The Shepherd-MIL was designed with the mission of keeping out flocks of birds that roam airports, hence its striking bird of prey shape. Its effectiveness has been demonstrated in these tasks, and its mere presence scares away all the surrounding birds, greatly helping to increase the safety of air operations. This micro UAV had a maximum range of 10 km and can stay in flight for 60 minutes. It had a day/night video camera that sent HD images to the control station in real time, geolocation software and a laser rangefinder.
In 2016 Expal presented an improved version of the Shepherd-MIL micro UAV designated as “Shepherd-MIL UFO-UAV“. This system has been integrated with the Expal Techfire fire support information system. Since this date, the Shepherd-MIL is offered as an option to operate jointly with the Expal EIMOS CARDOM 81mm self-propelled mortar carrier system. This UAV sends the images obtained to the TALOS fire calculator to improve the accuracy of the mortar.
Currently the Shepherd-MIL is marketed by the Spanish firm Arquimea, which has developed an improved variant called “Shepherd-MIL Advanced“. The system consists of the micro UAV, a ground control station and an antenna resistant to moisture and shock. The entire set is transported in a shock resistant case.
Shepherd-MIL Advanced is a 2.6 kg hand-launched micro UAV that has a maximum endurance of 1 hour and is characterized by exceptionally quiet flight thanks to its 24V electric motor that drives a two-blade propeller located in the nose. This feature, together with its shape and the fact that its flight can imitate characteristic movements of birds of prey such as cycling, foraging and attacking, make it very difficult to detect. In addition, its ease of use has been prioritized and it can be deployed in 5 minutes. This UAV lands directly on its belly over any terrain, giving it great operational flexibility.
This micro UAV has an automatic navigation system and an emergency function called “return” by which the drone automatically and autonomously returns to the predetermined landing site even if communications with the control station have been cut off. It can also follow a pre-established flight route using “waypoints” to observe a certain area.
The Shepherd-MIL Advanced has an intelligent surveillance system with a dual electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) vision module with a 20X zoom that offers images in high definition (HD) and HD video in real time. This module has a 2-axis mechanical device with stabilization that allows it to rotate freely, being able to recognize large areas, detect threats at a great distance and follow moving targets. The drone follows moving objects autonomously thanks to the fact that the autopilot is linked to the video processor. Thanks to its thermal vision system, it can perform reconnaissance at night or in conditions of low or no visibility.
Targets are automatically detected and displayed on the control station screen thanks to software equipped with a neural mesh (AI). In addition, the system sends the geolocations of the targets, license plates, points of interest or armored vehicles. With all the data collected, the software automatically generates a geolocalized database that allows greater control of the monitored areas as well as the issuance of complete intelligence reports.
Shepherd-MIL Advanced UAV is not only suitable for military missions, it can also carry out border control missions, operations against drug trafficking and terrorism, forest fire control and the aforementioned bird control in airport areas and wind farms. Although the total number of users is not known, the manufacturer states that the system is in service with several armies and security forces around the globe, including countries in the Middle East.

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