Our Development History

The Aerosonde Robotic Aircraft was conceived as a means of providing an economical method of undertaking observations with considerable flexibility of operation.¹

A particular aim of the program has been meteorological observations in remote and otherwise inaccessible regions, but many other uses have since arisen.

Following an initial prototyping period, largely sponsored by the US Office of Naval Research (ONR), a major development program was initiated in Australia in 1995.

With sponsorship from an Australian R&D; syndication and support from ONR, Environmental Systems and Services Pty Ltd (ES&S;) developed the Mark 1 aircraft between 1995 and 1998 in collaboration with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the US-based Insitu Group.

The development program was completed in 1998, when the Aerosonde passed a comprehensive trial conducted by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

In August 1998, The Insitu Group and the University of Washington further demonstrated the long-range feasibility of the Aerosonde by conducting the first transatlantic flight by a robotic aircraft.

This flight is commemorated by Aerosonde 'Laima', being placed on display in the Seattle Museum of Flight.

In early 1999 Aerosonde Ltd. and Aerosonde North America Inc. were formed to provide global operations for Aerosonde-class aircraft. These companies either own or have an exclusive license for all aspects of the Aerosonde system.

Continuing development by Aerosonde Ltd has seen the Aerosonde progress through to the current Mark 3-4 system and the establishment of the Global Reconnaissance Facility, which provides operations anywhere on earth.

In July 2001, Aerosonde Ltd and Aerosonde North America Inc were acquired by Australian Platinum Mines, a listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange, which subsequently changed its name to Aerosonde Holdings Ltd.

Saab Systems Australia purchased a 20% shareholding in the company at this time and entered a marketing agreement for Aerosonde sales and services to defence organsisations around the world.


Relevant Links

Gallery A collection of photos and artists impressions in various sizes (some available in high resolution).

Events and Expos Details of Upcoming Expos and reports form past events.

Specifications For the technically minded, a full breakdown of the Aerosonds Tech Specifications from Mark1 in 1999 to present.

Publications Publications in which the Aerosonde has appeared.

Trans Atlantic Crossing Aerosonde "Laima" was the first unmanned aircraft to cross the north atlantic.



Website by SitePoint Design

©Copyright 2001 Aerosonde Robotic Aircraft