FAA Grants UND, N.D. Sheriff a Permit to Use Qube UAV
May 17, 2013
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — In the locker room at the University of North Dakota football stadium, a handful of people wait for an early morning rain shower to pass so they can test a small four-rotor helicopter on the football field.
As the clouds pass, the crew of university researchers and police snap together the three-foot-long, five-pound helicopter in an unmanned aircraft training exercise designed to show how small drones can help fight crime. It’s flown by controls on a tablet like device that also shows a live video feed from the drones on-board camera.
U.S., Moroccan, German Service Members Conduct UAV Familiarization for African Lion 13
May 06, 2013
U.S. Marines, along with German and Moroccan counterparts, conducted a small unmanned-flying vehicle familiarization course for Exercise African Lion 13, in Agadir, Morocco, that shared the capabilities of the RQ-11B Raven as part of the Intelligence Capacity Building Workshop, April 13.
The RQ-11B Raven, or “Raven-B,” is the Marine Corps’ lightweight, hand-launched Unmanned Air Vehicle that provides reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition used in contingency operations around the world.
NY Times: A Drone’s–Eye View of Nature
May 06, 2013
Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, Colo. — An electric whir filled the air of this high desert valley as Jeff Sloan, a cartographer for the United States Geological Survey, hurled a small remote-controlled airplane into the sky. The plane, a four-and-a-half-pound AeroVironment Raven, dipped; then its plastic propeller whined and pulled it into the sky.
Telecom-Equipped Drones Could Revolutionize Wireless Market
April 30, 2013
“Each one of our small unmanned aircraft can operate somewhat like a miniature and very low-cost communications satellite at 400 to 500 feet above ground,” Gitlin said. “It’s basically like a flying Wi-Fi hot spot.”
U.S. Tries New Aerial Tools in Caribbean Drug Fight
April 29, 2013
ABOARD THE HIGH SPEED VESSEL SWIFT - (AP) -- Drug smugglers who race across the Caribbean in speedboats will typically jettison their cargo when spotted by surveillance aircraft, hoping any chance of prosecuting them will vanish with the drugs sinking to the bottom of the sea.
From Battle to Birds: Drones Get Second Life Counting Critters
April 26, 2013
The U.S. military and law enforcement agencies have seen on the domestic use of the robotically piloted planes known as drones. Working on the sidelines of this debate, the U.S. Geological Survey has been trying to find a second life for retired military drones in the areas of environmental and wildlife management. Instead of watching the battlefield, these drones are watching birds.
Eagle Eye: Puma UAS
March 18, 2013
"The Puma system is very important, especially for the infantry," said Lance Cpl. Scott Chase, the Puma flight chief for 2/7. "When it comes to fighting insurgency, we are attempting to fight an enemy who isn't directly attacking us. With the Puma system, we can independently observe our battlespace day or night, which allows us to find the enemy before he has the chance to find us."
CNN: Bad Laws Would Hurt Good Drones
March 05, 2013
Drone Technology Could Be Coming To A Police Department Near You
February 27, 2013
A look at how "The Qube" and other gadgets geared to law enforcement agencies area attracting attention at the California Police Chiefs Association annual training symposium.
ABC 10 News: New Firefighting Drone Makes Debut At San Diego Conference
February 22, 2013
A high-flying firefighting tool called the Qube is making its debut at the Firehouse World conference in San Diego. "We absolutely believe this could be a difference maker," said Kristen Helsel, director of business development at AeroVironment.
U.S. Army Wants More Switchblades
February 12, 2013
Pentagon officials are reviewing a joint urgent needs statement for the lightweight, tube-launched, Lethal Miniature Aerial Munitions Systems (LMAMS) -- better known as the Switchblade -- for use in Afghanistan, U.S. Army officials told Defense News.
AeroVironment Qube Public Safety Small UAS Featured On CBS News Sunday Morning
February 10, 2013
AeroVironment, the California company that sells the military something like 85 percent of its fleet, is marketing them now to public safety agencies.
Steve Gitlin, a vice-president of AeroVironment, demonstrated for Teicher the company's Qube system: "It's a small unmanned aircraft that's designed to give first responders an immediate eye in the sky so they can find lost kids, they can investigate accidents, they can support disaster recovery for earthquakes in California, tornadoes in the Midwest, hurricanes in the Gulf Coast.
The Highs and Lows of Human-Powered Flight
February 01, 2013
MacCready took on the first Kremer prize -- for flying a figure eight -- in 1977 with his Gossamer Condor craft. The final version of this vehicle, comprised of a large wing, pilot nacelle and double-skinned airfoil, was flown by cyclist and hang-glider Bryan Allen. On August 23rd of that year, Allen completed the 1.6-mile course as designated by the Royal Aeronautical Society, located at Minter field in Shafter, Calif. This flight was important for a number of reasons, but in no small part because it represented the first controlled, sustained flight complete with human-powered takeoff.
US Geological Survey’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office in Denver Relies on Raven
January 22, 2013
A team of pilots operate the Raven RQ-11A aircraft, a Global Positioning System guided sUAS with interchangeable nosecones that provide several options for video data collection.
NPR Morning Edition: This Defense Contractor Has A Green Side
January 22, 2013
Lots of companies make products that don't have much in common, but AeroVironment specializes in two products that are very different -- electric vehicle chargers, which keep cars like the Nissan Leaf on the road, and military drones. The Los Angeles-area firm is a leading manufacturer of small unmanned aircraft.
This unusual company was the creation of one unusual individual, Paul MacCready. He loved things that fly. "As a youngster, I was very interested in model airplanes, ornithopters, autogyros, helicopters, gliders, power planes ..." MacCready said at a TED conference in 2003, four years before his death.
Coming Soon: Your Own Personal Drone
January 21, 2013
The recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was a treasure trove of new ideas for investors. Motley Fool analyst Rex Moore was there, and in the following video, he reports back on one of the most fascinating forward-looking technologies he saw. Would you believe ... your own personal drone?
OK NewsChannel 4: Unmanned Aircraft Industry To Bring Jobs to Oklahoma
January 16, 2013
"It's going to help first responders save lives and protect property all over the U.S. and all over the world," Gitlin said.
An unmanned vehicle can be stored in a police officer's trunk and readied for flight in five minutes or less.
Experts estimate more than 600 high-paying, quality jobs could be created by the UAS industry in just three years.
Air&Space Smithsonian: Drones for Hire
January 01, 2013
Though there is enormous potential for drone use in emergency situations, infrastructure inspection, and ecological monitoring, many buyers still aren't sure exactly what they need. "The industry is pretty immature," says Embry-Riddle's Currier of the current offerings at AUVSI. He compares it to the early years of auto manufacturing, when motorists had hundreds of brands, and no company dominated. "It's hard to tell which is a production-ready aircraft by just looking at it," says Roy Minson, a vice president at AeroVironment Inc., a leading producer of unmanned aircraft, including the Raven and another fixed-wing, the Puma AE, both of which are popular with the military. But the company is spending millions to refine a multi-rotor it calls the Qube, aimed at civilian firefighters and officers who need an easy way to get a camera overhead and transmitting video within minutes.
Bloomberg TV: World’s Favorite Drone: $200K, Fits in a Backpack
December 12, 2012
Bloomberg gets up close with the Raven UAS, the most prolific unmanned aircraft in the world, and a favorite of the military.
Army Unmanned Aircraft Programs: Winners and Losers
December 12, 2012
One winner is the Puma, a small hand-launched UAV that small units are using for reconnaissance and surveillance. The Army requested the system under a rapid fielding initiative in 2007 to complement its other small drone, the Raven. Soldiers were demanding an all-weather capable aircraft with longer endurance and a gimbaled camera.
Remote-Controlled Aircraft Work Hard for Science
November 23, 2012
Because the Raven is small and quiet, it could fly low enough -- 75 feet -- to photograph the birds without disturbing them.
UAV Evolution - How Natural Selection Directed the Drone Revolution
November 19, 2012
Designers often take their inspiration from nature to produce tiny UAVs that can hover, perch or dart forward - AeroVironment's Nano Hummingbird and TechJect Dragonfly both fly like their namesakes from the natural world. AeroVironment is also behind the first man-portable tactical armed drone, the tube-launched 2.5kg Switchblade, which went into operation with the US Army in September 2012.
Robots Reduce Cost of Science for USGS
November 07, 2012
The Raven in particular has other advantages over manned missions besides cost. From the report:
The initial USGS mission in March 2011 studied the annual north-south migration of endangered sandhill cranes from Arizona through Colorado to Montana and Wyoming. The cranes fly north in the first part of February and spend much of each spring in Colorado?s San Luis Valley at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge. Thermal cameras capturing images of the cranes at roost were used to determine population trends in collaboration with the FWS. ?Because the Raven is small and quiet, it could fly low enough ? 75 feet ? to photograph the birds without disturbing them. Moreover, the mission cost only one-tenth of a conventional airborne survey"
AeroVironment’s Switchblade selected as one of “Best Inventions of the Year” by Time Magazine
November 01, 2012
At 2 ft. in length and weighing 6 lb. (60 cm, 2.7 kg), the Switchblade drone can be carried into battle in a backpack. It's a kamikaze: the person controlling it uses a real-time video feed from the drone to crash it into a precise target--say, a sniper. Its tiny warhead detonates on impact. In effect, it makes fighters in the field their own air support.
Send in the Phone Drones
November 01, 2012
Our small unmanned aircraft systems come already equipped with a digital communication technology that basically allows them to operate like mini communications satellites only a few hundred feet above the ground," says AeroVironment's Steve Gittin, "they can route voice video and data so emergency communication can be stood up very rapidly after a disasters."
ABC 7 Chicago: Eyes in the Sky
October 30, 2012
Unmanned aircraft systems -- like the Raven and the Wasp -- were developed for battlefield use, but drones are making their way to domestic airspace - in large part because they offer "eyes in the sky" at a mere fraction of a helicopter's cost.
"So basically for the cost of a fully equipped squad car, a police force, or a first responder can have the capability in their trunk to get a bird's eye view of any situation where they need it," said Steve Gitlin, AeroVironment.
LA-based Aerovironment, a leading maker of small drones for the military, has developed what it calls "the Qube", a five-and-a-half pound baby helicopter with a thermal camera that can hover for 40 minutes. It's technology that could significantly aid hostage situations, search and rescue, or, for example, a planned raid on a house with armed bad guys inside.
Puma AE: The Special Forces Spy Drone that Lands Anywhere
October 16, 2012
The Puma AE (All Environment) is an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) designed as an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform built for the rigors of both land and sea-based missions. That is, the Puma AE can land its 13-pound frame either in tight city streets or onto a water surface if the mission dictates, even after a near-vertical "deep stall" final approach. An onboard GPS unit guarantees that it will land within 25 meters of a predetermined landing target.
Drawing the Line on Drones
October 15, 2012
The International Association of Police Chiefs held its convention in San Diego earlier this month and one of the booths drawing a lot of attention belonged to a California company called AeroVironment, Inc.
It's in the business of building drones.
One of its models--the Raven--weighs less than five pounds and is the most popular military spy drone in the world. More than 19,000 have been sold. Another of its robot planes--the Switchblade--is seen as the drone of the future, one small enough to fit into a soldier's backpack.
But AeroVironment is zeroing in on a new market--police and fire departments too small to afford their own helicopters, but big enough to have a need for overhead surveillance. So in San Diego, it was showing off yet another model, this one called the Qube unmanned aircraft system.
The camera never blinks
AeroVironment likes to tout the Qube as just what a future-thinking police department needs--a flying machine that fits in the trunk of a cop car--it's less than five pounds and just three feet long--can climb as high as 500 feet and stays airborne as long as 40 minutes.
AeroVironment Mantis i23 Gimbaled Payload Selected as One of Year’s Biggest Breakthroughs by C4ISR
October 09, 2012
Each year, C4ISR Journal scans the world of networks, sensors and intelligence, looking for the new technologies and new efforts changing the way military forces and policymakers do their jobs.
We find these candidates in many ways. Some are nominated by their manufacturers, some by their users; still others are in the news. We scrutinize each one. Is it new? Is it available? Is it useful? Is it being used? ? and slim down the pool to a list of the best.
Raven UAS Mission
October 04, 2012
FORT CHAFFEE, Ark.--Just before 4 a.m. here on July 26, 2012, with the mercury already flirting with 85 degrees Fahrenheit on a moonless and humid Arkansas morning, Army Reservist Staff Sgt. Jeremy Phetteplace told Staff Sgt. Rob Jenkins, "Remember like a Javelin" and asked him, "Clear Prop?"
Tiny Drones Promoted for Police Use
October 01, 2012
DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO -- Big law enforcement agencies have helicopter fleets and fixed wing aircraft to help fight crime and save lives, but smaller departments don't have the money it takes to run an air program.
Now a number of private companies are trying to step into that void.
Drones Are Elwha Dam Researchers’ Eyes In Sky
September 25, 2012
PORT ANGELES -- Electronic "Ravens" join hungry raptors, their eyes fixed on the flowing water below, as they swoop over the Elwha River this week.
The 4-foot-wide aircraft, resembling radio-controlled airplanes, are steered by researchers on the ground.
Marines Stand Up Schools For Small UAV Training
September 11, 2012
Hundreds of U.S. Marines will begin receiving advanced training in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles before deploying to the war zone.
Combined, about 480 officers and enlisted Marines will attend schoolhouses at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Camp Pendleton, Calif., each year to learn how to operate and maintain the Corps' smallest UAVs, according to Marine officials. The school at Camp Lejeune, called Training and Logistics Support Activity, began enrolling students in mid-July.
Iron Brigade Conducts Raven Training
September 07, 2012
DONA ANA, N.M. - Soldiers with 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, conducted Unmanned Aircraft System crew member evaluation training at a training area near Fort Bliss, Texas, Aug. 28. In order to stay qualified as an operator of the RQ-11 Raven unmanned aircraft, the crew members must log more than 150 hours of flight time per month.
Afghanistan is the Proving Ground for UAS Capability
August 28, 2012
No doubt about it, unmanned systems are proving effective in Afghanistan, said Peter Singer of the Brookings Institution think tank. ?It?s a revolutionary technology. It?s creating both possibilities, but also dilemmas we didn?t imagine we?d be facing just a generation ago,? such as the identity of the forces in the future, he said. ?Its historic parallel is things like gun powder, the steam engine? it?s that level of change,? Singer added.
Raven UAV - The Spanish Army’s All Seeing Eyes in Afghanistan
August 21, 2012
Los militares de la 12 companía de la Brigada Paracaidista se despiertan tras haber dormido al raso y en el suelo en el campamento militar de Dar-e-bum, o lo que queda de él, después de que las tropas españolas se retiraran de allá el pasado marzo. Se lavan la cara como los gatos, con un botellán de agua o toallitas hémedas de bebó, y empiezan a preparar los vehículos blindados. Son las cinco de la mañana y apenas se ve.
Drones Aimed At Fighting Future Wars
August 13, 2012
Imagine swarms of drone aircraft fighting the wars of the future.
One big remotely piloted "bird" could control an array of stealthy planes with bombs and missiles to "knock the door down" for manned fighter jets high over enemy territory via satellite links to a ground station in Nevada. Or South Dakota. Or anywhere.
LA Times: Drones Tested As Tools For Police And Firefighters
August 05, 2012
WASHINGTON -- On a chaparral-covered hillside 40 miles north of Los Angeles in June 2010, researchers from the Department of Homeland Security hid a device the size of a pack of cigarettes that emitted a safe pulse of low-grade radiation.
It was a stand-in for a dirty bomb, or fallout from a nuclear meltdown.
Nearby, a pilot toggled a joystick, and a gray drone with the wingspan of a California condor banked through the sky. As the plane's sensor sniffed for radioactive isotopes, law enforcement officers and firefighters watched a portable controller that looked like an oversized Game Boy.
In minutes, a warning signal glowed on the screen. The drone had detected the radiation.
Drones: From War Weapons To Homemade Toy
August 02, 2012
Drones transformed the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan. But their use has been extremely limited in U.S. skies. The Federal Aviation Administration essentially bans the commercial use of drones, and government use is still highly restricted.
But that's changing.
For a long time, drones, which are formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, were exotic, expensive and out of reach for all but military users. Today, however, a clever hobbyist can have his own eye in the sky.
CNBC’s Mad Money: The Business of Making Drones
July 13, 2012
Jim Cramer on CNBC's 'Mad Money' wanted to hear more about AeroVironment's UAS and EV Charging prospects, so he welcomed CEO Tim Conver onto Friday's program. Watch the video to see the full interview.
Unmanned Aircraft System Operators Save Lives in Combat
June 18, 2012
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 18, 2012) -- Sgt. Christopher Harris was conducting a routine reconnaissance mission in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in 2009, when the Puma unmanned aircraft system, or UAS, he was operating showed nearby, real-time footage of insurgents planting an improvised explosive device, or IED, along a U.S. Army convoy route.
"These guys had set an IED two kilometers away from us," Harris said, recalling the incident. "They were waiting for us to drive by for what looked like a planned IED-initiated ambush."
The Puma UAS is a 13-pound, portable, hand-launched unmanned aircraft system, known as a UAS, with a wingspan of 9.2-feet and electro-optical/infrared, or EO/IR, sensors able to beam back real-time imagery from combat-relevant locations.
Small UAS and the US National Park Service
June 11, 2012
In 2008, the US Geological Survey (USGS) at the Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center recognized the potential for sUAS use in scientific monitoring and study. Of particular note was the need to enter active volcanoes to collect information without risking humans in helicopters.
Fox News: Meet The Micro-Drone Tag Team Assault Force
May 31, 2012
Unmanned drones are shrinking -- yet their presence in the U.S. military arsenal is growing.
Aerovironment Testing Potential for UAVs to Re-establish Communications in Event of Disasters
May 25, 2012
The Shrike VTOL UAV, which is a member of Aerovironment's family of small UAVs that the company will demonstrate for creating an airborne communication relay (Photo: AeroVironment, Inc.)
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.
Marine Corps Pursues “Kamikaze” Drone
May 16, 2012
NORFOLK, Va. -- The Marine Corps is taking steps to procure its first "kamikaze" drone in an effort to provide small units the ability to quickly strike soft targets such as IED emplacement teams.
The Switchblade, produced by California-based AeroVironment, can be guided into a target and explode on impact, almost like a hand grenade, said company spokesman Steven Gitlin.
"For the first time they will have their own organic ability to engage targets [with a UAV]," he said.
New Puma UAV Well-Suited for Marines
May 07, 2012
The Marine Corps is buying a new drone that can land and take off in water, unlike any other aircraft in the service's unmanned fleet.
The RQ-20A Puma AE, produced by AeroVironment Inc., is capable of operating in nearly any condition -- hot, cold, wet or dry -- making it well-suited for maritime operations.
‘Dragon’ Brigade Trains With Switchblade
May 03, 2012
'Dragon' Brigade trains with more reliable equipment
As the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, prepares for deployment later in the spring, units are being fielded with more reliable, technically proficient equipment.
The 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment; 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment; and the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment have been training on the new back-pack sized lethal miniature aerial munitions system, or LMAMS, - the Switchblade - from March 26 to 30.
LA Times: Raven Drones Scan Area Before Vandenberg Rocket Launches
March 29, 2012
The 5-pound drones equipped with high-powered video cameras fly around the launch site northwest of Santa Barbara, scouring the ground below to ensure that the area is clear for blastoff.
Federal Wildlife Researchers Use Raven to Count Sandhill Cranes
March 26, 2012
Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have used unmanned aircraft in three trials to count the number of sandhill cranes that visit the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge and found them to be a safe alternative for both birds and scientists.
"What these systems do is they help to more quickly fly over the cranes," said Leanne Hanson, a USGS biologist who is overseeing the use of the aircraft. "They don't flush the birds so there's no mid-air collision potential."
The Australian: Civilian Drones That Can Dust Crops, Find Lost Toddlers And Wash Skyscraper Windows
March 23, 2012
THEY are the signature weapons of America's War on Terror, ghostly killers best known for stalking the badlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now a new generation of drones is poised to enter everyday US life.
American police forces are to be allowed to use unmanned aircraft for the first time this year. Anticipating a potentially vast new market, AeroVironment, the company that supplies 85 per cent of the US military's drones, has developed the Qube, a quadcopter (a helicopter with four rotors) that can be packed into the boot of a police car and be ready to fly in less than five minutes.
I Mini-Drone Rafforzano Gli Arsenali Delle Polizie
March 23, 2012
Una pattuglia di militari israeliani si avvicina a un gruppo di case a Gaza ma alcuni precisi colpi feriscono un soldato bloccando lavanzata. Impossibile vedere i tiratori scelti di Hamas piazzati in postazioni protette e rialzate. Un militare apre il suo zaino estraendo un piccolo velivolo, simile a un aeromodello.
Bloomberg: Drones in U.S. Need to Fly Within Privacy Rules: View
March 14, 2012
Consider the Qube. It's 3 feet long, weighs about 5 pounds and can be assembled in a jiffy. It's equipped with thermal and high-resolution cameras. It can fly all by itself, for 40 minutes at a time, hovering noiselessly at up to 500 feet. And it films all it sees.
The Economist: Unblinking Eyes in the Sky
March 01, 2012
Technology and society: Drone aircraft are no longer restricted to military use. They are being built and used by hobbyists, activists and estate agents, among others.
Army Second Striker Brigade Relies on Puma
February 09, 2012
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.--Conventional wisdom says the Air Force controls the sky, the Navy controls the water and the Army controls the land; however, Unmanned Aircraft Systems have revolutionized the way the Army fights.
The Army has empowered echelons at all levels with the unique capabilities that the UAS brings to the modern battlefield starting with the S2AS Puma All Environment UAS.
"The most important note for the Puma is it empowers your lower enlisted," said Tarah Hollingsworth, an Aviation and Missile Command Logistics Assistance representative for the U.S. Army who specializes in UAS. "It empowers your privates, your specialists, your corporals to make those life critical decisions. It used to be in past wars and combat that they had to get contacted via radio when there was danger up ahead; this shortens that critical decision-making chain."
Unmanned Aircraft A Controversial Surveillance Tool For N.D. Law Enforcement
January 31, 2012
Grand Forks, N.D. -- In a first for local law enforcement in the region, 16 North Dakota counties will soon use two small unmanned aircraft to monitor crime scenes and track suspects.
Much like the unmanned aircraft flying over war zones in Afghanistan or along U.S. borders, these aircraft are small enough to into the back of an SUV. But each carry a camera and can provide streaming video to a police officer piloting the plane from the ground.
Drones Fly Into Nascent Civilian Market Ripe With Energy, Environmental Applications
January 25, 2012
As a Russian tanker plowed through the frozen Bering Sea to deliver fuel to Nome, Alaska, earlier this month, it had an unlikely helper: a small drone that hovered overhead, sending images of the sea ice to researchers onshore who were plotting the vessel's path and planning oil spill contingencies.
Drone technology, which revolutionized the way the U.S. military spies and fights, is now opening vast new opportunities for environmental researchers and the energy industry. And the Arctic -- with its brutal temperatures and vast, unpopulated spaces making manned flight difficult and dangerous -- is ground zero for those efforts.
UAVs Shrink As Technology Grows
January 16, 2012
AeroVironment has captured the imagination of a worldwide audience with news of a major extension of its activities into nano air vehicles (NAVs).
Ever since human beings first discovered the basic principles of lift and the importance of wing shapes, the necessary muscle power and control movements of birds defeated all attempts to emulate the mechanical process of using wing flapping to beat gravity. The hummingbird's amazing ability to conduct a perfectly stable hover has long fascinated students of aerodynamics, especially when slow-motion film footage displays the complexity and perfection of its ultrahigh-speed wing flapping movements.
The Economist: Civilian Drones Difference Engine: Unblinking Eye In The Sky
January 13, 2012
WHEN drones are used even by environmental activists to track down Japanese whaling vessels, it is a sure sign that UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are no longer the sole prerogative of the military. Police forces around the world are certainly keen to lay their hands on small pilotless aircraft to help them nab fleeing criminals and monitor crime scenes from above. With price tags of a little more (and, in some case, a good deal less) than the $40,000 of a patrol car, a new generation of micro-UAVs is being recruited to replace police helicopters costing $1.7m and up.
AeroVironment Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Featured On BBC News
December 29, 2011
Private companies are developing smaller, more sophisticated unmanned military drones to be used for air strikes or reconnaissance missions.
The technology is big business in the US and California has become a hub for designing and building the devices.
And as Alastair Leithead reports, they could soon be used in the US as well as abroad.
Top 7 ‘Breakthrough’ Military Weapons
December 26, 2011
A kamikaze drone, developed by military contractor AeroVironment, fits easily into a backpack, can be guided via real-time video to hunt down enemies and explode on impact.
Drone Maker Came of Age After 9/11 Attacks
December 26, 2011
Drone maker AeroVironment Inc. came of age during America's post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
They were the right conflicts at the right time for the Monrovia-based defense contractor, which designs, develops and manufactures drones in Simi Valley, company officials said.
Because of the nature of those wars, in which U.S. troops faced small groups of adversaries embedded in civilian populations or hiding in agricultural areas and caves, drones--or as AeroVironment prefers to call them, small unmanned aircraft systems--proved to be an essential tool in the military's arsenal.
Energy Companies Eyeing Drones to Survey Pipelines
December 18, 2011
New regulatory recommendations expected to be released by the Federal Aviation Administration soon could allow oil-and-gas companies to purchase light-weight unmanned drones akin to those used by the military.
Energy companies already use remotely operated vehicles to monitor and manipulate wells at extreme underwater depths, and unmanned aircraft companies hope that in the coming years, companies will be able to hire or buy aerial drones to survey pipelines, check on hard-to-reach parts of platforms and gather information after an offshore accident occurs.
AeroVironment Profiled in Bloomberg Businessweek
December 08, 2011
Flight of the Warbots
How a save-the-earth maker of solar-powered aircraft became the world's most prolific manufacturer of military drones.
The members of Apache Troop couldn't see a thing. It was August 2010, 0200 hours. About 120 U.S. and Iraqi soldiers were silently spreading out over a remote farm in northwestern Iraq. Their objective: a mud hut where, according to intelligence reports, two suicide bombers were planning an attack on a checkpoint to coincide with the end of Ramadan. But the allied soldiers, even wearing night vision goggles, couldn't locate the hut; eight-foot-tall sunflowers obscured their view.
LA Times: Idea of Civilians Using Drone Aircraft May Soon Fly With FAA
November 27, 2011
The Federal Aviation Administration plans to propose new rules for the use of small drones in January, a first step toward clearing the way for police departments, farmers and others to employ the technology.
Unmanned Aircraft: Bringing A Switchblade To A Knife Fight
November 18, 2011
In a recent story for Bloomberg Businessweek, Tony Capaccio, one of the best defense reporters in Washington, broke the story about the use by Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan of a Switchblade. As the capitalization of the word might indicate, the Switchblade to which I am referring is not the knife made famous in Hollywood B movies. Rather, it is an ingenious, miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is also a weapon. According to Capaccio's sources, just under a dozen Switchblades have been employed to date with great effect and SOF has asked for almost a dozen more. The fielding of Switchblade is the leading edge of what is likely to be the broader, even wholesale, weaponization of unmanned systems.
LA Times: Southland Aerospace Innovations Snag Magazine Awards
November 18, 2011
Southern California's aerospace technology has recently received national recognition.
This week's Time magazine cover features Monrovia-based drone maker AeroVironment Inc.'s Nano Hummingbird as one of the best inventions of 2011.
TIME Magazine “50 Best Inventions of 2011”
November 17, 2011
Don't be fooled by its colorful exterior. This tiny Hummingbird is actually a surveillance prototype for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, developed by the California based AeroVironment. The Hummingbird - officially called the Nano Air Vehicle - is among 50 new inventions, which appear in the new issue of TIME.
Popular Science: Nano Hummingbird Receives “Best of What’s New in 2011” Award & “Grand Award Winner
November 16, 2011
Nano was selected as the "Grand Award Winner" for the Security category.
Most flying robots use rotors or propellers, limiting the craft's ability to maneuver in tight places. The Nano Hummingbird navigates by changing the angle and shape of its paper-thin wings - which beat 20 to 40 times per second - and can hover in place for up to 11 minutes. It is also small enough to fly through windows or other small openings, strong enough to carry a microphone or camera, and stable enough to maintain a highly controlled hover, even in gusts of wind.
Big Ideas Need Time To Develop
November 08, 2011
Nov 08, 2011 (The Salina Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- There are lots of great ideas, but turning one into a usable -- and sellable -- product can take years, if not decades.
That was part of the message from Tim Conver, chairman and CEO of AeroVironment, a California-based company known worldwide for its innovations.
AeroVironment Talks Small UAS on Federal News Radio
October 27, 2011
Drones - officially known as unmanned aerial systems - have patrolled the U.S.-Mexico border and targeted terrorist leaders halfway across the world. Someday fighters and bombers will likely even be unmanned.
And now one company has learned how to downsize the latest weapon of war to a size small enough to fit in a soldier's backpack.
Popular Mechanics: Nano Hummingbird Receives 2011 Breakthrough Award
October 03, 2011
Flight, Reimagined: The First Robotic Hummingbird
No thrusters, no propellers, just flapping wings. These Breakthrough innovators embraced the challenge of building a tiny aircraft under those constraints. Their creation, a machine that look and flies just like a hummingbird, shows the wild potential of tiny remote-controlled aircraft.
US Geological Survey Uses Raven to Monitor River Erosion on Indian Reservation
September 22, 2011
The US Geological Survey has just released this video of its Raven flights to monitor river bank erosion on the Lower Brule reservation on the bank of the Missouri River that we reported in August.The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe (LBST) Environmental Protection Office asked the USGS for assistance in monitoring erosion of the Missouri River shoreline on the Lower Brule Reservation.
“Spy in the Sky” - AV’s UAS Featured on KTLA
September 06, 2011
MSNBC: Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems - The Future of Technology
September 06, 2011
The Economist: Joining The Drones Club
August 15, 2011
THE future of air power is likely to be unmanned. It may also be surprisingly small. Reapers and Predators grab the headlines, but these big, high-profile drones are already outnumbered by small and cheap but capable craft.
One good example is the RQ-11B Raven, made by AeroVironment of Monrovia, California, and widely used by America's armed forces. It looks like a model aircraft. When disassembled it fits into a backpack. Launching it is just a matter of snapping the parts together and throwing it into the air, whence it is carried aloft by an electric propeller. It weighs just two kilograms. That means the American army's entire annual purchase of almost 1,300 Ravens is lighter than a single fully armed Reaper. Pilots might dismiss Ravens as radio-controlled toys, but they are popular with soldiers and more are being rushed to Afghanistan.
Coming Soon: Hummingbird-sized Drone
July 15, 2011
AV's Nano Hummingbird UAS featured on Fox News.
Scientists Use AV’s Puma AE UAS to Study Stellar Sea Lions in Alaska
July 07, 2011
Between June 14-15, researchers from the Poker Flat Research Range tested the AeroVironment Puma AE, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that they hope will aide scientists in studying the decline in western Alaska's Stellar sea lion population.
Time Magazine: Gears Of War: Inside America’s Incredible Military Arsenal
June 28, 2011
From high-tech stealth bombers, to the latest night-vision rifles and assault helicopters, the U.S. armed forces have the most sophisticated military hardware in the world. Here are some of the niftiest pieces of equipment used in recent missions from Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya to the Osama bin Laden raid in Pakistan.
RQ-11 Raven Drone, Puma AE Drone, Wasp Drone
Army Surging Hundreds of Small UAV’s to Afghanistan
June 24, 2011
Even as President Obama draws up plans to start bringing some combat troops home form Afghanistan next month, the reality is the vast majority of troops aren't going anywhere for at least another year. As a result, the Army is sticking with its plans to surge hundreds of hand-launched Raven and Puma unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to Afghanistan this summer
American Micro-Drones As Small As A Humming Bird
June 20, 2011
American military engineers are developing a new generation of aerial micro-drones, shrinking the unmanned aircraft to the size of insects and birds.
Black Sea Rotational Force 11 Brings the Raven to Romania
June 06, 2011
BUZAU, Romania - Recently, U.S. Marines and soldiers with Black Sea Rotational Force 11 travelled to Buzau, Romania, to provide the Romanian army a familiarization course to display the capabilities of the Raven-B, unmanned aerial vehicle.
This familiarization course was presented over five days and was split between classroom lectures and practical application exercises, where Romanian soldiers were given some stick time on the Raven system.