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FLIR Systems buys UAS manufacturer Altavian

Altavian UAV
Photo: FLIR Systems

Robotic systems specialist FLIR Systems announced it has acquired Altavian, a privately-held manufacturer of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) for defense and public safety customers.

Altavian’s airframes integrate multiple sensors, including FLIR thermal technology, to provide users with decision support and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability.

Based in Gainesville, Florida and founded in 2011, Altavian designs and manufacturers Group 1 (systems typically weighing less than 20 pounds) UAS solutions for long or short range operations. With both quadcopter and fixed-wing UAS designs, Altavian’s expertise includes aeronautics, avionics, and software, and its solutions are engineered around an open system architecture aligned to the needs of government and defense customers.

Altavian is one of five drone manufacturers approved by the US Department of Defense under the Blue sUAS program to sell to the US military and federal agencies.

“Altavian’s proven engineering expertise and assets will allow us to offer customers the most comprehensive solution portfolio of any American sUAS provider,” said Roger Wells, General Manager of the Unmanned Systems and Integrated Solutions business of FLIR Systems’ Defense Technologies Segment, under which Altavian will be integrated.

“With the addition of both a low-cost, rapidly deployable quadcopter and a longer range fixed-wing UAS, FLIR is strengthening its already impressive drone lineup, including our Black Hornet and SkyRaider platforms used extensively by militaries around the globe. We’re excited about the multiple new franchise opportunities FLIR will be able to pursue for defense, public safety, and industrial markets worldwide.”

This is not the first time FLIR is acquiring a company specializing in small UAS systems. In 2016, it acquired Norway-based Prox Dynamics. The Norwegian company developed the Black Hornet nano-drone, which has since been selected by armed forces from around the world.