AAI Corporation Aerosonde
|Aerosonde Laima (XMQ-19A)|
|Aerosonde "Laima" in display at Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA|
|Manufacturer||Aerosonde Ltd, a division of Textron|
The Aerosonde is a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed to collect weather data, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, and wind measurements, over oceans and remote areas. The Aerosonde was developed by Insitu, and is now manufactured by Aerosonde Ltd, which is a strategic business of AAI Corporation. The Aerosonde is powered by a modified Enya R120 model aircraft engine, and carries on board a small computer, meteorological instruments, and a GPS receiver for navigation.
On August 21, 1998, a Phase 1 Aerosonde nicknamed "Laima", after the ancient Latvian deity of good fortune, completed a 2,031 mile (3,270 km) flight across the Atlantic Ocean. This was the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by a UAV; at the time, it was also the smallest aircraft ever to cross the Atlantic. (The smallest aircraft record was subsequently broken by the Spirit of Butts Farm UAV.) Launched from a roof rack of a moving car due to its lack of undercarriage, Laima flew from Newfoundland, Canada to Benbecula, an island off the coast of Scotland in 26 hours 45 minutes in stormy weather, using approximately 1.5 U.S. gallons (1.25 imperial gallons or 5.7 litres) of gasoline (petrol). Other than for take-off and landing, the flight was autonomous, without external control, at an altitude of 5,500 ft (1,680 meters). Aerosondes have also been the first unmanned aircraft to penetrate tropical cyclones, with an initial mission in 2001 followed by eye penetrations in 2005
The Aereosonde Mark 4.4 has been designated XMQ-19A by the U.S. military.
- Crew: None
- Length: 5 ft 8 in (1.7 m)
- Wingspan: 9 ft 8 in (2.9 m)
- Height: 2 ft 0 in (0.60 m)
- Wing area: 6.1 ft² (0.57 m²)
- Empty: lb (kg)
- Loaded: 28.9 lb (13.1 kg)
- Maximum take-off: lb ( kg)
- Powerplant: Modified Enya R120 model aircraft engine, 1.74 hp (1280 W)
- Maximum speed: 90 mph (140 km/h)
- Range: 1,875 miles (3,000 km)
- Service ceiling: 15,000 ft (4,500 m)
- Rate of climb: ft/min ( m/min)
- Wing loading: 5 lb/ft² (23 kg/m²)
- Power/Mass: 0.06 hp/lb (98 W/kg)
- Display information at Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington.
- G.J. Holland, T. McGeer and H.H. Youngren. Autonomous aerosondes for economical atmospheric soundings anywhere on the globe. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 73(12):1987-1999, December 1992.
- "DOD 4120.15-L - Addendum: MDS Designators allocated after 19 August 1998 (until September 2009)". 2009. designation-systems.net. Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
- P-H Lin & C-S Lee. Fly into typhoon Haiyan with UAV Aerosonde. American Meteorological Society conference paper 52113 (2002).
- NASA Wallops Flight Facility press release: "Aerosonde UAV Completes First Operational Flights at NASA Wallops"
- Tad McGeer. "Laima: The first Atlantic crossing by unmanned aircraft" (1998)
- Aerosonde Pty Ltd. press release: "First UAV across the Atlantic"
- University of Washington, Aeronautics and Astronautics Program, College of Engineering: (Aerosonde project web page)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Insitu Aerosonde.|