Alenia Aeronautica Concludes Successfully The First Flight Campaign In Italy Of The Sky-Y Unmanned Aircraft – Press Release

by: Matthew Potter
March 31, 2009

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italian-1Alenia Aeronautica Concludes Successfully The First Flight Campaign In Italy Of The Sky-Y Unmanned Aircraft

With five missions the Sky-Y, Alenia Aeronautica’s unmanned technological demonstrator, has completed its first series of tests in Italy. With this tests campaign the Sky-Y has to day accumulated three test phases, two in Sweden and one in Italy.

Thanks to the Permit To Fly granted by ENAC – Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile (National Agency for the Civil Aviation), the Sky-Y has accomplished this flight testing cycle in an area in the Puglia Region, defined for this purpose.

The test campaign in Italy of the Sky-Y, the only European-made unmanned vehicle to make flight tests and the only one equipped with European sensors and production systems, has taken place in March, and has allowed the testing of some automatic functions of the ground surveillance mission systems; these are key elements to fully assess the operational capabilities of the production machines which will have in the future to be used for this role.

In particular, the tests campaign has brought to continuing the carrying out of the tests on the EOST-45 electro-optical sensor of SELEX Galileo – started in Sweden in the 2008 Autumn – and on the real-time data transmission via satellite.

In detail, the satellite link made by Telespazio has been used to test real-time data and images transmission with the Civil Defence Agency, during missions which simulated ground surveillance, fire control, detection and monitoring of boats’ and crafts’ traffic and of signalling of possible shipwrecked persons.

The tests recently completed in Italy have concerned also the functionalities of advanced management of the EOST-45 sensor, through an On Board Mission Computer (OBMC) provided with a software developed by Alenia Aeronautica; among such functionalities: target’s automatic tracking, automatic scan of pre-defined areas, definition of the geographical coordinates of the surface target under observation, on land and also, for the first time, on sea.

Thanks to these tests Alenia Aeronautica consolidates its own continental leadership in the technological and operational testing of unmanned aircraft. Alenia’s UAV technological demonstrator’s flights so far made are 48, of which 29 accomplished by the Sky-X and 19 by the Sky-Y. Such successes have been made also thanks to the support and collaboration of other Finmeccanica companies like SELEX Galileo and Telespazio, proving once more synergies and integration capabilities of the Group’s companies.

Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica Company, is the largest Italian aeronautic player which operates world-wide in the commercial and military aviation, unmanned aerial vehicles and aerostructures. Alenia Aeronautica also coordinates the activities of Alenia Aermacchi and Alenia Aeronavali – wholly owned companies – respectively active in the design and manufacturing of military trainer aircraft and in the overhaul, maintenance and modification of military and civil aircraft. With its joint ventures ATR, SCAC and Superjet International, Alenia Aeronautica is the world leader in the regional turboprop market and a top player in the regional jet sector. Over 2008 Alenia Aeronautica reported revenues of 2,530 millions Euro, backlog for 8,281 millions Euro and orders for 2,720. The total workforce is 13,907.

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