Argentine Army Exhibits the Lipán M3 Unmanned Aircraft at Tecnópolis 2011
By Dialogo July 29, 2011
As part of the Argentine science, technology, and art mega-exhibition Tecnópolis 2011, in Buenos Aires, the Lipán M3 unmanned aircraft is on display.
The Lipán M3 is designed for surveillance, aerial reconnaissance, and intelligence operations and was developed in its entirety by Argentine Army personnel, who have been researching and developing aircraft of this kind since 1996. The UAV technology developed in Argentina is the first of its kind in all of Latin America.
This model is part of the first Unmanned Tactical Air System, and the first units were assigned to the 601st Combat Intelligence Detachment of the Argentine Army in December 2007. The Lipán M3 project is operational for carrying out missions at night and in adverse weather conditions.
The Lipán M3 can obtain data and information about the geographical characteristics of the areas explored and the weather conditions. At the same time, it has high-resolution video transmission devices, telemetry, and global positioning data available.
With a range of 40 kilometers and five hours of flying time, it can reach a maximum speed of 170 km/h, transport 20 kg of cargo, and reach an altitude of 2,000 meters. It has a wingspan of 4.6 m and a length of 3.55 m, and it weighs 60 kg.
It takes off by remote control, and once in the air, it is programmed with a route with up to one thousand reference points for autonomous flight. It lands manually and is autonomous only for maintaining altitude and speed.
It is equipped with variable-focus cameras and an infrared vision system, all of which use multiplexing to transmit video and send the images to the ground control station. These signals are received via a directional antenna that is oriented manually according to the aircraft’s movements.
The INTI Electronics and Informatics Center and the Argentine Army are jointly developing software for automatic antenna tracking for the Lipán unmanned aircraft.