Lockheed Martin Stalker

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Introduction
The Stalker is a hand-launched, electrically-powered unmanned aerial vehicle developed by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works for an unspecified customer, presumably United States Special Operations Command.

Design and Development

The Lockheed Martin Stalker was created in 2006 by the same Skunk Works team responsible for the Desert Hawk. It is hand launched and belly landed, has a quiet electric motor and propeller, and carries a detachable camera payload. The camera system has modules for daylight, low light, and infrared. The camera system can be removed and replaced with droppable payloads.

A propane fuel cell powered version of the Stalker with 8 hours endurance (quadruple the 2 hours available on battery power) has been developed.

In July 2012, a Stalker demonstrated, in a wind tunnel test, a capability of in excess of 48 hours continuous flight while being powered by a ground-based laser system. Following the wind tunnel test, Lockheed and LaserMotive Inc. performed a series of outdoor tests with the laser powering system the next month. The flight tests went successfully, and accomplishments included:

  • Demonstrating net positive power to the Stalker in flight, at ranges up to 600 meters.
  • Proving that the laser did not damage the Stalker and that the addition of the laser receiver did not impact its normal flight operations or aerodynamics.
  • Operating multiple test flights in a range of desert conditions (day and night, high temperatures, and strong winds), demonstrating the ruggedness of the Stalker-mounted laser receiver power system.
  • The beam director tracking the receiver for long periods, with centimeter accuracy at 500 meters, despite turbulence and aircraft maneuvers.
  • Meeting all operational and safety requirements, including coordination with the Laser Clearinghouse and flight operations.
  • Key Characteristics:

  • Small, light weight, man-portable
  • Day/night imaging capability in HD
  • Inaudible above 400 ft
  • First Flight
    2006

    An extended model of the Stalker was also built with the following characteristics :

    Stalker eXtended Endurance (Stalker XE)
    The Stalker XE is powered by a ruggedized Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) that uses globally available propane to achieve 8+ hours of operation.
    Payload: 2 lb
    Flight Time: 8+ hrs
    Altitude: up to 15,000 ft
    Speed: 45 mph dash
    Propulsion: Solid Oxide Fuel Cell
    Launch: bungee
    Max Take-off Weight: 22 lbs
    Wingspan: 12 ft
    Operators: 1 to 2

    Operators
    United States Special Operations Command

    Specs

    Powerplant : The Stalker is powered by a proprietary “Hush Drive electric system to achieve 2+ hours of operation.

    ModelLength
    (m)
    Wingspan
    (m)
    Height
    (m)
    Max. Takeoff Weight
    (kg)
    Max Speed
    (km/h)
    Range
    (km)
    Endurance
    (hours)
    Ceiling
    (m)
    Payload
    (kg)
    Stalker388020245721.36

    Manufacturer
    CountryNameHeadquartersURL
    USALockheed MartinBethesda, Marylandhttp://www.lockheedmartin.com