How unmanned aircraft have matured over more than a decade of war is illustrated by the AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven. This hand-launched UAV is often overlooked, even though it outnumbers all other U.S. unmanned systems put together—there were 5,394 in service as of November 2012 —but advances in microelectronics have given the Raven capabilities previously associated only with larger aircraft. Small size brings challenges. “Our engineers operate within a tight SWAP [size, weight and ...


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