National Technical Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTSC) (NTS), a leading provider of testing and engineering services, announced today that it will showcase its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Payload POD at the upcoming Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) North America conference from August 6-9 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The annual AUVSI North America, which draws hundreds of manufacturers, is considered the largest and most highly attended UAV conference of the year.
NTS first unveiled its UAV Payload POD in June. Created by NTS engineers, the lightweight, Shadow-class “Multi-Mission, Multi-Payload POD” weighs less than five pounds and is designed to support a 25-pound payload capacity per wing of the AAI Shadow UAV. This particular POD has garnished enthusiastic support from a variety of vendors and is indicative of the kind of engineering and design capabilities that NTS can offer, said Michael Mindt, NTS Market Director, Aerospace.
“We are committed to expanding our presence in this rapidly growing international market and our Payload POD provides a great example of what we can offer our clients,” said Mindt, who will attend the show and help exhibit the POD. “We offer a true end-to-end UAV service, meaning we can help design and integrate a payload, help build a POD, test UAVs, and even fly missions if a client wants. Our Payload POD was built for the Shadow UAV, but we can develop a POD for a variety of UAV configurations and a variety of uses.”
A key design element of the NTS Payload POD is the RF (radiofrequency) transparency of the bottom half of the shell, allowing radio antennas to be placed inside which protects them and helps with aerodynamics, Mindt added. A POD is basically an empty shell that carries a payload on a UAV.
Market research estimates the global UAV market at about $15 billion this year, with growth to up to $20 billion annually by 2020. Part of the reason for the growth is the FAA is opening up air space to commercial activitie