AeronVironment Inc has announced a new 360o Multi- Sector Antenna (MSA) for its Puma AE small unmanned aircraft. The company says the MSA provides naval operators, “with immediate tactical situational awareness, while eliminating the need to redirect the vessel or reconfigure the direction of an antenna to maintain an effective communication link”.
The MSA features an integrated array of 24 high-gain auto selective antennas. The antenna analyses downlink data quality and automatically switches between antenna patches to give continuous command and control coverage within a 37-nautical mile (20km) nominal range. Additionally, it assists with mission planning by providing real-time moving map, high resolution imagery and contact status capability.
The new 360 MSA is currently available in M3/M4/M6 DDL radio frequency operating bands. AeroVironment Inc said it would undertake capability demonstrations in early summer 2019 and begin taking orders in the autumn.
As well as the MSA, AeronVironment Inc also now offers a Long Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA) for the maritime environment, which features an automated 360o two-axis positioner tracking function. The LRTA enables the Puma AE to operate at ranges of up to approximately 111 nautical miles (60km).