The collaboration allows for the integration of the UAS with ground-based units, creating a multidomain network of receivers for extensive passive ISR coverage.
TEKEVER, a Portugal provider of unmanned systems technology, and CRFS, created in Cambridge that deals in ultra-sensitive RF receivers, have collaborated to enhance the capabilities of unmanned aerial systems (UAS). They have developed the first sub-tactical UAS, the TEKEVER AR5, equipped with CRFS’s highly sensitive RFeye Node, a rugged RF receiver. This integration greatly improves the UAS’s ability to precisely geolocate ground-based targets over long distances.
The device features a 20-hour endurance, 50 kg payload capacity, and a cruise speed of 100 km/h. The addition of the RFeye Node, with its 100MHz Instantaneous Bandwidth (IBW) and up to 40GHz frequency range, extends the UAS’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. This system is capable of long-range spectrum monitoring, signal capture, and geolocation through time difference of arrival (TDoA) techniques.
Designed for deployment from short, unpaved airstrips, the AR5 is versatile and suitable for various missions, including maritime surveillance, search and rescue, border monitoring, military ISR, and regulatory spectrum monitoring. Its operational altitude expands the signal collection radius, providing substantial operational range gains.
Dr. Pio Szyjanowicz, COO of CRFS, highlights the technical challenges overcome in this collaboration, such as integrating sensitive electronics systems on an airframe and mitigating potential interference from the UAS’s onboard transmitters.
Tiago Nunes, Product Director at TEKEVER, emphasizes the partnership’s significance in providing a versatile asset for extensive area coverage, with limitless possibilities across various surveillance and monitoring applications. This partnership between TEKEVER and CRFS marks a significant advancement in long-range surveillance drones, combining expertise and technology to set new standards in the field.