AeroVironment RQ-20 PUMA
AeroVironment RQ-20 PUMA

AeroVironment RQ-20 PUMA

Easy UAV RQ-20 Puma was developed by Aero Vironment (USA) and made its first flight in 2007 year. The project was carried out on the basis of drone FQM-151 Pointer. At the time of its creation also used the experience of the development of UAV Raven.

RQ-20 Puma is a small reconnaissance aircraft that can be launched directly from the hand. The device can conduct flights under the guidance of the operator or in an automatic mode, relying on GPS-navigation data. Compared with its predecessors, the UAV is characterized almost in 2 times by the increased flight duration. As part of the US Air Force's test program aimed at creating new power sources for UAVs, it showed the largest flight duration in the class of its class, equal to 9 hours. On board the unmanned vehicle can be up to four surveillance cameras, two of which are infrared and two optical.

In addition to the basic version of the UAV, the firm Aero Vironment also developed its upgraded version. The updated version of the unmanned called RQ-20A Puma AE. Its mission is to conduct of marine and terrestrial exploration. UAV is equipped with a set of waterproof infrared and optical cameras and high-expansion is able to sit in a near vertical position in the water and the earth's surface. Starting RQ-20A Puma AE is made with hands. In the management of the UAV uses standard portable consoles.

In July 2008, a contract was signed for the supply by Aero Vironment of the RQ-20A Puma AE UAV systems to the US Special Operations Command. The cost of the first batch of drones is $ 6 million. The needs for the purchase of this complex by various American structures are estimated at $ 200 million. 

Features of Puma UAV lies in the fact that the deployment of complex and pre-flight take away only a few minutes and does not require the launch pad equipment or runway made in the form of a throw with his hands. Thanks to sophisticated design with the placement of the bow propeller and large wingspan, this machine can take off even with complete calm.

UAV design allows quick replacement of the onboard controller, electric motor and other elements in the field. This advantage is especially important during the military operations.

In 2013 year manufacturer Aero Vironment presented a pilot version of the UAV, energizes sunlight. The prototype of Puma, runs on solar energy was in its ultra-thin solar panels equipping Alta Devices, which provide the optimal balance between the weight of UAV and power generation efficiency. Takeoff weight drone is about 5,9 kg, making it easy to transport. Move the machine from one place to another by a single person.

According to data obtained from the tests, and the flight of the UAV Solar was more than 9 hours. This is a great indicator that allows the UAV to effectively carry out its task. The drone does not require a special launcher for take-off, and the use of durable waterproof housing provides high reliability of the device.

According to the vice-president of Aero Vironment Roy Minson, the implementation of automatic flight using solar energy - the most important achievement that benefits a variety of security services, military and commercial organizations.

Interestingly, the Puma UAV is allowed to operate for commercial purposes in the arctic zone. The release of these solar-powered drones began in 2014. 

AeroVironment RQ-20 PUMA. Characteristics:

Modification   RQ-20A
Wingspan, m   2.80
Length m   1.40
Height, m  
Weight, kg  
  takeoff   6.1
engine's type   1 ED
Power, hp   1 x
Maximum speed km / h   83
Cruising speed, km / h   37
Practical range, km   15
The duration of the flight, ch.min   3.30
Practical ceiling, m   152


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