LUNA is an all-weather, easy to operate unmanned air vehicle (UAV) system for real-time surveillance, reconnaissance and target location at ranges exceeding 100 km with an endurance exceeding 6 (optional 8) hours. The LUNA system is in service with the German Army since March 2000 and is successfully performing reconnaissance missions in Kosovo, Macedonia and Afghanistan under severe weather conditions and in difficult terrain. LUNA is a cost effective and reliable solution for military and for civilian applications.
As the system is strongly supported by automated processes, the handling of the LUNA system is easy and does not require personnel with aeronautical skills. Full crew training is accomplished within a few weeks. Still the performance of LUNA is superior to that of many conventional reconnaissance and surveillance drone systems. All system components can be transported in and operated from small vehicles or portable shelters by a small crew, allowing rapid deployment by medium transport helicopters.
Taking advantage of the rapid technical progress in sensor equipment, the modular payload concept of LUNA will allow the user to always stay at the cutting edge of technology .
The UAV has been flown on more than 6000 mission flights in the Balkans and in Afghanistan.
The light-weight LUNA UAV is designed as a powered high-performance glider made of glass fiber composite material for long endurance and low acoustic, thermal and radar signatures. A unique feature of LUNA is its ability to perform glides without engine power with no acoustic signature and to restart its engine at any time. The microwave communication link transmits reconnaissance and system data from the UAV to the ground control station in real-time. LUNA is also able to perform fully automated reconnaissance and surveillance missions, without the need of any radio emissions from the ground station.
Another unique feature of LUNA is its inherent crash safety due to its glider performance and its reliable parachute release and landing system. In addition the LUNA UAV flight is permanently monitored by an autonomous terrain and obstacle collision avoidance system using 3D digital map data.
The use of LUNA, however, is not limited to electro-optical observation missions.
Launch & Recovery
Launch by bungee catapult
LUNA can be operated from almost any terrain, as no runway is required. The air vehicle is launched by a noiseless bungee catapult, which is light-weight and can be folded up for transportation.
Recovery is fully autonomous in a net or by parachute.
Ground Control Station
The Ground Control Station can be installed in any vehicle or shelter due to its modular system design. It is fitted with several work stations equipped with high resolution color monitors for real time aerial image evaluation, mission planning and air vehicle control (virtual cockpit).
Digital maps or high resolution aerial photos and satellite pictures can be used.
Complete mission playback for post mission evaluation, simulation and training can be performed in the Ground Control Station.
Mission programs can be altered in flight. In mountainous terrain and on long distance missions it is of great advantage that LUNA can be handed over from ground station to ground station.
Power Plant: 2-cylinder 2-stroke fuel injection engine
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