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Athena Tech Flight Control For Sky-X UAV (Mar. 17)

Athena Technologies announced today the selection of its GuideStar(TM) control unit by Alenia Aeronautica for its Sky-X UAV.

Alenia Aeronautica S.P.A, a Finmeccanica company, of Turin, Italy, has selected the GuideStar GS311 as the Flight Control System (FCS) for its Sky-X UAV (Unmanned Air Vehicle). The Sky-X UAV- presented by Alenia at the Paris Airshow in 2003-is powered by a single jet engine, flies up to Mach 0.6, has a wingspan of about 6 meters and a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of approximately one metric ton.

For the Sky-X program, Athena will provide the GS-311 unit, which -- like other members of the GuideStar family of products -- provides the sensing, processing, input and output capability required to control the Sky-X UAV.

Riccardo Barzan, Chief Engineer of the Sky-X program at Alenia Aeronautica, says: “Alenia has chosen Athena’s control system because of the GuideStar’s proven performance using state-of-the-art technology.”

“Our GuideStar GS-311 has proven itself in demanding tactical UAV applications, and we are excited that Alenia Aeronautica has chosen the GS-311 for its Sky-X UAV as well,” says Athena CEO/CTO Dr. David Vos, “This is a significant opportunity for Athena and an important relationship for future programs with Alenia Aeronautica in the European and International UAV market.”

Alenia Aeronautica, one of the world’s leading aerospace companies, is strategically positioning itself for the UAV market with the Sky-X UAV. Its state-of-the-art engineering, manufacturing and test facilities in Turin combine all the necessary function required for the development, prototyping and manufacturing of sophisticated aerial vehicles.

The whole system is fully modular and allows the demonstration of a broad spectrum of UAV core technologies without major design changes. Furthermore, the aircraft and the relevant ground station are designed in order to allow evolution and growth capabilities suitable to face the next decade challenges. Flight-testing of the Sky-X is to commence in early 2005.

Athena is the developer of the GuideStar family of fully-integrated, vehicle control system products, and developer of proprietary dynamics and control system that increase engineering design efficiency and provide higher levels of operational reliability for commercial aviation and military applications. Athena is based in Northern Virginia, USA.

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Athena Technologies’ Guidestar Flight Control System Selected For Finmeccanica’s Sky-X UAV Program