AeroVironment announced the introduction of its Extended Range Antenna (ERA) to double UAV command range to 40km.
The ERA is a lightweight, portable antenna array kit designed to integrate seamlessly with AeroVironment’s standard RF head antenna to support a diverse range of missions, the company said in a statement.
The ERA add-on kit narrows the antenna beam width, extending the command and control range up to 40 kilometers (24.9 miles) with minimal impact to its size, weight and power (SWAP) footprint. Similar to the standard RF head antenna, the ERA is manually positioned. The included RF Unit switch allows users to toggle between omnidirectional mode, for short-range operations, and extended range mode, for longer-range operations. The ERA supports both M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 Digital Data Link (DDL) operating bands.
By adding the ERA kit to their existing AeroVironment RF antenna, UAS flight operators can immediately expand their operational capabilities, gaining actionable battlefield intelligence at greater stand-off range to maximize their stealth and safety. When used in combination with other AeroVironment network connectivity options, the ERA provides an enhanced level of operational flexibility. This enables teams to coordinate command and control transfer of UAS, such as Puma LE, easily over greater distances, maximizing the aircraft’s multi-mission capabilities, in day or night operations, across dynamically changing environments.
Further expanding its connectivity solutions, AeroVironment recently announced updates to its Long Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA), which it now offers in two versions to support M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 DDL frequency bands. AeroVironment’s network connectivity product line includes the pocketable, short-range pDDL (5 km), standard RF antenna (20 km), ERA (40 km) and LRTA (60 km) capabilities in both M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 bands.