AeroVironment, Inc., a global leader in intelligent, multi-domain robotic systems, today introduced the Mantis™ i45 N, a multi-sensor nighttime imaging payload compatible with Puma™ 2 AE, Puma™ 3 AE and Puma™ LE small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Lightweight (905 g) and compact, the new Mantis i45 N joins AeroVironment’s expansive Mantis product line of micro-gimbals delivering high-quality video and imagery downlink to UAS operators. Built on the trusted and battlefield proven Mantis i45, the enhanced night variant Mantis i45 N maintains the same housing form-factor, allowing for a quick and simple change-out of payloads between day and night operations. Plug and play operational, no software updates are required for Puma UAS avionics or ground control stations for legacy system compatibility. Mantis i45 N is also natively compatible with AeroVironment’s Crysalis™ next generation ground control solution.
“Today’s battlefield is dynamic and UAS operators increasingly rely on multiple payloads to successfully complete their missions,” said Charles Dean, AeroVironment vice president for global business development and sales of UAS. “The new Mantis i45 N is a game changer during low-light or nighttime ISR operations, delivering increased situational awareness and advanced threat detection in any environment.”
Mantis i45 N is a dual-axis, gyro-stabilized, multi-sensor nighttime imaging payload designed for maximum visibility during low-light or nighttime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations. The next-generation imaging system features improved long-wave IR (LWIR) thermal cameras with narrow-angle 32 mm and wide-angle 9.2 mm IR with 7.6x electronic zoom, allowing operators to capture high-resolution video at extended range. Designed for both superior night and low-light performance, the new imaging system also includes an upgraded 5-megapixel monochrome low-light camera sensor and high-powered 860 nm laser illuminator. Through its advanced suite of sensors, the Mantis i45 N payload allows Puma UAS operators to extend aircraft standoff distance for covert operations.
AeroVironment, Inc. is an American defense contractor headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, that is primarily involved in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Paul B. MacCready Jr., a designer of human-powered aircraft, founded the company in 1971. The company is probably most well known for developing a series of lightweight human-powered and then solar-powered vehicles. AeroVironment is the Pentagon’s top supplier of small drones — including the Raven, Wasp and Puma models. AeroVironment holds a five-year, $4.7 million IDIQ (indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity) contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory for the development of advanced propulsion technologies for UAVs. The contract also provides for specific technological tasks such as integration of solar cells into aircraft wings, electric motor efficiency improvement technologies, and development of hydrogen storage systems for aircraft.