Aerosonde UAV

The Aerosonde 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 UAV was developed by American company Insitu, Inc., and is now manufactured by Australian-based company Aerosonde Ltd, which is a strategic business of American firm AAI Corporation (AAI was acquired by American industrial conglomerate Textron in 2007).[1-3][6]

Aerosonde UAV
Aerosonde UAV.   [4] 1

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.[1]

Specification of the Aerosonde UAV: [1]     
Length, m    1.7
Wingspan, m    2.9
Height, m    0.6
Weight, kg    13.1
Maximum speed, km/h    140
Range, km    3000
Ceiling, m    4500
Engine Type    modified Enya R120, 1.74 hp (1280 W)

On August 21, 1998, a Phase 1 Aerosonde nicknamed “Laima” (after the ancient Latvian deity of good fortune) completed a 3,270 km flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Launched from a roof rack of a moving car, Laima flew from Newfoundland, Canada to Benbecula, an island off the coast of Scotland in 26 hours 45 minutes in stormy weather, using approximately 5.7 litres of gasoline (petrol). Other than for take-off and landing, the flight was autonomous, without external control, at an altitude of 1,680 meters.[1]

The flight of Aerosonde Laima was the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by a UAV. Aerosondes have also been the first unmanned aircraft to penetrate tropical cyclones, with an initial mission in 2001 followed by eye penetrations in 2005. The Aereosonde Mark 4.4 has been designated XMQ-19A by the U.S. military.[1]



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