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AeroVironment Aqua Puma UAV completes Royal Australian Navy Sea trials


February 8, 2007

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February 9, 2007 AeroVironment's Aqua Puma small unmanned aircraft system (SUAS) has successfully completed sea trials for the Royal Australian Navy to explore adding a UAS capability to the Navy’s new Armidale class patrol boats. AV’s Aqua Puma is launched by hand, lands directly onto the sea surface and is recovered by hand from vessels. It is a next-generation FQM-151 Pointer, with the same form factor but increased endurance (1.5 hours) and enhanced sensor capability. Adding the Aqua Puma to the Armidales will require no ship modifications and will add significant day and night reconnaissance and surveillance capability.

PUMA is easy to deploy, easy to use, and allows the operator to easily track both stationary and moving targets, providing real-time intelligence with persistent low-altitude reconnaissance. With a wingspan of 8.5 feet, this lightweight, hand-launched small UAS provides aerial observation at line-of-sight ranges up to 10 kilometers.

PUMA’s avionics enable autonomous flight and precise GPS navigation.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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