RQ-7 Shadow

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The RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is used by the United States Army and Marine Corps. Launched from a trailer-mounted pneumatic catapult, it is recovered with the aid of arresting gear similar to jets on an aircraft carrier. Its gimbal-mounted, digitally-stabilized, liquid nitrogen-cooled electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) camera relays video in real time via a C-band line-of-sight data link to the ground control station (GCS). The "R" is the Department of Defense designation for reconnaissance; "Q" means unmanned aircraft system. The "7" refers to it being the seventh of a series of purpose-built unmanned reconnaissance aircraft systems.

The Army's 1st Battalion, 210th Aviation Regiment at Fort Huachuca, AZ trains soldiers, marines, and civilians in the operation and maintenance of the Shadow UAV. The training program consists of mainly civilian instructors.

Contents

Description

The RQ-7 Shadow 200 unmanned aerial vehicle is of a high-wing, constant chord pusher configuration with a twin-tailboom empennage and an inverted v-tail elerudder. The aircraft is powered by a 38 bhp AR741-1101 Wankel engine manufactured by UAV Engines Ltd.[2][3] Onboard electrical systems are powered by a GEC/Plessey 28 volt, direct current, 2,000 watt generator.[2][3] Currently, the primary payload for the aircraft is the Israeli Aircraft Industries POP300 Plug-in Optical Payload which consists of a forward-looking Infrared camera, a daytime TV camera with a selectable near-infrared filter and a laser pointer.[3][4] The aircraft has fixed tricycle landing gear. Takeoffs are assisted by a trailer-mounted pneumatic launcher which can accelerate the 375 pound aircraft to 60 knots (110 km/h) in 15 feet (4.6 m).[3] Landings are guided by a Tactical Automatic Landing System developed by the Sierra Nevada Corporation which consists of a ground-based micro-millimeter wavelength radar and a transponder carried on the aircraft.[3][5] Once on the ground, a tailhook mounted on the aircraft catches an arresting wire connected to two disk brake drums which can stop the aircraft in less than 170 feet (52 m).[3]

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