Extender is an air-drop deployable unmanned air vehicle (UAV) for Electronic Warfare missions. Extender folds into a 32" x 32" x 20" enclosure for storage. For deployment, the Extender enclosure is simply pushed out of the door of a helicopter, transport, or patrol aircraft. Upon being air-dropped, a parachute is deployed, the enclosure is shed, and the wings unfold and lock into position. Next, the parachute is released and the electric motor is switched on. Extender has a 2.3-hour endurance, cruising at 45 mph, powered by LiSO2 batteries. Extender can perform an entirely autonomous mission using GPS navigation, or utilize a spread spectrum RF link for real-time operator directed command and control. Gross weight is 31 lbs., including a 7 lb. payload capacity. Extender has flown utilizing conventional runway takeoffs, demonstrated autonomous navigation, and demonstrated the air-drop deployment in a vertical wind tunnel.

Sponsors: ONR
Program type: 6.2 Exploratory Development, 6.3 Systems Development
Years: 1999-2000