Lockheed Martin completes Indago UAS’ first BVLOS inspection flight in Canada


Lockheed Martin and Canadian UAVs have performed the first beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) inspection using its Indago 2 unmanned aerial system (UAS) in a test flight held at the UAV testing facility in Foremost, Alberta, Canada.

Equipped with a camera that can capture images and video with 30x optical zoom and enhanced digital zoom, the quadrotor inspected pipeline and well assets during the flight.

Indago complies with the requirements of Transport Canada, offering its operators routine access to the Canadian airspace.

Canadian UAVs president Sean Greenwood said: “Going BVLOS has technically been solved for some time with regards to powerful communications links and autopilot hardware.

“Canadian UAVs has been focused on creating an end-to-end paradigm in coordination with Transport Canada to conduct these operations outside of Restricted Military Airspace where our customers have a substantial regulatory and logistical needs to acquire actionable data.”

The 5lb Indago UAS requires no assembly before embarking a flight.

It can fly for around 45min and can achieve ranges up to 5km when operated using its handheld controller.

The UAS’ flying range can be extended beyond 10km with directional communications devices.

“Going BVLOS has technically been solved for some time with regards to powerful communications links and autopilot hardware."

Indago’s airborne imaging capabilities also include Lockheed Martin’s new Hydra Fusion Tools, which provides situational awareness during operations and real-time three-dimensional reconstruction during UAS flight.

Lockheed Martin CDL Systems business development lead John Molberg said: “Our systems routinely fly beyond line of sight for our military customers, which has allowed us to gain compliance status with Transport Canada for use in commercial airspace.

“This flight achievement is a bellwether for Canadian UAVs, Lockheed Martin and Foremost Test Range, and showcases the leadership provided by Unmanned Systems Canada and Transport Canada for the safe use of unmanned systems in Canadian airspace.”

Lockheed Martin currently has facilities in the Canadian cities of Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Calgary and Victoria.


Image: Lockheed Martin’s Indago unmanned aerial system inspecting pipelines and wellheads using at UAV testing facility in Foremost, Alberta, Canada. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.