Sunday, January 20, 2013

AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye

| Sunday, January 20, 2013 | 0 comments

AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) powered by twin props and operated by the U.S. Marine Corps. The AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye is a small, lightweight UAV that can be transported by backpack, and launched by hand or using a bungee cord. Its primary role is urban surveillance and assault reconnaissance, in particular to provide "over the next hill" information to Marines on the ground.

The AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye is has a tailless design and it can be hand-launched by a soldier, it is small enough to fit into a backpack. It is equipped with a waypoint system based on a GPS-Inertial guidance system. The Dragon Eye is monitored by a laptop connected to video goggles. The control system used for the RQ-14 has a weight of 5.4 kg. It was designed to spot urban bases, with the ability to spot enemies without alerting them. The UAV is produced by AeroVironment, which received the production contract in 2003. Until the Marines used the RQ-11 Raven as their UCAV, to be the remainder of the Dragon Eye production contract. Over 1000 units were built. The engines are powered by a single-use battery with a lifetime of 45 to 60 minutes. The battery-powered electric engine provides an extremely low noise signature. Combined with the 3.75-ft. wingspan, the Dragon Eye is difficult to detect.

AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye system consists of the three UAVs and the ground control equipment. All components are light-weight (2.7 kg (5.9 lb) for one UAV, 5.4 kg (12 lb) for the ground control station) and are carried in a soldier's backpack. The air vehicle is powered by two electric motors which drive wing-mounted propellers. It is launched either by hand or with the help of a bungee cord, and is recovered by an autopilot-controlled belly landing. The RQ-14 Dragon Eye has an effective operating radius of about 10 km (6 miles) and a duration of about 60 minutes. The ground control equipment includes a laptop computer, which is used to program waypoints into the Dragon Eye's GPS navigation system. The Dragon Eye can fly its mission fully autonomously, but the operator can optionally update the waypoints during the flight. The RQ-14 Dragon Eye is equipped with interchangeable nose assemblies which house different types of side-looking motion cameras - either full-color daylight electro-optical or low-light monochrome cameras. The camera imagery is downlinked in real-time to the operator, who uses special goggles to watch the video.

  • Payload: EO camera, forward- and side-look low light camera, side-look infrared camera
  • Engine: Single-use battery-powered electric, twin propeller
  • Length: 0.91 m (2 ft 11.75 in)
  • Wingspan: 1.14 m (3 ft 9 in)
  • Weight: 2.7 kg (5.9 lb)
  • Speed: max: 65 km/h (40 mph); cruise: 35 km/h (22 mph)
  • Ceiling: 300 m (1000 ft)   
  • Range: 10 km (6 miles)
  • Endurance: 60 min.
  • Propulsion: 2x Aveox 1005/6Y electric motor


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