Aerovironment’s visual-based navigation system takes over for GPS

September 25, 2022  - By
AeroVironment's Puma is hand-launched. (Photo: Lance Cpl. Frank Cordoba/U.S. Marine Corps)

AeroVironment’s Puma is hand-launched. (Photo: Lance Cpl. Frank Cordoba/U.S. Marine Corps)

AeroVironment Inc. has introduced Puma VNS, a visual-based navigation system for its Puma 2 AE and Puma 3 AE small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS). The system enables navigation across GPS-denied environments.

Puma VNS will receive frequent software and hardware updates, providing operators with advanced navigation capabilities, features and functionality. The system will also enable integration of future autonomy capabilities.

“Puma VNS gives operators an unprecedented advantage in the battlefield,” said Trace Stevenson, AeroVironment vice president and product line general manager for SUAS. “Operators now can execute missions with more confidence in GPS-contested environments with the system’s new navigational capabilities.”

VNS uses a suite of downward-looking sensors to gather imagery data and track features on the ground, as well as an embedded computing module to process and determine the precise location of an aircraft while in flight. The system automatically transitions to and from GPS-denied navigation mode without operator input.

Puma VNS is available as an add-on option for new Puma 3 AE system orders and as a retrofit kit for fielded Puma 2 AE and Puma 3 AE systems.

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About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.