Monday, April 18, 2011

Lighter-than-air UAV ready for testing

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., April 18 (UPI) -- A U.S. developer of lighter-than-air unmanned aerial vehicles will conduct flight testing of its Argus One vehicle at a U.S. Army proving ground.

The invitation to test and demonstrate the vehicle in Yuma, Ariz., came from the Department of Defense, Sanswire Corp. said.

Sanswire is working with its technical partner, Eastcor Engineering on the continued development and testing of the Argus One UAV and Eastcor will oversee and carry out the flight testing and demonstrations.

For the tests, slated for a two-week period early in the summer, the Argus One will be operated from a ground station and will be outfitted with a prototype intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance package provided by a leading defense contractor working with Sanswire and Eastcor on the project.

In addition, the Argus One will be flown with a tracking and monitoring system provided by Global Telesat Corp.

"While we are conducting flight testing of the Argus One airship in Easton, Md., where it was developed, Yuma will be our first chance to conduct untethered flight tests and demonstrations," said Sanswire Chief Executive Officer Sanswire Glenn Estrella.

"We believe the Yuma tests will be critical to the further advancement of our Argus One UAV and the readying of the platform for real-life operations.

"Our collaboration with not only Eastcor, but with GTC and our other partners, at Yuma represents yet another step toward the commercialization of our integrated UAV solution."

Sanswire designs, develops, markets and sells autonomous, lighter-than-air UAVs capable of carrying payloads that provide persistent security or wireless communications solutions for government-related and commercial entities that require real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance or communications support for military, homeland defense, border control, drug interdiction, natural disaster relief and maritime missions.

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