New Puma 3 Upgraded for Operation in More Challenging Radio Frequency Environments
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — AeroVironment Inc. is now taking orders for its new Puma 3 small unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the company announced March 26 at the AUSA Global Force Symposium.
“We are in constant communication with our customers to ensure they have the most innovative and advanced small drones to successfully complete their missions,” said David Sharpin, vice president of AeroVironment’s Tactical UAS business. “As a result of their feedback, the new Puma 3 includes air vehicle upgrades for operation in even more rugged environments than before, improved ability to support advanced third-party payloads and software applications and reliability in challenging electronic warfare/cyber environments where interference is prevalent.”
AeroVironment upgraded the Puma’s airframe to enable robust operation of its i45 electro-optical/infrared sensor suite with signals intelligence payloads in harsh and demanding environments. In addition, the Puma 3 incorporates AeroVironment’s latest digital data link with security upgrades to support operation in more challenging radio frequency environments, with M1/M2/M5 and M3/M4/M6 frequency bands and with AES-256 encryption.
Sharpin said that, as part of ongoing efforts to stay at the forefront of battery technology, AeroVironment is releasing a new Puma smart battery that is more efficient and includes safety enhancements. AeroVironment also has optimized the portability of Puma from six transport cases to four, with a flyable configuration in a single transport case that features luggage-type handles. All these upgrades are incorporated while maintaining Puma 3’s renowned all-environment capability.
AeroVironment also is developing an upgrade to the RQ-11B Raven, called Raven 3. The upgraded Raven system will incorporate new camera technology into the i23 gimbaled sensor, similar to advancements made to Puma 3 and its i45 gimbal. These upgrades are still in progress.