Vstar Successfully Tests New Sensor Aboard V-Bat Drone

The 2lb SIGINT sensor acts as a foundation that can be used in drone detection solutions for businesses with sensitive materials.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – VStar Systems, a privately held aerospace and defense systems company, announces the successful flight test of its modular signal intelligence sensor, MA-C/lite, aboard the Martin UAV V-Bat aircraft.

During a 35-minute test flight at an altitude of 400 feet, the MA-C/lite collected signals from as far as 20 miles away, according to the company. The sensor is said to provide new capabilities to the V-Bat fleet, enabling the drones to fulfill newfound, critical missions for a variety of military and private security clients.

The launch of the MA-C/lite sensor is VStar’s first step in commoditizing SIGINT or intelligence-gathering by interception of signals. The technology allows smaller aircraft to carry a single, specialized module rather than extra weight and associated costs from a sensor that does more than required for the mission, according to the company.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to view images from the flight test.

“The MA-C/lite sensor would be a great asset to any law enforcement or border protection personnel – both land and sea – to help identify and locate signals, and thus gather critical information for their increasingly dangerous operations like raids or standoffs,” says VStar Systems CEO Andy von Stauffenberg. “From a more civilian-related example, it could also be used for disaster support to aid search and rescue teams in finding radios, such as stranded individuals or vessels in the aftermath of hurricanes.”

Ultimately, the company hopes the sensor’s lightweight, modular design will bring more players and ingenuity into the UAV industry.

“The sensor also acts as a foundation for more specialized projects, like drone detection systems. Initial studies into this type of system promises a detection range of up to 2 to 3 miles at 360° against a very wide range of drones,” says von Stauffenberg. “In this scenario, a variant of the sensor can work in tandem with existing counter unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to increase the range, or with existing security systems to alert the homeowner or business of drones nearby. This would be invaluable to businesses with sensitive materials like concerts, prisons, shipyards or even celebrity homeowners looking to maintain their privacy.”

The company’s new sensor will become available as a payload option on the V-Bat later this year. Additional tests to increase capabilities have been planned, von Stauffenberg says.

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