(10 August 2009) --Robonic's Arctic Test UAV Flight Centre (RATUFC) is emerging as a major focal point for unmanned air system flight test and evaluation in Europe with the facility recently hosting its fourth different air vehicle flight campaign in the past 36 months.
The latest flight campaign by SELEX Galileo with its Falco UAS follows trials of the Sagem Patroller UAS at RATUFC earlier this year as part of continued development of that system. "RATUFC has now hosted four different UAS flight campaigns, two of which are solely catapult launched, one capable of both catapult and runway operations, and one, the Sagem Patroller, runway operated" says Juha Moisio, Managing Director of Robonic.
"The campaigns demonstrate the growing importance of independent aerospace test and evaluation facilities to the growth of the European unmanned air system industry. RATUFC has proven to be a highly flexible and highly responsive facility which has ample growth capacity to support the evolving air vehicle designs associated with generational change in most UAS market segments."
"The flight trials of Patroller were the first carried out at RATUFC of a runway operated system with extended endurance capabilities. They confirmed the capacity of the range to support upper end air vehicles, this having already been signposted by flight campaigns for the Sagem Sperwer A and B."
RATUFC was commissioned in mid 2006 and covers11,000 square kilometres, all located above the
"The range is half the size of Belgium and to the best of our knowledge appears to be the largest purely commercial UAV flight space in the world" says Moisio.
Located at Kemijarvi, 90 km east of the town of Rovaniemi in far northern Finland, RATUFC has facilities for flight test and evaluation of UAS as well as ground launched unmanned target drones. It has a 1400 m runway and basic airfield infrastructure that supports year round civil and military flying operations.
RATUFC operates as a complete turnkey service for clients. This includes supporting applications to Finnish regulators on behalf of potential clients for necessary permits to facilitate flight operations.
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