AeroVironment has received a contract from ADS to deploy its unmanned aircraft system to Antarctica in support of the U.S. Coast Guard‘s resupply mission for the National Science Foundation‘s McMurdo Station.
The company worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to launch the RQ-20A Puma AE drone from Australia on Dec. 30, 2015, under the joint Operation Deep Freeze mission, AeroVironment said Tuesday.
Kirk Flittie, AeroVironment vice president and general manager of unmanned aircraft systems business segment, said Puma AE delivers scouting intelligence to help the Coast Guard’s Polar Star icebreaker execute ice-breaking operations in the Ross Sea.
AeroVironment crews captured Puma on its return flight with the use of a new autonomous recovery system during Operation Deep Freeze.
The drone is designed to provide live, streaming color infrared video from its pan-tilt-zoom Mantis i25 AE gimbaled payload.