Redstone Report: Raven warns of danger in the distance - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Redstone Report: Raven warns of danger in the distance

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The Raven The Raven

The "Raven" is the eye in the sky for solider's on the ground in the battlefield. It's an aircraft that looks almost like a toy plane you'd find at a hobby shop.  Except this "toy" can save lives, and it's created, in part, on the Redstone Arsenal.

The Raven is usually sent out at night for recognizant missions. The aircraft is operated by a 2 man team on the ground. One person operates the controller and fly's the plane while another person focuses on the images being received over a laptop.

Aerospace engineers at the Fixed Wing Vehicles Lab have been working to perfect the Raven.  The aircraft is designed after the "Puma." The Puma is a larger version of the Raven. After listening to troops, engineers decided to attach Puma's camera capabilities to Raven's smaller body.  This is for better mobility when it comes to carrying the gear from camp to camp.

As for the camera capabilities, Raven's camera used to only have 2 fixed camera options. That meant the aircraft had to land to switch between cameras.  But a new camera now toggles and reports back images from nearly every angle. This can be used to give troops a heads up about impending dangers.

While the main mission for Raven is for visual missions, other options are already being explored. 

"We have demonstrated other payload capabilities such as chemical detection sensors, biological detection sensors, and even radiological detection sensors. So we're constantly looking at new payload and new uses for the Raven that would help us for other missions," AMRDEC aerospace engineer, Daniel Hiatt, explained,

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