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AeroVironment To Develop Stealthy, Persistent, Perch And Stare UAS

Wasp Beach Launch. Credit: AeroVironment.
by Staff Writers
Monrovia CA (SPX) Aug 22, 2008
AeroVironment has announced the receipt of $4.6 million in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) capable of performing "hover/perch and stare" missions.

The Stealthy, Persistent, Perch and Stare (SP2S) UAS is based on AV's small Wasp UAS, a one-pound, 29-inch wingspan battery-powered air vehicle that is being procured and deployed by both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Marine Corps.

The goal of the Stealthy, Persistent, Perch and Stare program is to develop the technology to enable an entirely new generation of perch-and-stare micro air vehicles capable of flying to difficult targets, landing on and securing to a "perch" position, conducting sustained, perch-and-stare surveillance missions, and then re-launching from its perch and returning to its home base.

"A UAS that performs hover/perch and stare missions is viewed as an important capability for our armed forces," said John Grabowsky, AV executive vice president and general manager of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

"Our production Wasp incorporates the latest technologies to provide a day and night capable, hand-launched UAS that fits into a standard backpack while still providing room for other important supplies. We believe that the Wasp-based SP2S, operated with our joint, common ground control unit, is on track to develop into a portable, practical and affordable perch-and-stare micro air vehicle," he added.

U.S. armed forces including the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and USSOCOM, as well as international forces such as those of Italy, Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands, use AV's hand-launched UAS and handheld ground control unit for missions that include base security, route reconnaissance, mission planning, battle damage assessment and force protection.

Raven, Wasp and Puma AE each have won full and open competitions sponsored by agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense, becoming the sole small UAS for their respective programs of record. AV has delivered more than 10,000 new, replacement and refurbished small unmanned aircraft to date.

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