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Coyote- The electric-powered UAV

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Coyote UAV. BAE Systems Photo.

Coyote is a three foot long electrically driven Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). It is developed under an Office of Naval Research (ONR) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant.

Coyote UAV, of the BAE Systems, can carry either an electro-optical (EO) or infrared (IR) camera and data transmitter. The mission is for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations with it being launched from either maritime-patrol aircraft or anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters.

It is designed to be launched from the sonobuoy tube of a US Navy P-3C Orion or a helicopter, such as the SH-60, to provide 90 minutes ISR collection.

Coyote is mission programmable and thus follows an autonomous, pre-programmed path with real-time updates. The flight is controlled via line-of-sight radio link (VHF or UHF), from the P-3 interceptor aircraft or helicopter controlling it.

Coyote weighs only 12 pounds and has a 58-inch wingspan. During freefall, the system is designed to emerge from a sonobuoy, unfold its wings, and begin a directed flight path.

It is low cost, and is being developed and tested with a specific view to saving lives, reducing oprerational costs, and providing tactical surveillance data.

BAE Systems has engineered this concept for the requirements by the multiple services such as improved surveillance imagery, improved targeting capability, near real-time damage assessment and reduced threat to manned aircraft.

On 19th January, 2010, Coyote UAV completed its first successful test-flight on a WP-3D Orion aircraft. The system deployed in midair from a 3-foot-long sonobuoy dropped from a P-3 aircraft. The test was done by BAE Systems, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA will further test the system's suitability in a hurricane or tropical storm for measuring wind speed and other critical data of forecasting.

Courtesy:
     - BAE Systems.

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