Sunday, January 13, 2013

AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200

| Sunday, January 13, 2013 | 0 comments

AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200
AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200
AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200 is tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used by the United States Army, Marine Corps, Australian Army and Swedish Army for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and battle damage assessment. Launched from a trailer-mounted pneumatic catapult, it is recovered with the aid of arresting gear similar to jets on an aircraft carrier. Its gimbal-mounted, digitally-stabilized, liquid nitrogen-cooled electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) camera relays video in real time via a C-band line-of-sight data link to the ground control station (GCS).

AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200 - launch
AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200 (Launch)
AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200 unmanned aerial vehicle is of a high-wing, constant chord pusher configuration with a twin-tailboom empennage and an inverted v-tail elerudder. The aircraft is powered by a 38 bhp (28 kW) AR741-1101 Wankel engine manufactured by UAV Engines Ltd. Onboard electrical systems are powered by a GEC/Plessey 28 volt, direct current, 2,000 watt generator. Currently, the primary payload for the aircraft is the Israeli Aircraft Industries POP300 Plug-in Optical Payload which consists of a forward-looking Infrared camera, a daytime TV camera with a selectable near-infrared filter and a laser pointer. The aircraft has fixed tricycle landing gear. Takeoffs are assisted by a trailer-mounted pneumatic launcher which can accelerate the 375 pound aircraft to 70 knots (130 km/h) in 50 feet (15 m).
AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200 in Iraq
AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200 in Iraq
In the US, The Army's 2nd Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment at Fort Huachuca, AZ, trains soldiers, Marines, and civilians in the operation and maintenance of the Shadow UAV. The training program is mainly undertaken by civilian instructors. The UAV itself was officially designated RQ-7A. Between April 2001 and late 2002, the IOT&E (Initial Operational Test & Evaluation) phase of the program was conducted successfully, and in October 2002 the Shadow 200 was approved for full-rate production.
AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200 in Iraq
AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200 in Iraq
AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200 is of the same twin-boom pusher layout as several other battlefield UAVs, like e.g. the RQ-2 Pioneer and the RQ-5 Hunter. It is powered by a UEL AR-741 rotary engine, and has a non-retractable tricycle landing gear for conventional wheeled take-off and landing. The RQ-7A can also be launched from a catapult and has a tailhook to catch arresting cables for a shorter landing run. A Shadow 200 system consists of four RQ-7A air vehicles and the associated equipment. The latter includes two GCSs (Ground Control Stations), from where the operators have full control over the UAVs and their sensors. Both LOS (Line-Of-Sight) and non-LOS datalinks are provided for command uplink and sensor data downlink. The Shadow 200 UAV can be equipped with a GPS-based navigation system for fully autonomous operations. The UAV's tasks include day/night reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and BDA (Bomb Damage Assessment). The primary mission payload for the initial (Block 1) RQ-7A production vehicles is an IAI Tamam POP (Plug-In Optronic Payload) IR/EO (Infrared/Electro-Optical) sensor turret, but Block 2 vehicles are planned to use an improved Wescam EO/IR sensor. Other payloads are also under consideration, including a SAR/MTI (Synthetic Aperture Radar/Moving Target Indicator) unit.
AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200 in Iraq
AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200 in Iraq

General characteristics
  • Length: 11.2 ft (3.4 m)
  • Wingspan: 14 ft (4.3 m)
  • Height: 3.3 ft (1.0 m)
  • Empty weight: 186 lb (84 kg)
  • Gross weight: 375 lb (170 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wankel UAV Engine 741 used only with Silkolene Synthetic Oil , 38 hp (28 kW)
  • Maximum speed: 127 mph; 204 km/h (110 kn)
  • Cruising speed: 81 mph; 130 km/h (70 kn)
  • Range: 68 mi (59 nmi; 109 km)
  • Endurance: 6 h/ 9 h Increased Endurance
  • Service ceiling: 15,000 ft (4,572 m) ELOS (Electronic Line Of Sight)


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