Small UAVs Bulk up Sensor and Processing Capabilities
The flight control, mission control and communications gear aboard Small UAVs-face some of the most rigorous size, weight and power restrictions. Selecting the right embedded electronics and embedded computers in those systems becomes a make or break decision. Here the popular term “SWaP” (size, weight and power) take on a whole different level of urgency. This category of UAVs roughly defined as “smaller-than Predator-sized” encompasses a variety of platforms. The main DoD-funded among those include the RQ-7 Shadow, RQ-11 Raven, RQ-20 Puma and RQ-21 Blackjack Unmanned Aircraft Systems as programs of record. These aircraft provide organic Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition (RSTA) capabilities and are embedded in maneuver formations capable of providing crucial information to the ground commander.