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Source: AeroVironment Inc.

Inside The Ingenuity Helicopter: Teamwork on Mars

July 08, 2021

April 19th saw what some have christened “a second Wright Brothers moment”—namely, the successful first powered controlled flight by an aircraft on another world. Reaching Mars on the underside of the Perseverance rover, the tiny, autonomous Mars Ingenuity Helicopter (5.4" x 7.7" x 6.4") spun its 4-foot rotors and hovered 10 feet off the ground for 30 seconds. By its third flight, a few days later, Ingenuity would rise 16 feet (5 meters) up, and fly 164 feet (50 meters) at a top speed of 6.6 ft/sec (2 m/sec). Back in 1903, the Wright Brothers logged 120 feet to complete the first controlled heavier-than-air powered flight. Now, squaring that circle, Ingenuity carries a piece of fab-ric from the Wright Flyer’s wing, and its flight site is called Wright Brothers Field.

Six weeks and six flights into its mission as we write, Ingenuity has demonstrated the ability to fly on a planet more than 170 million miles from earth in an atmosphere 1% as thick as ours. The near-miniature ve-hicle has proved to be an intrepid explorer even as it’s survived a computer anomaly on its most recent mission. Talk about punching above your weight.


Source: AeroVironment Inc.
  • Provides a standardized user experience (UX) across multiple air vehicles, communication platforms and end-user devices for streamlined operation and deployment
  • Improves battlefield communication and collaboration by enabling users to easily share real-time information and coordinate mission-critical decisions
  • Builds upon AeroVironment’s legacy ground control system (GCS) and adapts to today’s network-centric battlefield environment

ARLINGTON, Va. July 7, 2021 – AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in intelligent, multi-domain robotic systems, today introduced Crysalis™, the company’s next-generation ground control solution. Crysalis is an integrated hardware and software-based ground control system (GCS) that provides command and control of compatible AeroVironment unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and their payloads, through an intuitive user experience (UX).

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Source: AeroVironment Inc.

According to information released by the British Navy on June 24, 2021, Puma drone has been used by the British Navy to support HMS Albion amphibious transport dock and Royal Marines of 45 Commando as part of the Littoral Response Group (North) deployment to the North and Baltic Seas, including during their participation in the large-scale Baltops exercises alongside militaries from 17 other nations.

The RQ-20 Puma is a small, electrically powered, American, hand-launched unmanned aircraft system produced by the American company AeroVironment based in California. The Puma AE can operate under extreme weather conditions including temperatures ranging from −20 to 120 °F (−29 to 49 °C), wind speeds up to 25 knots (29 mph; 46 km/h), and an inch of rain per hour.

The Puma is just over 1.35 m long, with a wingspan of 2.75 m. It can fly at a maximum altitude of 500ft and has a maximum speed of 83km/h and range of 15km. The flight endurance of the UAS is two hours.

The payload of the Puma includes an electro-optical (EO), infrared (IR) camera, and IR Illuminator. It can be used to conduct reconnaissance and intelligence gathering missions over sea or land. The drone can monitor an area larger than the size of Greater Manchester during its flights, feeding back real-time footage to help sailors and Royal Marines make accurate tactical decisions.

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Source: AeroVironment Inc.

Future of Drones: AeroVironment’s Wahid Nawabi talks about the Mars helicopter and the industrial uses for unmanned aircraft

June 22, 2021

While there are other companies in the world that make drones and ground robots, none of those companies just focus on those technologies. That’s according to Wahid Nawabi, chief executive of AeroVironment Inc., the Simi Valley robotics company that made history this spring as the inventor of Ingenuity, the first aircraft to fly on another planet, in this case Mars. At AeroVironment, the focus is only on robots – originally drones, and increasingly ground robots and even underwater robots, said Nawabi, who joined the company in 2011 and took the top job five years ago. AeroVironment recently announced it would relocate its headquarters from Simi Valley to Arlington, Va. effective June 15.


Source: AeroVironment Inc.

Unmanned aircraft firm AeroVironment, Inc. this week announced the relocation of its corporate headquarters from Simi Valley to Arlington, Virginia.

But officials with the defense contractor – in the spotlight recently for its role in the creation of NASA's Mars Ingenuity helicopter – said it will keep its former headquarters at 900 Innovators Way open for business. It will also continue operations at its three other Simi Valley facilities and one in Moorpark.

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Source: AeroVironment Inc.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif., June 15, 2021 – AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in intelligent, multi-domain robotic systems, today announced the relocation of its corporate headquarters from Simi Valley, Calif. to Arlington, Va., effective June 15, 2021.

“The greater Washington D.C. area is where many of our key customers are located, and expanding our presence in the region will further our access to decision makers, influencers and talent,” said Wahid Nawabi, AeroVironment president and chief executive officer. “Our recent acquisition of Progeny Systems ISG and our new Artificial Intelligence Innovation Center expand our footprint near the Beltway and build on our momentum as we continue to grow our portfolio and global scope. We look forward to growing our Washington, D.C. presence and continuing to serve our customers with solutions that help them Proceed with Certainty.” 

AeroVironment will maintain its presence and existing operations in Simi Valley, Calif. and other existing sites across the United States and in Germany.

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Source: AeroVironment Inc.

Drones in the air can now partner with robots on the ground. CNBC’s Jane Wells reports from Moorpark, California, on changes coming to the drone industry.

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Source: AeroVironment Inc.

HMS Tamar made extensive use of small Puma aircraft during trials with the Royal Marines and the Met Police as the ship practices for ‘constabulary duties’ when she deploys for the first time this summer.

Although Tamar has a flight deck, she doesn’t carry a helicopter on a regular basis – there’s no hangar, so Merlin and Wildcat helicopters only use the ship for refuelling, collecting supplies or making a short stop.

The Puma could fulfil some of the helicopter’s intelligence-gathering role – with its 50-times zoom camera it feeds live footage back to a mother ship at ranges up to a dozen miles.

Building on their experiences aboard HMS Albion in the Mediterranean last year, a team from 700X Naval Air Squadron – the Fleet Air Arm’s only pilotless squadron – brought their drone to Tamar.

Just over 4½ft long, with a wingspan of 9ft and weighing as much as six bags of sugar, Puma can survey an area of up to 270 square miles of ocean – that’s larger than Greater Manchester – looking for suspicious activity during sorties lasting up to 2½ hours.

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Source: AeroVironment Inc.

On Friday, May 7, the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter left both Wright Brothers Field and the Perseverance Rover behind. Flying for 110 seconds, Ingenuity traveled 423 feet at a new height of 33 feet, capturing high resolution color images before landing at its new Red Planet home, which bears the tepid but significant name Airfield B. Ingenuity had become an operational scout in addition to its original role as a technology demonstrator.

In previous reports, key members of the AeroVironment team talked with Inside Unmanned Systems about the company’s development of Ingenuity’s airframe and some major subsystems, its collaborations with NASA, JPL and other aviation/aerospace companies, and the challenges involved with learning to fly in Mars’ rarified atmosphere.

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Mars Ingenuity Press Event

May 13, 2021

Join us for a replay of our Mars Helicopter press event that includes the unveiling of the Earth Copter, the only working twin of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter that can fly in Earth’s gravity and atmosphere. This event includes a demo of the Earth Copter and the Nano Hummingbird along with Q&A.


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