The operational over-battlefield value of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has grown considerably over the past two decades with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq driving both innovation and need. Militaries and local industries all over the world have taken to the idea of reduced risk for pilots when reconnoitering key areas. As such, AeroVironment, Incorporated - a key player in the UAV industry both at the military and civilian level - has evolved its Quantix farm-surveying aerial system into a military-minded form through the "Quantix Recon" quadcopter.
As a "quadcopter", the aircraft can take-off and land vertically - therefore not requiring a prepared runway, any length of open field, or cumbersome netting arrangement to reclaim the aircraft upon its return. The Quantix Recon has been specifically developed with ease-of-use in mind, requiring very little training in the system's basic operation. The air vehicle can be deployed in as little as five minutes.
For military use, the air vehicle is being marketed for rapid, high-quality aerial mapping / surveying as well as reconnaissance and data-collection. Onboard systems suit the role well with fast processors and a high-resolution imagery capability, the latter which can be quickly downloaded upon the vehicle's return. Twin 18MP RGB and multi-spectral cameras seated in the forward section of the fuselage make up part of the vehicle's payload, offering resolutions up to full-color 4864x3648. The 900 MHz wireless communications feed is fully encrypted and navigation can be based on specified area, waypoint, or linear approaches. Audible detection of the aircraft is greatly reduced thanks to measures taken to ensure quiet operation.
Take-off, flight, and landing actions are completely automated and operator control is through a touchscreen-driven tablet component.
The vehicle has a listed maximum flight time of 45 minutes from its installed battery pack with an operational range out o 20 kilometers. 4 x Direct-electric drive motors propel the aircraft through the sky and also serve it in its landing and take-off functions. Maximum operating altitude is listed at 7,500 feet in wind conditions reaching up to 20 miles-per-hour.