> our title:

UAV Flies Science Mission in Gulf of Mexico

> original title:

American Aerospace and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Successfully Complete First Airborne Science Mission Over Gulf of Mexico

(Source: American Aerospace Advisors Inc.; issued October 27, 2011)

RADNOR, Pa. --- American Aerospace and Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi have successfully completed their first airborne science mission using unmanned aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico.

Under a Certificate of Authorization (COA) issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a Recon System 16 Unmanned Aircraft System completed six flights originating on a remote stretch of beach on the Padre Island National Seashore during the week of October 10, 2011. The announcement was made by David Yoel, CEO of American Aerospace Advisors, Inc. (AAAI), whose Airborne Systems Group developed the RS-16.

AAAI’s RS-16 Unmanned Aircraft System utilizes 13-foot wingspan unmanned aircraft that stay aloft for up to 12 to 16 hours on less than two gallons of gasoline. Linked to the RS-16 Mobile Command Center, the system produces and disseminates real-time streaming video on map, infrared video, and high resolution imagery. It also accommodates a variety of science payloads and can relay communications between widely dispersed ground radios.

The COA approved by the FAA allows operations over a 500 square mile area south of Corpus Christi, Texas. It reaches several miles into the Gulf of Mexico, and covers a 39-mile stretch of the Padre Island National Seashore – as well as a substantial portion of the Laguna Madre intercoastal waterway.

“The UAS capability directly benefits the program in geospatial computing and significantly advances the University’s competitiveness for federally-funded research,” said Dr. Stacey Lyle, director of the Texas A&M UAS initiative. “In addition, this capability enables the University to serve as a leader in UAS technology training and education at both the state and national level.”

Commenting on the program, Mr. Yoel stated, “Unmanned aircraft have the potential to revolutionize airborne science. We are extremely pleased that Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi selected the Recon System 16 for this program, and that the FAA approved operations over such a large and unique region.”

Mr. Yoel added, “American Aerospace developed the Recon System 16 for civil and scientific missions. The RS-16 is a completely self-contained mobile system that includes aircraft, payloads, a mobile command center, ground support equipment, tools and spares. The RS-16 was created to cost-effectively perform civil missions, and our outstanding team of operations professionals developed the procedures and processes to safely and effectively deliver the required results in full compliance with FAA Regulations.”

Dr. L.D. Chen, Director of the School of Engineering and Computing, added, “The UAS capability provides an excellent opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to pursue interdisciplinary research in areas of science that are important to our region.”

American Aerospace Advisors’ Airborne Systems Group provides flight services and mission systems utilizing unmanned and manned aircraft to civil government and commercial customers. Applications include emergency response, wildfire monitoring, airborne science, flight test and training, public safety, and airborne inspections.