WARRENTON, Va., 8 March 2007. Athena Technologies' Athena GuideStar navigated and controlled the first drop of Textron Defense Systems' Universal Aerial Delivery Dispenser (U-ADD) during the U.S. Air Force (USAF) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Battlelab's Guided Dispenser Tube Initiative. The U-ADD was dropped from a UAV at the Ft. Huachuca Army test facility in Arizona.
During the drop, the GuideStar controlled the U-ADD providing stabilization of the vehicle in pitch, yaw, and roll, and mapped the flight trajectory to a designated set of coordinates for payload deployment.
Upon reaching the designated delivery latitude, longitude, and altitude position, the GuideStar commanded the payload ejection system to eject an inert 64-lb BLU-108 Sensor Fuzed submunition. The inert BLU-108 deployed its drogue and main parachute as intended over the target area.
The U-ADD from Textron Defense Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, is a multipurpose dispenser that enables unmanned aircraft to carry a variety of different payload types at different times. The U-ADD is a guided dispenser that can precisely deploy various types of air delivered, lethal, non-lethal, and cargo payloads from high altitudes. Its mission flexible payload bay allows it to carry and deploy various payloads, such as smart munitions, unattended ground sensors, PSYOPS leaflets, medical kits, and supplies.
A U-ADD Product Improvement activity will be ongoing starting in 2007 with the U.S. Air Force's UAV Battlelab, Creech AFB, N.V.