European drone manufacturer Parrot has entered into a strategic partnership with immersive environment specialists 4GD, which will see the integration of the former company’s ANAFI USA platform into the latter’s synthetic training environments.
The first phase of the partnership will see 4GD and Parrot integrate the ANAFI software into 4GD’s synthetic environment as a stand-alone solution. Within the simulation, a 3D model of the ANAFI USA drone will mimic its behaviour in flight, giving users the ability to train for unmanned aerial system (UAS) flight missions without the need for unrestricted airspace, and without risking damage to the platform.
Under the second phase, work will focus on integrating the ANAFI USA’s capability into 4GD’s SmartFacility urban training environment, providing users the opportunity to train for close combat operations that incorporate unmanned sensor feed elements.
In a September 15 release James Crowley, 4GD business development director, said: "Through this collaboration we aim to give end-users the ability to practice, test and develop UAS flying techniques and tactics in a 3D virtual world without risk of damaging a drone.”
The ANAFI USA system can perform a range of tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance roles and features a 32x optical zoom, 4K HDR video and integrated FLIR Boson thermal imaging camera. Parrot states that it can capture imagery at ranges of up to 5km (3.1 miles) and detect human figures at up to 2km.
In addition, the system is capable of beyond line-of-sight operations while connected to the operator and purportedly undetectable at 130m. Mission endurance is 32 minutes, while the 515g weight enables it to be incorporated into a soldier’s pack for single-hand launch and recovery.