1:35 US Army RQ-7B SHADOW UAV unmanned aerial vehicle - ACADEMY

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The AAI RQ-7 Shadow is an American unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used by the United States Army for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and battle damage assessment. 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).

Production of Shadow aircraft shifted to a generally improved RQ-7B variant in the summer of 2004. The RQ-7B features new wings increased in length to 14 ft (4.3 m). The new wings are not only more aerodynamically efficient, they are "wet" to increase fuel storage up to 44 liters for an endurance of up to 6 hours. The payload capability has been increased to 45 kilograms. Avionics systems have been generally improved, and the new wing is designed to accommodate a communications relay package, which allows the aircraft to act as a relay station. This allows commanders or even the aircraft operators themselves to communicate via radio to the troops on ground in locations that would otherwise be "dead" to radio traffic.

The Shadow can operate up to 125 km (78 mi) from its brigade tactical operations center, and recognize tactical vehicles up to 8,000 ft (2,400 m) above the ground at more than 3.5 km (2.2 mi) slant range.