WARRENTON, Va., 6 January 2005. Athena Technologies, Inc.'s GuideStar GS-111, a compact, integrated INS/GPS and air data sensor suite, provided autopilot sensor solutions for the inaugural test flight of the CEI BQM-167A aerial target drone conducted at Tyndall U.S. Air Force Base near Panama City, Fla., last month.
The BQM-167A aerial target drone is manufactured by Composite Engineering, Inc., of Sacramento, Calif. CEI was selected to provide the next-generation target drone by the USAF in July 2002. For more information, see www.compositeeng.com/uav_BQM167.htm.
CEI selected Athena Technologies to provide the integrated sensor suite for this next-generation USAF aerial target.
"The dramatic launch of our BQM-167A filled us with exhilaration," said CEI president Amy Fournier. "Its success signals the start of years of providing this critical product to the U.S. Air Force."
Dr. David Vos, founder and chief executive officer of Athena, said "The first flight of the BQM-167A not only marks a huge win for our friends and customers at Composite Engineering, Inc., but also validates the trust they have shown in Athena Technologies since awarding us the contract last spring. We look forward to working with CEI and the U.S. Air Force toward completing the remaining test flights and transitioning into full rate production."
The first flight of the new Air Force Subscale Aerial Target, also known as AFSAT, launched what will be the primary aerial target for training USAF fighter pilots in the coming years. "The Athena team is honored to participate in this important U.S. Air Force program," Vos said.
GuideStar controls technology and inertial navigation systems are flight-proven and in production for a number of platforms, including conventional fixed-wing, VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing), and highly-unstable UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), Dr. Vos explained. "This terrific first flight of the BQM-167A with our product caps an exciting year for our people, our company, our customers, and our technologies."
Athena Technologies is a premier developer and producer of integrated navigation and flight-control systems. Founded in 1998, the company produces the GuideStar family of versatile, compact and cost-effective navigation and flight-control systems for military applications and the SensorPac for general aviation applications. The company is an independent, privately held firm with headquarters in Northern Virginia. For more information see www.athenati.com.