Canadian Warplanes 8: AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven

(USAF Photo)

RQ-11B Raven unmanned aerial vehicle.

The RQ-11B Raven in a small hand-launched, remote-controlled, unmanned aerial vehicle that can provide day or night aerial intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance. The Raven was originally developed by AeroVironment for a U.S. Armed Forces requirement. The air vehicle can either be flown manually or autonomously and can be used for either reconnaissance, target acquisition or surveillance. Known as the Raven RQ-11B UAV in the United States, it was originally the winner of a US Army small UAV program in 2005, and went into full-rate production in 2006. Shortly afterwards, it was also adopted by the US Marines, and the US Air Force for their own programs. More than 19,000 Raven airframes have been delivered to customers worldwide to date. The Raven can be either remotely controlled from the ground station or fly completely autonomous missions using GPS waypoint navigation. The UAV can be ordered to immediately return to its launch point simply by pressing a single command button. Standard mission payloads include a colour video camera and a night vision infrared camera. The Raven is launched by hand, thrown into the air like a free flight model airplane. The Raven then lands itself by auto-piloting to a pre-defined landing point and then performing a 45° slope (ie. 1 ft down for every 1 ft forward) controlled "autoland" descent. (Wikipedia)

The Raven UAS are being supplied to the CF under a 2013 contract with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) Limited with MDA providing full-motion video exploitation software tools, training, maintenance and support services for the UAS. (Kestrel Publications)