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The Integrator Military Drone Will Be the First to Withstand Arctic Conditions

Military drones are built with some of the most impressive UAS (unmanned aircraft system) capabilities in terms of payload, endurance, and communication, but all of that can become useless in the face of one of the greatest challenges: an icy environment.
The Integrator Military Drone Will Be the First to Withstand Arctic Conditions 6 photos
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For an UAS to be able to operate not occasionally, but year-round, in places like Alaska, it needs to incorporate a thermal solution that would allow it to withstand those icy temperatures, without limiting its performance. This is why the Norwegian company UBIQ Aerospace has developed the D-ICE solution. This autonomous, electrothermal system is specifically adapted for the size, weight and power of small, tactical unmanned aircraft.

Traditionally, drones were meant to operate in warm climates, and their features aren’t compatible with standard anti-icing or de-icing equipment. This led to limitations when it came to UAS operations in harsh environments, with predominant atmospheric icing. By integrating UBIQ’s modern technology with Insitu’s drone, the Integrator will become the first tactical UAS that can operate routinely in the Arctic and High North.

Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary, had already designed the Integrator as one of the most versatile drones out there. Measuring a little over eight feet (2.5 meters) in length and boasting a high payload capacity (40 lbs/18 kg), this UAS enables easy payload swap between missions. Moreover, depending on the payload, it can offer more than 24 hours of endurance.

Another advantage of this flexible UAS is that it can be operated from any remote land- or water-based location because it doesn’t require special infrastructure. It can take off and land in any conditions, and it can be easily transported via cargo vehicles, helicopters, or ships.

According to UBIQ and Insitu, the newly-equipped Integrator will support NATO customers with operations in the Arctic. The project kicks off this month with an in-depth study of the Integrator UAS to fully adapt the ice protection system to its specifications.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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