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Unmanned Aerial Vehicle CL-89

In 1961, Canadair LTD, now part of the Canadian Bombardier group, began development of a battlefield Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that was eventually designated CL-89 or AN/USD-501. The requirements specified a rugged UAV that would be easy to use under battlefield conditions, highly survivable in a combat environment, and provide intelligence day or night in any weather in a timely fashion. Initially, the project was funded by both the Canadian and British governments, but in 1965 West Germany joined in the effort as well. Flight testing began in 1964 with cooperation of the US Army proving grounds in Yuma, Arizona. Initial orders and production for the CL-89 did not begin until the early 1970s, when several hundred were commissioned. The CL-89 looked more like a missile than a UAV, with a torpedo-like fuselage, rectangular cruciform wings, and small triangular cruciform control fins on the nose. It was powered by a Williams Research WR2-6 turbojet engine with 57 kilograms thrust fed by twin inlets on each side of the fuselage between the wings.

The CL-89 was launched on a rail from a truck using a RATO booster rocket attached to the vehicle's tail, with the booster rocket offering 2,065 kilograms thrust for 2.5 seconds. The CL-89 then continued on its pre-programmed course, performing its observations and returning to the recovery site, assisted by a homing beacon. Once at the recovery site to which it was navigated by a ground docking station, the UAV deployed a drogue chute to slow down, and then popped out a parachute and two airbags for a soft landing. Two of the wings folded back when the airbags deployed to ensure that they weren't damaged on touchdown.

Infrared Linescanner IRLS 201 for CL-89

This electronic infrared camera scans the territory beneath it in stripes perpendicular to its flight direction, at a shooting angle of 120°. The infrared image is projected onto the nitrogen-cooled detector by means of a continuously revolving sampling rotor, and then converted into electrical signals. These signals are subsequently transformed into light signals that cover the film strip by strip, so that an image of the overflown territory emerges. The advantage of infrared imaging for reconaissance flights consists in its insensitivity to darkness or conventional camouflage.

Kleinreihenbildkamera KRb 8/24 C for CL-89

This three-lens camera allows fully automated aerial surveys at daylight and low altitude. The KRb 8/24D optical camera is equipped with three parallel lenses with deflecting prisms in order to provide a wide angle of view perpendicular to the direction of flight. Control of the exposure intervals ensures a degree of overlap for stereoscopic images.

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