UAS: RQ-20B Puma™ AE

When the Pentagon needed a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) designed for both land and maritime operations, they had to be certain. When the U.S. Coast Guard's Polar Star wanted a better solution to chart the Antarctic ice ahead–and when a firefighter was lost in California's rugged coastal mountains, they too had to be certain of their choice. The same choice for them all–AeroVironment's Puma AE (All Environment).

Capable of both ground and water landings, Puma AE's innovative fuselage provides an operational flexibility never before available in the small UAS class. On the ground, Puma AE is man portable. Its powerful propulsion system and aerodynamic design make launch efficient and easy. But it's in the air where Puma AE quietly and effectively gets to work.

Equipped with both an electro-optical (EO) and infrared (IR) camera and illuminator, Puma AE keeps the operator's "eyes on target". While the precision navigation system with secondary GPS insures positional accuracy up to its 15 km range. An optional under wing transit bay easily integrates third party payloads such as communication relay, geo-location, or laser marker to meet the diverse needs of military or civilian applications.

Operated from AeroVironment's battle-proven ground control station (GCS)–the same that drives our Raven and Wasp UAS platforms–the GCS allows the operator to control the aircraft manually or program it for GPS-based autonomous navigation. Puma AE can deliver 3.5+ hours of flight endurance while versatile smart battery options support diverse mission requirements. A provided plug and play power adapter also makes for easy integration of extended endurance options such as solar wings.

Whether it's on the battlefield or the ice field, on land or at sea, Puma AE provides persistent, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting data (ISRT) so that our customers can proceed with certainty.


AeroVironment BP Oil & Gas Video

FAA grants first-ever over-land restricted type certificate to AeroVironment Puma AE unmanned aircraft for use in day-to-day operations at the BP-operated Prudhoe Bay oil field on Alaska’s North Slope.

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Product Specs

Payloads Gimbaled payload, 360 degree continuous pan, +10 to -90 degrees tilt, stabilized EO, IR camera, and IR Illuminator all in one modular payload
Range 20 km
Endurance 3+ hours with an LE battery
Operating Altitude (Typ.) 500 ft (152 m) AGL
Wing Span 9.2 ft (2.8 m)
Length 4.6 ft (1.4 m)
Weight 14 lbs (6.3 kg)
GCS Common GCS with Raven® and Wasp® AE
Launch Method Hand-launched, rail launch (optional)
Recovery Method Autonomous or manual deep-stall landing

More Information

More Powerful Propulsion System

This more powerful propulsion system makes the new version of the Puma AE significantly more efficient and easier to launch especially in high altitudes and hotter climates.

Increased Capacity for Payloads

The Puma AE Carries a gimbaled payload with a high-resolution electro-optical (EO) 640 x 480 infrared (IR) camera, plus illuminator. An optional under wing Transit Bay is available for easy integration of additional third party payloads such as communications relay, geo locations, or laser marker to meet the diverse needs of military or civilian applications.

Precision Navigation System

AeroVironment's common ground control system allows the operator to control the aircraft manually or program it for GPS-based autonomous navigation using operator-desigated waypoints. The enhanced precision navigation system with secondary GPS provides greater positional accuracy and reliability of the system.

Supports Longer Range ISR Missions

The Puma AE delivers 3+ hours of flight endurance, with versatile smart battery options to support diverse mission requirements. A plug and play power adapter is provided for easy integration of futures extended endurance options such as solar and fuel cell solutions.

Improved Durability / Aerodynamic Design

The Puma AE has been redesigned to make it more aerodynamic with rounded edges to reduce wind drag and and increase launch efficiency. Plus the fuselage is significantly stronger with a reinforced shell construction. The rugged nature of this small UAS enable it to endure landing after landing thereby reducing maintenance costs.