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Evolving ISR sensors feature smaller sizes with increasingly sophisticated capabilities, supporting even more use cases for both civil and military applications.

ISR via drone has evolved over the years from one-camera payloads to multiple sensors, said David Proulx, vp of product management for unmanned systems and integrated solutions at Wilsonville, Oregon-based FLIR. This gives operators a more comprehensive picture of a situation.

Rather than focusing on collecting visible imagery via Full Motion Video (FMV) or EO/IR cameras, operators are also deploying sensors that use electronic information from other sources to detect and localize threats, said Matt Britton, senior product manager of tactical sensor systems at Alion Science and Technology, with the ISR group’s headquarters in Hanover, Maryland. These sensors include electronic (ELINT), signals (SIGINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT).