Lockheed Martin Kestrel™ Autopilot Now Available For International Sales

Kestrel Flight Systems

The Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT] Kestrel™ autopilot has received its commodity jurisdiction, allowing for quick, affordable deployments for international markets. The Kestrel autopilot and a version of the vertical takeoff and lift Indago system are no longer restricted by International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and they are now controlled under the Export Administration Regulations.

“We are looking forward to working with our international partners to deliver the Kestrel autopilot, Indago platform and their robust capabilities,” said Kevin Westfall, director of unmanned solutions at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training business. “The Kestrel 3.0 suite allows sensors to cross check each other for accuracy and fault detection.  Additionally, the autopilot uses failsafe algorithms to return to base and auto land in emergency situations such as low battery or loss of communications with the ground control station.”

The Kestrel 3.0 autopilot features the Lockheed Martin industry leading “Fly Light” avionics technologies.  This advanced system incorporates data from a suite of sensors and GPS to create an accurate estimate of the vehicle’s location and orientation.  Low latency, high rate data is sent to the motors to stabilize and position the vehicle and payload.

To obtain approval for exports, Lockheed Martin submitted a commodity jurisdiction request, which determines whether an item is covered by the U.S. Munitions List, and therefore is controlled by regulations such as ITAR. The outcome of the request led to the Kestrel 3.0 autopilot and Indago system’s availability for international customers.

With more than five decades experience in unmanned and robotic systems, Lockheed Martin offers multiple solutions for air, land and sea. From the depths of the ocean to the rarified air of the stratosphere, Lockheed Martin’s unmanned systems help our military, civil and commercial customers accomplish their most difficult challenges.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 113,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.


Kestrel Flight Systems

Kestrel Flight Systems products provide control, navigation, guidance, health monitoring and wireless communications for unmanned aerial systems. Kestrel Flight Systems family includes:

Kestrel Autopilot v2.4 Fixed Wing

  • Advanced fixed wing controller and navigation algorithms provide responsive control in all attitudes & flight modes
  • Microhard Nano modem support (multiple frequencies)
  • Improved guidance algorithms (Landings, Semi-Auto)
  • Mature, robust, 1000s of hours of operation

Kestrel Autopilot v3.0 VTOL/Fixed Wing

  • High-bandwidth control for unparalleled stability in inclement wind/ weather
  • Integrated GPS/INS enables high-accuracy geo-location and precise payload control and targeting
  • Aggressive maneuver capability (climb, descent, forward flight)
  • Extensive I/O, High speed servos, Onboard Data Logging
  • Expandable avionics architecture allows a wide range of integrated payloads

Virtual CockpitTM v3.0

  • Intuitive 3D GUI
  • 3D waypoints (click/drag)
  • 3D Streaming maps (from disk or online)
  • Multi-agent support (VTOL & fixed wing)
  • OnPoint Onboard GUI built-in
  • Multiple video streams
  • Agent and flight path trail rendered in the full-context 3D
  • Intuitive multi-function display & health monitoring

Hand Controller

  • For small UAS; fixed wing & VTOL
  • Minimal equipment, un-tethered operation
  • Integrated Procerus Digital IP Data Link
  • Supports synchronized metadata stream
  • Onboard video recording and hi-res stills to SD card
  • Weather resistant
  • Light weight: 3.5lbs
  • Small ergonomic system
  • Large outdoor readable screen
  • Wifi link to laptop and video dissemination

Commbox v1.1 and Commbox Mini 3
Wireless communications device used with Virtual Cockpit GCS software and Kestrel Autopilot. Gamepad controller available separately

  • Commbox v1.1 – aluminum enclosure:
    • RS232 interface
    • Microhard, Maxstream modem support
    • External GPS interface
    • Video overlay
    • RC transmitter link
    • Internal 8 cell 2500mAh NiMH, External 9-14 V
    • Rugged, durable
  • New Commbox Mini 3 features:
    • USB interface
    • Video capture device built-in
    • GPS built-in
    • Microhard or Maxstream modem
    • Lightweight, durable
    • Optional RC Transmitter link
    • Internal 1 cell 4000mAh LiPo, USB or External 12-20V


Source: Lockheed 5/14/14

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