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AeroVironment to deploy SUAS for DACA NOI
AeroVironment has announced that it will employ its small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS) to demonstrate aerial communications capabilities for the US Federal Communications Commission’s Deployable Aerial Communications Architecture (DACA) Notice of Inquiry (NOI) proceeding. The company made the announcement 24 May, 2012.
The DACA NOI is examining the ability to re-establish communications rapidly using aerial platform technology following a natural or man-made disaster that renders existing communications networks unusable. According to the company, AeroVironment will support the DACA programme by conducting demonstrations using its family of portable, hand-launched SUAS for airborne communication relay.
The demonstrations will utilise AeroVironment’s Digital Data Link (DDL), a standard component of its SUAS, as well as third party communications payloads to connect users with data and voice over long distances. AeroVironmnet said the DDL enables encrypted, beyond-line-of-sight voice, video, data and text communication through each UAV and ground station, and will provide broadband network connectivity for the DACA demonstration. Off-the-shelf communication relay payloads carried by the SUAS will enable hand-held public safety and emergency response radios to communicate with one another over long distances or beyond-line-of-sight, and without ground-based antennas or repeaters.
AeroVironment will work with the FCC to obtain appropriate experimental licenses, coordinate the demonstrations, and showcase how portable, rapidly deployable and affordable SUAS technology can be used to support the DACA mission.
The company’s family of SUAS include the RQ-11B Raven, Wasp AE, RQ-20A Puma and Shrike VTOL, all of which with a common ground control system (GCS). Transportable in a backpack or vehicle and operated using a hand-held control unit, AeroVironment’s SUAS can be assembled and launched in less than five minutes and can fly for between 45 minutes and two hours, depending on the model.
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