Machine Design

Small UAV can take off and land vertically

For more information on the company’s other military UAVs

After four years of R&D, engineers at AeroVironment Inc., Monrovia, Calif., have successfully test flown their Shrike UAV, a 5-lb drone that can fit in a backpack and take off and land vertically. Built under contract from DARPA, the Shrike can hover or fly for more than 40 min while transmitting high-resolution encrypted video back to a home base. It also has enough battery power to land on the top of a building or cliff, for example, and transmit several hours of video of what it is looking at, a capability the Pentagon calls “perch and stare.” The battery-powered aircraft is remotely flown using the same ground-control system used to pilot the company’s other UAVs, including the Raven, Wasp, and Puma.

© 2011 Penton Media, Inc.

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