Morgan Aircraft and Mineseeker Operations Announce Cooperation Agreement
9th January 2012
Wisconsin USA-based Morgan Aircraft LLC and UK-based Mineseeker Operations announced today that the two organizations have signed a strategic co-operation agreement to jointly develop an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platform that can, in addition to serving many other needs, be customized to meet the mission requirements of Mineseeker Operations.
Morgan Aircraft is developing a unique vertical lift UAV which combines the operational advantages of a helicopter with the range and speed of a fixed-wing aircraft, but with none of the tilting parts which have plagued other such programs in the past.
Mineseeker Operations’ primary focus is the safe and cost effective mapping and clearing of mines and other unexploded ordnance from former and current war-zones. To facilitate this, Mineseeker has developed a unique airborne visual overlay technology which can detect and map surface and sub-surface objects using multi-spectral images and radar (MIR™). The new Morgan Aircraft UAV platform should bring significant advantages by meeting or exceeding the capability of the current Mineseeker aerial platform in a more cost effective manner.
In making the announcement, Mineseeker Executive Chairman Mike Kendrick stated, “The UN estimates there are more than a hundred million landmines buried on the face of the planet. Our proprietary mapping technology can hugely speed the process of locating and charting these. However, to do this we require a sensor platform that is stable, cost efficient, reliable and is capable of deployment in some pretty remote and inhospitable terrain. We currently have a platform that meets our requirements but the potential of the Morgan Aircraft product to allow us to operate even more effectively while reducing costs would allow us to help blighted nations be rid of the landmine menace faster than present technologies permit. When we met Morgan Aircraft it was truly a eureka moment!”
Brian Morgan, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of seven-year-old Morgan Aircraft responded, “We have developed a UAV that is capable of conducting a wide range of missions, but when we were introduced to Mineseeker we realized our platform would be a perfect fit for their humanitarian efforts to map the minefields that plague hundreds of thousands of square miles of the earth’s surface. Compared to the cost of operating helicopters, our powered-lift fixed-wing UAV will greatly reduce Mineseeker’s operating costs with projected savings in excess of 50 percent in both fuel and maintenance expenses.”
When Morgan’s first full-scale aircraft has met or exceeded performance expectations and completed appropriate safety standards checks, the two companies will start working on the development of a MIR sensor-supporting ‘Morgan Mineseeker’ airframe which will be a custom variant of the standard Morgan UAV platform.