Granta Autonomy takes off from stealth with seed funding for drone recon

Granta Autonomy takes off from stealth with seed funding for drone recon
Granta Autonomy takes off from stealth with seed funding for drone recon

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Fleet of moveable Hornet UAVs prepared for takeoff. Supply: Granta Autonomy

Conflicts in Ukraine and elsewhere have elevated curiosity in autonomous programs for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. Drone startup Granta Autonomy at the moment introduced that it has efficiently accomplished its €1 million ($1.08 million U.S.) seed funding spherical.

The Vilnius, Lithuania-based company stated the brand new capital will allow it to speed up the event and manufacturing of its light-weight uncrewed aerial autos (UAVs) for surveillance and reconnaissance. It would additionally work on micro gimbals and digital Datalink software program, which its crew has personally examined over Ukraine’s entrance strains.

“The normal battlefield is evolving, and Western armies require strong, dependable, and versatile options,” acknowledged Gediminas Guoba, founder and CEO of Granta Autonomy. “Granta Autonomy is dedicated to making sure our programs may be readily manufactured throughout Europe, decreasing reliance on exterior sources.”

“At this time’s funding permits us to ramp up our manufacturing capability to ship the large-scale deployments Europe wants. Nevertheless, our focus goes past simply numbers,” he added. “Our crew works instantly with troopers on the battlefield, testing our merchandise and software program in fight zones and collaborating on options that excel within the hardest circumstances. This battlefield expertise, valued by our Western companions, fuels our mission to revolutionize drone reconnaissance for world militaries.”

Granta Autonomy designs UAVs to be dependable

Granta Autonomy has been creating remote-controlled uncrewed plane programs (UASes), gimbals, and Datalink software program since 2015. Based by former army engineers Guoba and Laurynas Litvinas, the corporate now offers NATO forces throughout Europe with its vary of hand-launched Hornet UAVs.

Granta Autonomy founders Laurynas Litvinas and Gediminas Guoba.

Founders Laurynas Litvinas and Gediminas Guoba. Supply: Granta Autonomy

The corporate additionally focuses on integration and elements for intelligence, surveillance, goal acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR), in addition to search and rescue and loitering munitions.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Granta Autonomy began supplying its UAVs to the Ukrainian entrance. At this time, the Ukrainian military operates Granta programs funded by the Lithuanian and different European defense ministries. The corporate additionally offers its expertise to NATO forces throughout Europe.

Its newest UAV, the Hornet XR, is moveable and has options meant for covert reconnaissance missions. Its drone incorporates expertise and suggestions from previous fashions, stated Granta Autonomy.

With a easy throw takeoff and a silent, electrical flight lasting as much as 3 hours, the Hornet XR can cowl as much as 160 km (99.4 mi.) undetected, in keeping with Granta Autonomy. The UAV has a compact wingspan of 1.6 m (62.9 in.), a size of 0.84 m (33 in.), and a weight of solely 2.9 kg (6.3 lb.). Thus, it may be shortly launched by hand, eliminating the necessity for cumbersome assist gear, the corporate stated.

Pre-programmed missions guarantee autonomous operation, even in radio silence or GNSS-denied environments. The plane can land itself utilizing a deep-stall technique, making it simple to retrieve in tight areas, Granta asserted. The Hornet XR’s compact, modular design permits for handy transport in a automobile trunk.

Light-weight micro gimbals assist seize photographs

Granta Autonomy additionally offers proprietary micro gimbals, which it claimed are the lightest direct-drive gimbals in the marketplace. The micro gimbals function a camera system that may seize daytime photographs at distances as much as 5 km (3.1 mi.).

The corporate stated its GS-214X and GS-218X micro gimbal programs are the fourth technology of gimbal-mounted EO/IR payloads it has designed from scratch. The programs additionally present Hornets and different third-party drones a thermal digicam for missions at evening. 

Measuring 71 mm (2.7 in.) and weighing simply 180 g and 195 g (6.3 and 6.8 oz.), respectively, these sensors function an EO digicam with a zoom functionality of ×40 (×20 optical and ×2 digital), a horizontal discipline of view of 60° to three° (optical) and 1.5° (digital), and a decision of 1,280×960 pixels.

Each sensors function a FLIR Boson+ 640 long-wave infrared sensor, which has a decision of 640×512 pixels. The GS-214X makes use of a 14 mm (0.5 in.) lens providing a horizontal discipline of view of 32°, and the GS-218X makes use of an 18 mm (0.7 in.) lens providing a horizontal discipline of view of 24°.

Hornet UAV can be hand-launched.

The light-weight Hornet XR may be hand-launched. Supply: Granta Autonomy

Digital Knowledge Hyperlink works in contested environments

Granta Autonomy stated its proprietary Digital Knowledge Hyperlink (DDL) software program presents frequency ranges of two,300 to three,000 MHz and 4,900 to 7,200 MHz, versatile antenna choices, and improved efficiency in contested environments. The corporate stated DDL ensures that its gimbal integrates with most floor management station (GCS) software program.

The Hornet DDL, which weighs lower than 50 g (1.7 oz.) and consumes lower than 10W throughout energetic transmission, can obtain a video transmission vary of 10 km (6.2 mi.), with an omnidirectional antenna and greater than 30 km (18.6 mi.) with a directional antenna.

“The Hornet XR exemplifies our design philosophy, which is rooted within the experience of our army UAV operators and engineers,” stated Guoba. “[It delivers] industry-leading flight time, easy operation, and rugged sturdiness, which brings larger efficiencies, decrease prices, and unmatched reliability to complicated, multi-disciplinary missions.”

“The identical goes for our micro gimbals,” he added. “After we began, there have been no gimbals in the marketplace for small UAVs like ours. Now, we’re producing the lightest direct-drive gimbals in the marketplace.”

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VCs assist Granta protection missions

ScaleWolf VC, a number one Lithuanian dual-use tech enterprise capital fund and accelerator, led the spherical. Brolis Defence and HFL holdings additionally participated. 

“Since we met Gediminas and the crew, we’ve been impressed by the groundbreaking expertise and imaginative and prescient of the Granta Autonomy crew,” stated Edvinas Kerza, managing companion of ScaleWolf VC and former vice minister of the Lithuanian Ministry of Protection.

“Their revolutionary strategy to creating surveillance and reconnaissance expertise is second to none and has the potential to revolutionize the way in which armed forces handle difficult and multi-discipline reconnaissance missions,” he added. “We proudly assist their mission and look ahead to seeing their autonomous UAVs affect the battlefield over the approaching years.”

Brolis Semiconductors is a Lithuanian protection firm, creating superior electrooptic and laser options for the NATO market since 2011. HFL holding is a personal holding firm led by Lithuanian laser expertise pioneer Dr. Romualdas Danielius, founder and predominant shareholder of Mild Conversion.

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