AeroVironment, Inc., a global leader in intelligent, multi-domain robotic systems, today introduced Puma™ VNS, a visual-based navigation system for Puma 2 AE and Puma 3 AE small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS) that will enable GPS-denied navigation across increasingly GPS-contested environments. The system will provide operators with continually advanced navigation capabilities, features and functionality through anticipated software and hardware updates. The system will also enable the integration of future autonomy capabilities. Puma VNS is available as an add-on option for new Puma 3 AE system orders and as a retrofit kit for fielded Puma 2 AE and Puma 3 AE systems.
“Puma VNS gives operators an unprecedented advantage in the battlefield,” said Trace Stevenson, AeroVironment vice president and product line general manager for SUAS. “Operators now can execute missions with more confidence in GPS-contested environment with the system’s new navigational capabilities.”
The next-generation navigation system features a suite of down-looking sensors that gather imagery data and track features on the ground, as well as an embedded compute module to process and determine the precise location of an aircraft while it is in flight. The system automatically transitions to and from GPS-denied navigation mode without any input from the operator. The third-generation Puma 3 delivers mission critical ISR in all environments. Redesigned to deliver class-leading performance, the lightweight group 1 UAS features a reinforced airframe with an optional under wing transit bay for secondary payloads and third-party applications.
AeroVironment, Inc. is an American defense contractor headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, that designs and manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Dr. Paul B. MacCready Jr., a designer of human-powered aircraft, founded the company in 1971. The company is best known for its lightweight human-powered and solar-powered vehicles. The company is the US military’s top supplier of small drones — notably the Raven, Switchblade, Wasp and Puma models. In January 2021, the company acquired Arcturus UAV, the manufacturer of the Arcturus T-20 UAV for US$405m.