Flying Under The Radar: Raven Migrating to a New Digital Data Link

  • (Source: US Army)
  • 12:00 AM, November 18, 2008
  • 2331
NATICK, Mass. -- On Sept. 19, members of the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center's Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration and Urban Technology Office completed a briefing requirement for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Networks and Information Integration.>> This milestone cleared the way for the NSRDEC-developed Small Unmanned Aerial Systems digital data link to transition to the production line. What this means is that a familiar item to the military, the Raven UAS, will be receiving a much needed upgrade.>> The Raven is a rucksack-portable UAS used for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, force protection and battle damage assessment. Manufactured by AeroVironment (Simi Valley, Calif.), the system has a 10 kilometer range and 90 minute endurance.>> Originally developed by NSRDEC under the Pathfinder ACTD, Raven has evolved from a Combat Mission Needs Statement rapid fielding initiative to an Acquisition Category III Program of Record managed by Program Manager UAS, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala.>> As small UAS, such as Raven, have proliferated in the battlefield, demand for the systems has increased. This is due to Soldiers and Marines realizing the benefits of having an organic intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability. Traditionally, ISR assets belonged to the higher echelons of the command structure; SUAS have pushed this capability down to the squad and team level, and in the view of some, have fundamentally changed the way the U.S. military fights.
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