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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

AeroVironment invests $3 million in Swedish CybAero

Credit. CybAero
AeroVironment Inc.(NASDAQ: AVAV) the clear leader in the man-portable, hand-launched UAS market, has announced a strategic partnership with Sweden-based CybAero (NASDAQOMXS: CBA) and will invest up to $3 million in CybAero convertible notes. The agreement secures exclusive rights to distribute larger, higher flying, longer endurance vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in United States, NATO and other countries. The agreement expands AeroVironment family of unmanned aircraft systems capabilities beyond hand-launched category to address market requirements.

United States military customers typically segment the numerous types of unmanned aircraft systems they employ by size, weight, endurance and range into different tiers. Man-portable, hand-launched systems such as AeroVironment’s RQ-11B Raven®, RQ-20A Puma® AE and Wasp® AE that weight less than 20 pounds comprise the Tier I segment. Tier II UAS include heavier, larger and longer endurance systems with longer range, such as CybAero’s VTOL offering. Tiers III and IV include air vehicles of increasing size, capable of even longer endurance and range and requiring larger support teams and infrastructure requirements.

CybAero APID 60

The APID 60 is a safe, reliable, and cost-effective alternative for both civilian and military use in remote and hazardous regions, or even in life-threatening situations where personnel may be in danger. The APID 60 helps to minimize unnecessary use of personnel, vehicles, and equipment while conducting dangerous and/or monotonous and repetitive work over long durations of time

APID 60 is an unmanned autonomous helicopter designed to carry payload and fuel up to 75 kg. The helicopter has a maximum take-off weight of 180 kg and small enough to be transported in a trailer or a small truck.The control system for APID 60 flies the helicopter without assistance from the operator and also takes care of autonomous take-offs and landings. With the help of inertial navigation sensors, GPS, and other sensors the control system keeps the helicopter stable in the air and navigates according to the operator’s commands.

The helicopter is powered by a 55 horsepower water-cooled two-stroke engine. The Bell-Hiller system main rotor has a diameter of 3.3 m. The operator controls the helicopter from the ground station via a radio link. The operator uses an ordinary laptop computer with a graphical user interface for controlling the helicopter. The operator uses the computer to plan the helicopter’s route and to monitor it during flight.

CybAero AB, formed in 2003 and headquartered in Mjärdevi Science Park in Linköping, develops, manufactures and sells autonomous, unmanned helicopters (called VTOL UAVs) and related sensor systems for both defense and civilian missions. CybAero was formed on the foundations laid in 1992 through research collaboration between Linköping University and the FOI (Swedish Defence Research Agency). Today, with its CybAero brand APID has established itself as a leading global player in VTOL UAV  field. The company's product APID has received considerable global attention through its ease of use, robustness, and price effciency. The company has about 20 employees and reported 12 million SEK sales in 2011 (-58%).

AeroVironment is a world leading system provider and operator in the UAV field and in electricity based transport solutions. Customers in the U.S. Department of Defense and the armed forces are using electric and hand launched UAVs for tactical requirements such as realtime reconnaissance, surveillance and communication. A number of U.S.government agencies have participated in the financing, development and demonstration of Global Observer ®, which is a hybrid technology-driven UAVs operating in the stratosphere and can be used for communication or surveillance globally from a single base. AeroVironment’s electricity-based transport solutions covering a wide range of systems such as charging systems for electric vehicles, installation and network services for consumers, automakers, suppliers and government agencies, as well as test systems and industrial charging systems.

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