FLIR Systems has announced it has acquired defense drone maker Altavian to better integrate its thermal cameras into commercial drones. The company’s drones already feature FLIR cameras, making it the perfect acquisition.

This acquisition marks the second time the company has taken over a drone manufacturer. FLIR previously bought out Prox Dynamics, which produces the Black Hornet micro drone.

Altavian is based out of Gainsville, Florida, and was founded in 2011. The company manufactures both quadcopter and fixed-wing drones for long and short-range operations.

The company has expertise in aeronautics, avionics, and software, with all of its drones being designed around an open architecture that keeps inline with government requirements.

Earlier in the year, FLIR introduced the Hadron, a dual vision camera module made for drones. The module includes everything required for it to work, making development times shorter and reduce costs. The camera module is equipped with a 12-megapixel visible camera and a FLIR Boson thermal camera with a 320 x 240 resolution.

Roger Wells, General Manager of the Unmanned Systems and Integrated Solutions business of FLIR Systems’ Defense Technologies Segment, said:

“Altavian’s proven engineering expertise and assets will allow us to offer customers the most comprehensive solution portfolio of any American sUAS provider.”

The move will no doubt allow FLIR to become more of a main player in the “Made in USA” drone war going on right now. Owning a company that focuses on defense drones that tick all requirements of the government customers.

Altavian is also one of the five drone manufacturers that is a part of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Blue sUAS program, which allows it to sell its drones to U.S. military and federal agencies.

Wells went on to say:

“With the addition of both a low-cost, rapidly deployable quadcopter and a longer range fixed-wing UAS, FLIR is strengthening its already impressive drone lineup, including our Black Hornet ® and SkyRaider ™ platforms used extensively by militaries around the globe. We’re excited about the multiple new franchise opportunities FLIR will be able to pursue defense, public safety, and industrial markets worldwide.”

Photo: FLIR Systems


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