Diamond Aircraft has introduced a new variant of its DA62 Special Mission Aircraft for the survey market. The Austrian manufacturer aims to achieve certification (as a Major Change STC) by the middle of 2020 with key features being single seats and a survey hatch.
The standard available seat bench of the DA62 will be replaced by two individual DA62 pilot seats “to significantly increase the comfort and generate more room for the operator.” The seats will be repositioned backwards by 70 mm, there will be a console in themiddle and operators can benefit from adjustable backrests.
In addition, to create a cleaner, more aerodynamic aircraft shape, Diamond has been working to integrate the survey cameras and stabilisation mounts in the cabin by replacing the right-hand operator seat. Easy access to the large luggage compartment allows for easy installation of additional mission equipment such as data storage units, FMS and other units.
The company says it will take around six months to complete Phase One and an additional eight months to have Phase Two completed, the final stage of development.
Essentially, Diamond has transferred the DA42 MPP GeoSTAR design concept to the DA62 MPP Survey configuration in cooperation with its partners, Vexcel Imaging and RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems.
The Survey configuration will incorporate a Vexcel UltraCAM Eagle (Phase One) or Osprey (Phase Two) including Ultranav; a SOMAG GSM4000 stabilisation mount installation in the cabin; in combination with a RIEGL VQ- 780 II airborne scanner in the nose.
With this, the company said, “Diamond will have a strong and modern European state-of-the-art survey configuration. The extraordinary low noise signature of the aircraft, supported by the on-top exhaust systems, in combination with the low fuel burn, fits perfectly with the idea to operate silently and environmentally friendly.”
Markus Fischer, director special mission aircraft at Diamond, said: “This newly launched programme is definitely one of the biggest product enhancements within the past few years within the special mission aircraft segment.” He added that feedback had been “incredibly positive” at the Intergeo show in Berlin, where the concept was launched in October.
“It seems to be that the survey industry is looking for the next generation aircraft, able to operate on low cost and to a high environmental standard,” said Fischer.
“The easy operation and low noise capabilities will allow an increase in operational capabilities at night or over the weekend.”
Andrew Peczinka, design engineer, Diamond Special Mission Aircraft, commented: “It is a pleasure to work with such a great team, designing the next generation platform for DA62 MPP sensor payloads. “The single-seat operator configuration is a huge step forward in integrating larger, more capable sensors for our customers.
This modification provides the opportunity to work with new and existing suppliers, and the ability to provide a wider selection of sensor applications that were once limited to only larger aircraft platforms.”
Alexander Wiechert, CEO of Vexcel Imaging, said: “We have a long-standing partnership with Diamond Aircraft and are really excited about the DA62 MPP as it is now even easier to integrate all third-generation UltraCam systems into the new aircraft.”
Dr. Johannes Riegl, CEO, RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH, added: “We have been using a Diamond DA42 MPP, equipped with its nose pod, for more than ten years for test and calibration flights of our ALS laser scanners and systems.
"It is extremely pleasing that the new, larger DA62 MPP will now enable even a modern dual-LiDAR airborne laser scanning system such as the RIEGL VQ-1560 II, with fully integrated medium format cameras and stabilisation platform built into a hatch from inside the aircraft cabin, to operate.
"Or, where a large format camera is installed in the hatch, a modern RIEGL Single-LiDAR Airborne Scanner, like the VQ-780 II, can be additionally accommodated in the nose pod. We at RIEGL are eagerly waiting to test the DA62 MPP equipped with our high-performance surveying systems.”
Sebastian Schreiber, CTO, SOMAG AG Jena, commented: “We are convinced that Diamond Aircraft will set a new standard in the surveying industry with the DA62 MPP concept. As part of it, our Gyro Stabilization Mount GSM 4000 fits perfectly into the overall system.
The versatility of the stabilisation unit makes it a perfect add-on product for a large range of state-of-the-art sensors like cameras, LiDARs, and other surveying equipment.”
SAFRAN Euroflir Integrated on DA62 MPP
As a result of top-level meeting during the Paris Air Show 2019, Diamond Aircraft and SAFRAN decided to invest in a powerful high-performance surveillance configuration following the concept of a European solution.
This led to a maiden flight in September this year and a flight test programme lasting four weeks, including highand low-altitude flights, tracking stationary, slow-moving and fast-moving targets, and looking at operatorhandling capabilities during long endurance missions as well as night session capabilities.
Safran Electronics & Defense’s new-generation Euroflir 410 offers multispectral and ultra-long-range observation capabilties, day/night, with precise geolocation and embedded decision-aid functions with enhanced detection and identification for greater mission effectiveness.
Markus Fischer, director, Diamond Special Mission Aircraft, said: “We are very happy to see that even such a large global company like SAFRAN showed full cooperation and flexibility during the super-fast firstarticle-installation on our DA62 MPP.
"This variant of camera has the performance and power to meet the top requirements of an EO/IR sensor. In particular, the HD IR sensor supported by the super resolution function is a great feature.”
Stefan Haim, sensor engineer, Diamond Special Mission Aircraft, added: “It was great to test an ITAR-free, highperformance camera and work together with a strong European partner.
“After getting used to the hand controller, it was easy to master the camera; the implemented software modes aided the steering of the camera well. The unique spotter scope allowed us to detect objects over long distances, by switching payloads so that the optimum information of the image could be gathered on long slant ranges. After intensive test flights the EF410 has proven to be an attractive state-of-the-art camera for our DA62 MPP.”
More information from www.diamondaircraft.com