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Idaho National Laboratory

National Security
Unmaned Aerial Vehicles

With its access-controlled boundary, high-desert terrain and sparse population, INL is in a unique position to provide unmanned aerial vehicle and unmanned ground vehicle collaborative operational testing and demonstration, focusing on unique applications and missions for a wide variety of clients looking for affordable, field-deployable airframe technologies with meaningful payload and endurance.

INL’s UAV program includes small, hand-launched systems, unmanned rotorcraft, and runway or catapult-launched fixed wing aircraft. We own and operate a variety of affordable, multiuse R&D airframes ideal for mission development, sensor integration, multi-agent collaborative behaviors, and advanced autonomous sensor behaviors.

Typical missions fly three to four hours and some missions have been flown longer than seven hours. We are working on airframe capabilities to achieve loiter times of 12 hours. Typical UAV payloads are less than 25 pounds but capabilities exist to achieve greater capacities.

We have integrated ground station controls into a "suitcase"-sized portable setup, complete with real-time telemetry and video link. This portable solution permits quick response, ease in set up, complete mobility, and ground station hand-offs.

We are conducting a broad range of research and development projects investigating UAV range, payload, communications, operation and mission development.

Unmaned Aerial Vehicles,