Due to the complex threat situations in theaters of operations, unmanned airborne systems (UAS) are gaining in importance. Since the fielding of the MIKADO UAS (local area micro reconnaissance drone) the overall system has been significantly improved thanks to several optimizations and adaptive developments. But what are the technical limitations of the system, what is it capable of and what about its handling during flight?
Several Bundeswehr agencies involved
The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) tasked the Bundeswehr Technical Centre for Aircraft and Aeronautical Equipment (WTD 61) with the evaluation of the system characteristics.
WTD 61 conducted the required tests at the Feilenmoos test site in May 2019 in cooperation with the Air Force Centre of Aerospace Medicine. During the entire testing process the Camouflage, Concealment and Deception Technology Unit at the Training Center Munster as well as the Special Operations Forces Command (SOFCOM) supported the planning, execution, and evaluation of the tests.
Tested: handling and reconnaissance capability
The handling during flight as well as the air vehicle’s transportability across various obstacles and the activation of the entire drone equipment were tested during multiple test phases and evaluated concurrently.
The tests also focused on the evaluation of the system reconnaissance capability. An experienced operator of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV steersman) controlled the vehicle during a specifically developed “reconnaissance mission”, which was then evaluated. The MIKADO UAS had to reconnoiter and identify different targets in the visual and infrared spectrum.
The different tests showed the strengths and weaknesses of the system. Further tests will be performed on the basis of these results.