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Trillium Engineering (Hood River, OR) has begun flight testing of a new, lightweight, high-definition gimballed camera system for the small UAS market, the company announced on 12 May.

Replacing the proven HD50 – first delivered to customers in 2014 and now approaching end-of-life – the new HD55 system employs electro-optical (EO) and cryogenically cooled mid-wave infrared (MWIR) cameras, as well as an onboard image processor – all in a gimbal of just 5.5in diameter and 1.75kg in weight.

At Trillium, we are constantly on the hunt for state-of-the-art technology,” said Rob Gilchrist, cofounder and president of Trillium Engineering, “and the development of the HD55, the newest addition to our family of gimbaled systems, exemplifies this approach.”

The new, improved HD55 will feature the same swept volume as its predecessor but will be slightly lighter and more capable. “The HD55 has a narrower field of view than the HD50, allowing the new system to get a closer, more actionable look at targets,” Gilchrist explained.

Trillium has been flight testing the HD55 on various airborne platforms, including a small multi-rotor drone and a manned Cessna aircraft, which serves as a surrogate for a fixed-wing tactical UAS. The next step, say company officials, is to begin testing on the real thing. “We are already getting interest from major platform providers,” Gilchrist said.

 

The HD50 – a trailblazing system when launched in 2014 and now approaching end-of-life – will be replaced by the lighter high-definition HD55. (Photo: Trillium Engineering)

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