AeroVironment Acquires Planck Aerosystems
by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M Crosby
AeroVironment [NASDAQ:AVAV] is one of the holdings in the AdvisorShares Drone Technology ETF [NYSE ARCA:UAV], the only ETF dedicated to the drone economy. The AdvisorShares Drone Technology ETF is a thematic investment strategy seeking to capture the growth opportunities in drones and autonomous vehicles (AV). AdvisorShares is a DRONELIFE sponsor.
The small San Diego-based company will be acquired by AeroVironment’s Petaluma-based medium unmanned aircraft systems (MUAS) business segment in order to integrate its flight autonomy solutions like ACE (Autonomous Control Engine) to allow for safe, autonomous takeoff and landing from mobile platforms in areas lacking GPS. Other Planck solutions AeroVironment intends to incorporate include the fully integrated mobile tethered sensor platform AVEM, enabling continuous autonomous operation from vehicles in motion, as well as an array of machine-learning object detection and tracking systems tailored to specific customer needs.
Planck has closely collaborated with such customers as the U.S. Department of Defense, security agencies, allied governments and offshore industrials since its founding in 2014, working to provide customer-centric unmanned aircraft solutions. The company has produced a range of products including embedded technologies and fully integrated unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
“Planck has a compelling product and technology roadmap with valuable capabilities that we plan to deploy and integrate with AeroVironment’s existing portfolio of intelligent, multi-domain robotic systems. The Planck team has developed advanced unmanned autonomy and navigation solutions for various defense and commercial customers and by working together, we believe we offer more compelling and differentiated solutions to our customers moving forward,” said AeroVironment chairman, president and CEO Wahid Nawabi. “This transaction accelerates AeroVironment’s innovation in flight autonomy, increasing the effectiveness of our solutions in contested environments and reducing the cognitive load of operators, and adds a tethered SUAS to our portfolio of systems, creating exciting opportunities for upcoming programs of record.”
“AeroVironment’s heritage of creating innovative solutions to meet customer needs is an ideal fit for the Planck team. We couldn’t be more excited about joining forces with AeroVironment to deliver innovative, multi-domain unmanned systems to the next generation of U.S. and allied warfighters,” said Planck CEO Josh Wells. “AeroVironment’s reach, technical capabilities and portfolio of unmanned systems will enable the Planck team to scale our products to more customers, and to provide better solutions in less time.”
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Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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