The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has waived the usual restrictions on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and is allowing the BP oil company and UAS manufacturer AeroVironment to use an AeroVironment Puma AE
for aerial surveys in Alaska. According to the FAA, this is the first time permission has been given for a commercial drone to fly over land in the United States.
With the increasing popularity of electric and hybrid electric vehicles, some employers have come to the party and installed charging stations for their employees. Now AeroVironment has released its TurboCord, which allows businesses to provide faster EV charging by simply installing NEMA 6-20R 240-volt outlets, rather than going to the expense of providing dedicated charging units.
A solar-powered variant of AeroVironment’s hand-launched Puma AE small UAS has matched the continuous flight time of over nine hours attained by a hybrid fuel cell-powered model
Previously, we’ve seen swimming robots inspired by the cow-nosed ray
, the black ghost knife fish
, and the jellyfish
– to name just a few. Now, the engineers at AeroVironment have taken it upon themselves to replicate the mola (also known as the ocean sunfish), and the result is an ocean-going robot that gathers its own solar power.
While UAV’s continue to reshape the theater of war, they are also finding more and more non-military applications, from gathering atmospheric data
to delivering supplies to remote villages
. Now Aerovironment is examining the potential for its UAVs to rapidly re-establish communications when existing communications networks are knocked out following a natural or man-made disaster.
The Switchblade is a new form of miniature unmanned aerial system (UAS) which is man-packable and offers a loitering, silent, almost invisible, over-the-horizon aerial presence for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance duties. It also carries a warhead, so if a target of opportunity presents itself, the Switchblade has imaging sensors capable of identifying, tracking and guiding itself right to that person before exploding - with the aim of causing minimal collateral damage. The UAS is currently being readied for initial deployment by U.S.Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
California-based aerospace company AeroVironment has developed some fascinating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) over the years, including the High Altitude Long Endurance Global Observer
, a hummingbird-like nano air vehicle
, and the hand-launched Wasp III
reconnaissance platform. In 2008, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded the company US$4.6 million in funding to develop a “perch-and-stare” aircraft
, for use in military surveillance. Today, AeroVironment unveiled the result – the Shrike Vertical Take-off And Landing (VTOL) UAS.
In a setback for AeroVironment
's four-year demonstrator program, the first Global Observer unmanned aircraft system
has crashed during flight-testing. AeroVironment has confirmed the "mishap" occurred at 2:30 am PDT on April 1st, approximately 18 hours into its ninth test flight at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California.
and Better Place
are among six organizations to receive a share of US$2.6 million in federal stimulus funding as part of Hawaii's push to boost electric vehicle
infrastructure. AeroVironment's $820,000 contract will see up to 320 of its EV charging docks rolled-out on the islands while the $854,000 awarded to Better Place will support the introduction of EVs to a rental car fleet as well as installation of charging stations.
, the California-based company behind the largest, highest and longest flying unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the Global Observer
, has now achieved a remarkable technical milestone with a much smaller aircraft. With its "Nano Hummingbird" the company has for the first time achieved controlled precision hovering and fast-forward flight of a two-wing, flapping wing aircraft that carries its own energy source and relies only on its flapping wings for propulsion and control.