationary configurations. Combining a stabilized color (Full HD 1080i) and IR payloads with proprietary ground exploitation software, the SpyLite allows for GPS-marked imagery to be relayed in real time to the ground station.

MicroB, a Micro-UAS weighing approximately 2Kg, is equipped with gimbaled and stabilized dual EO/IR payloads. It can be autonomously launched from hand-held launcher within seconds, even in a crowded urban environment, providing high-quality video and images, with GIS information and automatic target tracking.