The Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) gleamed in the morning sun as it glided above the shifting countryside of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The first of its kind, the UAS was all white except for two tall letters painted in black on its side: “UN”. A pilot remotely flew the UAS, an Italian-made Falco, from miles away, while a MAG sensor operator remotely controlled the most important piece of equipment on the UAS: a high¬powered MX-10 electro¬ optical camera, capable of day or night image collection.
That camera swiveled in its housing and focused on nearby Lake Kivu. The image it collected caught the attention of the MAG Sensor Operator: a ferry vessel in distress, with over a dozen people helpless in open water and no help in sight. The MAG Sensor Operator alerted the local authorities, who dispatched a rescue effort. The team that arrived pulled 14 people from the water who would have otherwise perished.
In 2014, MAG was part of the team that the United Nations selected to deploy and operate UAS platforms as part of MONUSCO, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For the first time in its history, the UN is using unmanned system to support peacekeeping operations. As part of this historic effort, MAG is pioneering best practices for peacekeeping using unmanned systems.
Matt Bartlett, MAG EVP for Business Development, is an ISR pioneer. While working for U.S. Army Intelligence & Security Command, Matt helped developed cutting edge policies for the current and future use of airborne ISR. “MAG has proven our ability to operate unmanned systems in the most austere conditions while exceeding customer expectations in product delivery.”
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