Warplanes: August 21, 2003


The Australian army is using UAVs for the first time, and are doing it during current peacekeeping operations on the Pacific island of Guadalcanal. Four Australian made Aerosonde UAVs are being used. This UAV is unique, as it is quite small (31 pounds, with a length of 6.2 feet and a 9.6 foot wingspan.) It uses GPS and/or ground control for navigation. With max fuel, the UAV can stay in the air for over 30 hours (about 2,900 kilometers). Max speed is 145 kilometers an hour and it can fly as high as 20,000 feet. Payload is only five pounds, but this can include a wide range of sensors (still and video cameras, heat sensors, and a wide range of environmental sensors.) The UAV was designed for environmental monitoring. An Aerosonde has crossed the Atlantic, from Newfoundland to Ireland. The Australian army will use cameras to look for illegal militias in the rugged terrain of Guadalcanal island. 


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