VUJE, a Slovakian power engineering company, has taken delivery of an AS350 helicopter studded with sensors. Airborne Technologies (ABT), an airborne ISR solutions provider and sensor integrator based at Wiener Neustadt in Austria, handed the aircraft over to the operator. The ‘flying laboratory’ rotorcraft comprises eight different sensors that can be controlled by only one operator via a leading-ledge workstation.
The ABT engineering team installed the individual sensors of the comprehensive sensor suite on three external mounts. The required extensive flight testing was conducted by Airborne's in-house flight test department. The sensor suite includes a Trakka SWE-400 QUAD camera used for the inspection of the high voltage power lines, a Riegl VUX-1UAV laser scanner used for powerline, rail tracking and pipeline inspection, and a HySpex hyperspectral camera used for the classification and evaluation of vegetation, consisting of a SWIR-384 and a VNIR-1800.
Alexander Kšiňan, vice chairman of the VUJE board of directors, says: “The sensor architecture implemented by Airborne Technologies reduces the workload of the crew by enabling the safe operation of eight sensors simultaneously. The deployment of a single engine helicopter with a two-man crew sets new standards in economic efficiency. We are very happy with the quality of design and workmanship. The EASA certification should be achieved reliably just in time before our take off for the first job.”