The Aerosonde Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS) is a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed to collect weather data, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, and wind measurements over oceans and remote areas. The Aerosonde was developed by Insitu, and is now manufactured by Aerosonde Ltd, which is a division of Textron. The Aerosonde is powered by a modified Enya R120 model aircraft engine, and carries on board a small computer, meteorological instruments, and a GPS receiver for navigation. It is also used by the United States Armed Forces for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR).
Designed for expeditionary land- and sea-based operations and equipped for simultaneous day-and-night full-motion video, communications relay and intelligence in a single flight, the Aerosonde SUAS delivers reliable, multimission performance in a class by itself. Textron Systems’ Aerosonde SUAS is field-proven over more than 150,000 flight hours, including desert heat and Arctic cold. Equipped for day/night full-motion video, communications relay, signals intelligence and a customer selected payload in a single flight, the aircraft offers up to 200 watts of payload power for true multi-mission flexibility. We couple that capability with numerous business models including full system sales with training services, turnkey fee-for-service operations, and a hybrid business model that includes hands-on training during operations.
Aerosonde Ltd is an Australian-based developer and manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles, including the AAI Corporation Aerosonde series. The company has customers in Australia, Asia and North America who use its vehicles for reconnaissance and meteorological applications. The company gained prominence on 21 August 1998 when an Aerosonde “Laima” became the first unmanned aerial vehicle to cross the North Atlantic, covering a 3270 km route in a time of 26 hrs 45 min. On 22 June 2006, Aerosonde Ltd was acquired by the AAI Corporation. AAI was acquired in 2007 by Textron. By November 2015, Textron Systems was performing Aerosonde operations in “eight or nine” countries for its users, including the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and SOCOM, as well as for commercial users consisting of a customer in the oil and gas industry.