Source: thestar.com, Date: 23 April 2012
Unmanned aerial drone being tested in Quebec for civilian uses
By: Richard J. Brennan National Affairs Writer
An unmanned Israeli-made military drone is buzzing Alma, Quebec.
Aeronautics Ltd. of Israel has teamed up with Montreal-based CAE Inc. to demonstrate civilian uses for the military drone, such as remote inspection of pipelines, surveillance of forest fires and conducting searches in the Arctic, a company spokesperson saidMonday.
The first of a series of demonstration flights of the drone, called a Miskam, has been conducted from the UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) Centre of Excellence at Alma airport, north of Quebec City. “The successful operation of the first few flights of the Miskam UAS is a milestone for the project, but only the first of what we believe will be many milestones,” said Pietro D’Ulisse, CAE’s vice president and business leader — Canada, said in a news release.
“Much like the use of simulation in training, the use of unmanned systems for a range of civil applications has the potential to enhance safety, increase efficiency, and save money. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Aeronautics, regulatory authorities, and potential customers as we demonstrate these capabilities,” D’Ulisse said.
The Miskam testing is being conducted under the supervision of Transport Canada, NAV Canada, and 3 Wing Bagotville. The testing is done over the airport airspace. Transport Canada issued Aeronautics and CAE, a company specializing in modelling, simulation and training for civil aviation and defence, a special flight operating certificate last November to begin demonstration flights at the UAS Centre of Excellence.
The drone, with a wingspan of 13.5 metres, has a maximum takeoff weight of about 900 kilograms and stay aloft for up to 24 hours.
CAE employs more than 7,500 people at more than 100 sites and training locations in over 25 countries. Through CAE’s global network of 34 civil aviation, military and helicopter training centres, the company trains more than 80,000 crew members yearly.
Aeronautics Ltd. is one of Israel’s largest defence corporations and a global leader in the field of unmanned systems.