Case Studies

Page 1 of 1

"For AeroVironment, success came as a result of four core elements: innovation, simplicity/elegance of design, reliability, and customer collaboration," said Scott Newbern, AeroVironment's chief technology officer. Newbern, who has been with the company since 1997, identified these core elements as the foundation that launched AeroVironment into the global, small, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) business. 

According to Newbern, the innovative spirit has been a distinct characteristic among AeroVironment employees since the company's inception. "Back in the early days, many employees were aviation enthusiasts in one way or another," he stated, "and some were world champions competing in aircraft modeling events around the world. 

View More

A human-powered airplane built by Dr. Paul MacCready, Jr.

Dr. Paul MacCready, Jr., had an unorthodox approach to aviation design, one that paid high dividends throughout his lifetime. His philosophy was to design and build for quick iteration, and he is quoted as saying, “Find a faster way to fail, recover, and try again.” That methodology certainly worked for the design of the Gossamer Condor, the first successful human-powered aircraft.

In 1959, British industrialist Henry Kremer put out a challenge to build a human-powered airplane and attached a substantial monetary prize for the winner. For 18 years, nobody could do it. Dr. MacCready was up for the challenge. Only six months after attempting his aircraft design, a pilot successfully flew the Gossamer Condor. The difference? While others needed a year’s worth of effort for each test flight, Dr. MacCready created a plane that he could fly, fix, and fly again in just a few hours.

View More

It wasn't enough for AeroVironment engineers to design drones for use on Earth - they had their sights set on something even bigger. 

Since 2013, AeroVironment's team of innovative engineers from our MacCready Works laboratory has been working with NASA/JPL to design and develop the first Mars drone - a helicopter that will be carried by the Mars 2020 rover. Its name is Ingenuity. The rover was designed and built by NASA/JPL and was recently named Perseverance, or Percy for short. Percy is scheduled to launch in July 2020 and arrive on Mars in early 2021.

The Mars helicopter is a small, autonomous rotorcraft that weighs 4 lbs. (1.8 kg). Its purpose is to demonstrate the viability of aerial robots for planetary exploration.

View More

Are you familiar with e-waste? Can you think of how e-waste is a part of your life? E-waste, or electronic waste, is the popular term loosely used for electronic products nearing the end of their "useful life." Common e-waste products include TVs, VCRs, printers, computers, monitors, cell phones, and copy machines.

Rapid advances in technology and an expanding demand for new features accelerate the obsolescence of "old" electronics, increasing the volume of e-waste. Constant turnover can result in improper disposal, which leaves tons of salvageable materials such as precious metals, plastics, and glass, as well as hazardous chemicals, in landfills.

View More

AeroVironment makes an impact on local schools through its Corporate Social Responsibility Program

As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Program, AeroVironment continued its commitment to making an impact in the community in 2019 by earmarking money for the Simi Valley Education Foundation's (SVEF) annual Enhancements Grant Program. AeroVironment chose to fund grants specifically for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-related projects throughout the Simi Valley Unified School District. Money was awarded based on grant requests written by teachers for enhancement of education in their classrooms. Distributed funds were presented in person at each school for immediate use.

View More

AeroVironment's Puma AE Makes Historical Debut to Assist with Navigation through Icy Waters

Puma AE made history in 2016! Never before had an unmanned aircraft system been used by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star for its annual Deep Freeze mission to Antarctica's McMurdo Sound. Every year, this heavy icebreaker travels to the Sound to open up the shipping lanes needed to resupply the National Science Foundation's McMurdo Station and other facilities on Ross Island.

View More

How the National Park Service Acquired Actionable Data Using Quantix UAS

It's been over a year since the devastating Woolsey Fire burned more than 96,000 acres across Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. The fire destroyed 88% of National Park Service land within the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area and set in motion a need for an environmental impact study to assess fire damage in key areas of the park. The National Park Service reached out to AeroVironment for assistance, and the flight operation's team began flying Quantix as soon as the park service clearance was obtained.

View More

Bahamas Relief Operation

December 20, 2019

AeroVironment Team Supported Hurricane Dorian Aid Efforts 

"The Damage was unimaginable." said AeroVironment Flight Operations Manager Eric Thompson as he surveilled the destruction from Hurrican Dorian on Abaco - a small group of islands in the northern Bahamas. "When we arrived, we could see that the hurricane had destroyed everything in its path."

View More

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has set out to find ways to build artificial intelligence (AI) systems that are as efficient at computing and processing as the brain of small flying insects. DARPA wants to explore cutting-edge technology that involves the study of insect brains and their ability to react to the world around them with minimal computation.

View More