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New sensor payload for Raven unveiled

April 2, 2012 at 12:35 PM

NASHVILLE, April 2 (UPI) -- A new modular, gimbaled sensor payload for the RQ-11B Raven unmanned aerial vehicle has been debuted by AeroVironment of Maryland.

The new payload will give the small UAV improved visuals and improved target tracking capability, the company said.

"Operators rely on the portable Raven system to provide critical, live aerial video that gives troops situational awareness, whenever and wherever they need it," said Tom Herring, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of AeroVironment's Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.

"Our new mini-gimbal payload significantly increases the Raven system's capability and can be quickly and easily integrated into the thousands of digitally enabled air vehicles already deployed.

"The net result is a more capable solution for protecting and serving the warfighter for a fraction of the cost of a new system."

The new sensor payload was presented Monday at the Army Aviation Association of America Annual Professional Forum and Exposition in Nashville and is one of four products offered in AeroVironment's "Mantis" suite of gimbaled sensor payloads. It includes a high-resolution color and an infrared thermal video sensor and a laser illuminator integrated into a multi-axis sphere capable of continuous pan.

AeroVironment said it will be a standard component of future Raven systems, replacing separate Raven system payloads previously required for day and night operation. It will also be provided as a system upgrade.

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