The first airborne science mission of the American Aerospace and Texas A&M University was completed by flying the Recon unmanned aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico. The mission was completed under a Certificate of Authorization (COA) issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The Recon System 16 was flown over a secluded part of the Padre Island National Seashore six times on October 10. David Yoel, CEO of American Aerospace Advisors (AAAI). The RS-16 was developed by the Airborne Systems Group of AAAI.
The RS-16 Unmanned Aircraft makes use of an unmanned aircraft having a wing span of 13 ft which enables it to stay in the air up to 16 h consuming less than two gallons of fuel. The aircraft is connected to the RS-16 Mobile Command Center and provides live infrared videos of places on the map with a high degree of resolution. The aircraft can accommodate different science payloads that establish communication between widely spaced ground radios. The aircraft can traverse over 500 sq.mi. to the south of Corpus Christi according to the COA. The American Aerospace had developed the RS-16 system primarily for civil and scientific missions. Yoel stated that it is a completely self-operative mobile system which accommodates ground support equipment, mobile command center, payloads and spare parts. He also that the RS-16 was designed to perform civil missions effectively and that the team’s operations professionals formulated the processes and techniques to efficiently and securely deliver needed results complying with FAA regulations.