The GeoDragon sensor system has now been integrated and flown on an Arcturus UAV T-20 Tier II unmanned aerial vehicle. The sensor system is enclosed in a wing-mounted pod and is capable of high resolution 2-D and 3-D image capture. The sensor was designed by Urban Robotics in Portland, Oregon. The aircraft was built by Arcturus UAV in Rohnert Park, California. The GeoDragon system can create 3-D reconstructions in near-real time and output high-resolution digital elevation models, LIDAR-like datasets, and wide area maps. The system will be released in mid-2014. GeoDragon adds significant 3-D imaging and mapping capabilities to the T-20 UAV.
The unique aspects of the system are low weight (equating to longer endurance and loiter time,) small operational footprint on the ground (1 or 2 full size pick-up trucks,) a quick mount/dismount pod, quiet operation (the T-20 utilizes a modified 4-stroke engine,) and the ability to fly simultaneously with other payloads on the T-20, such as EO/IR.
GeoDragon imagery is post-processed using automated 3-D algorithms to rapidly generate large mapping and modeling datasets. Urban Robotics develops software and hardware solutions for 3-D ISR, remote sensing and geospatial applications, including collection, post-processing, and data management.
The T-20 is a runway independent, Tier II class, small tactical unmanned aerial vehicle with a technical readiness level (TRL) 9. The primary mission of the Arcturus UAV is intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Typical missions include aerial mapping, drug interdiction, fire-fighting, border patrol, force protection, search and rescue, as well as military ISR. Payloads include full motion video from daylight and infrared cameras. Video is then transmitted by secure data link to mission commanders on the ground. An onboard GPS autopilot with waypoint navigation accepts multiple flight plans from the Ground Control Station, allowing the T-20 to return to a specified location autonomously after up to 16 hours of flight. The T-20 is powered by a 190cc an air-cooled, four-stroke, fuel injected engine. Carbon fiber composite construction used in the T-20 airframe allows for payloads up to 65 lbs.