Little Ripper

Shark spotting Little Ripper to patrol NSW beachs

A Vapor 55 from American company Pulse Aerospace was revealed Sunday as a shark spotting drone in Australia. Well that’s what most headlines are going to see, including ours.

Westpac Lifesaver Helicopters are undertaking trials. If things go well at the end of the six months of operations Westpac would like to roll out drones at all their bases.

Former Australian astronaut Paul Scully-Power ( the first astronaut with a beard) is part of the team that created the trial.

Mr Scully-Power said the importance of it being modelled on a helicopter was the superior stability but also the familiarity of a helicopter in a rescue situation. “It just says rescue,” he said.

Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer said Westpac was funding the trial as the latest evolution of the company’s more than 40-year history of supporting the Westpac rescue helicopter service.

“The aim of this trial is to accomplish things with search and rescue that were impossible to even dream about 10 or 20 years ago,”

“It offers exciting new possibilities to unite multiple emergency services in ensuring more effective and rapid deployment in critical search and rescue missions, including in the aftermath of natural disasters.” .

The sensor turret attached to Little Ripper is the CM 100 from UAV Vision. The CM100 has both High Definition colour electro optical (EO) daylight and Infrared (IR) sensors, and weighs less than 700g.  Upgrades include higher resolution IR, and additional sensors such as a laser target designator or laser range finder.

The Vapor specs look like this

Hover Endurance: Max 45 min
Cruise Endurance: Max 1 hour
Payload: EO/IR or DSLR
Datalink: Up to 5 Miles & 50Mb/s
Ceiling: 12,000 ft
Wind Tolerance: 30 mph