Viking makes Ideas at Sea’s radar optional equipment on Guardian 400

Announced during a World Demonstration Tour, Viking Air Limited of Victoria, B.C., is now offering Ideas at Sea’s wide area optical radar payload as optional equipment on its Twin Otter Guardian 400 special mission aircraft. Viking and Ideas at Sea will immediately commence sensor integration with a view to presenting their optical radar options to customers in early 2020.

The Guardian 400 is a special mission variant of the Viking Series 400 Twin Otter featuring design and performance capabilities suited for a number of specialized operations. Viking Air Photo
The Guardian 400 is a special mission variant of the Viking Series 400 Twin Otter featuring design and performance capabilities suited for a number of specialized operations. Viking Air Photo
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Ideas at Sea will be working with Viking’s integrator and principal tour partner, Airborne Technologies of Austria, to house the visual detection and ranging (ViDAR) payload and create day/night 180-degree wide area surveillance options for operators of Viking’s Guardian 400.

The ViDAR software system, supplied by Sentient Vision Systems, is a wide area optical search system consisting of high-resolution sensors coupled with onboard automation software capable of detecting small objects over significant areas, allowing operators to map vast swaths of ocean in real time and dramatically extend aircraft coverage during search and rescue (SAR) missions.

ViDAR works autonomously to find objects on the water’s surface and send a thumbnail image and location coordinates back to the Guardian’s CarteNav AIMS mission system. The AIMS mission system software then processes the imagery and data from the sensors to enhance situational awareness and provide geo-referenced local operating pictures that enable the operator to initiate a slew to the object with the Hensoldt Argos EO/IR imaging turret.

Ideas at Sea offers a range of configurable integrated optical radar solutions that are tailored to specific mission requirements that customers can select from, without the additional costs associated with customizations. This provides economical semi-custom mission options while also significantly reducing ongoing sustainment and maintenance costs.

“Viking’s Guardian 400 is the perfect platform for our optical radar solutions, and we are committed to providing cost-effective, best-in-class capability to the aircraft’s operators,” said David Willems, founder and chairman of Ideas at Sea. “We are looking forward to extending the capability of the ViDAR system already installed on the Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft to include a more modular payload to better meet the wide-ranging needs of special mission operators.”

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“The Guardian 400 has a unique set of performance capabilities and provides incredible versatility to its customers,” said Peter Walker, Viking’s global sales director for special mission aircraft. “Ideas at Sea provides an additional complement to our existing partners through the modular configuration options their optical payload can provide, and we’re excited to be able to offer these new, world-leading capabilities to our customers.’

The Guardian 400, a special mission variant of the Viking Series 400 Twin Otter, features robust design and exceptional performance capabilities perfectly suited for specialized operations in extreme environments, including ISR, maritime surveillance, SAR, parachute, medevac, and critical infrastructure support. Its unique operational flexibility in multiple mission profiles combined with its low acquisition and operating costs offers true force-multiplying economy.

Viking’s Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft is currently undergoing a nine-month World Demonstration Tour that includes detailed briefings and demonstration flights in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, Oceania and North America. The Guardian 400 demonstrator aircraft will also be available for public viewing and demonstrations at the 2020 Singapore Airshow in February and the 2020 CANSEC Canadian Defence & Security Show in Ottawa during May.

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