AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) has delivered two UAS systems, Aerosonde Mark 4.7 small unmanned aircraft systems and Orbiter Miniature UAS to the US Army’s Communications-Electronics research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC).
These UAS were delivered under the cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) which is signed between AAI and CERDEC for a period of five years. Under this agreement, AAI and CERDEC will be working together on different payloads that can be used on three different UAS, namely, tactical, miniature and small otherwise known as Groups 3, 2 and 1.
A meeting was conducted between AAI and CERDEC to exchange technical ideas for the payload integration on the Aerosonde (Group 2) and the Orbiter (Group 1) systems. Some of the payloads that were being discussed for integration were sensors, communications and signals intelligence. Pre-delivery inspection of the UAS was conducted by the AAI flight crew. After the payload integration was completed successfully, the AAI UAS operators will proceed with the capability demonstration of the flights. AAI has a successful track record of integrating payloads onto the Aerosonde UAS; it has integrated electronic, meteorological, warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance payloads so far. The modular architecture of Aerosonde Mark 4.7 is suited for expeditions that require large and different types of payloads. The Orbiter on the other hand produces acoustic signature of minimum size with the help of electric power. The Orbiter is being used in many military and law enforcement applications.