Lightweight, Portable Antenna Array Kit to Control Unmanned Aircraft Systems

AeroVironment, a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), has added an Extended Range Antenna (ERA), to its growing line of network connectivity solutions. It is a lightweight, portable antenna array kit designed to integrate seamlessly with AeroVironment’s standard RF head antenna to support a diverse range of missions.

By adding the ERA kit to their existing AeroVironment RF antenna, UAS flight operators can immediately expand their operational capabilities, gaining actionable battlefield intelligence at greater stand-off range to maximize their stealth and safety. When used in combination with other AeroVironment network connectivity options, the ERA provides an enhanced level of operational flexibility. This enables teams to coordinate command and control transfer of UAS, such as Puma LE, easily over greater distances, maximizing the aircraft’s multi-mission capabilities, in day or night operations, across dynamically changing environments.

The ERA add-on kit narrows the antenna beam width, extending the command and control range up to 40 kilometers (24.9 miles) with minimal impact to its size, weight and power (SWAP) footprint. Similar to the standard RF head antenna, the ERA needs to be manually positioned. The included RF Unit switch allows users to toggle between the omnidirectional mode, for short-range operations, and the extended range mode, for longer-range operations. The ERA supports both M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 Digital Data Link (DDL) operating bands.

“AeroVironment continues to incorporate direct customer and user feedback into our product development investments to address increasingly complex and dynamic mission requirements,” said Rick Pedigo, AeroVironment vice president of sales and business development. “Not only do operators benefit from available options in terms of UAS capabilities, but they can also benefit from a selection of antenna options that are portable, easy to operate and provide extended range and multi-mission capabilities.”

Further expanding its connectivity solutions, AeroVironment recently announced updates to its Long Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA), which it now offers in two versions to support M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 DDL frequency bands. AeroVironment’s network connectivity product line includes the pocketable, short-range pDDL (5 km), standard RF antenna (20 km), ERA (40 km) and LRTA (60 km) capabilities in both M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 bands.

Click here to learn more about the AeroVironment’s network connectivity solutions.