Nov 18th 2005, 08:00
RAVEN INDUSTRIES ANNOUNCES HISTORIC FIVE-HOUR FLIGHT OF "HiSentinel" POWERED STRATOSPHERIC AIRSHIP
SIOUX FALLS, SD—November 18, 2005—Raven Industries, Inc. (RAVN: NasdaqNM) today announced that its subsidiary, Aerostar International, Inc., along with Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), and the US Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) successfully launched and flew a powered stratospheric airship.
The flight took place from Roswell, NM on Tuesday, November 8. Aerostar provided detail design and engineering, fabricated the airship’s hull, and participated in flight operations from the Roswell NM airport. SwRI, the team lead, designed the airship and provided the Flight Controller along with the Telemetry, Power, and Propulsion systems. AFRL developed the launch procedure, provided the test facilities, and provided the crew and logistics for the launch. The Army Space and Missile Defense Command (ASMDC) sponsored the demonstration. Raven demonstrated a small stratospheric airship with a five-pound payload in 1969. Tuesday’s flight carried a sixty-pound equipment pod to 74,000 feet on a five-hour flight—only the second airship in history to achieve powered flight in the stratosphere.
The project, titled HiSentinel, is focused on developing small near-space airships for inexpensive tactical communications and Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) applications. The relatively inexpensive nature of the Hi Sentinel system will allow several test flights per year to take place, Raven President and CEO Ronald M. Moquist said. Future test flights will include multi-day missions with solar power and demonstration of the SwRI autonomous station-keeping autopilot. Once operational, the system may be deployable by local commanders in theater operations. HiSentinel is part of Aerostar’s ongoing technology roadmap in developing inexpensive stratospheric LTA (Lighter Than Air) platforms for military and commercial use.
About Raven Industries, Inc.
Raven is an industrial manufacturer that provides electronics manufacturing services, reinforced plastic sheeting and flow control devices to various markets.
This release contains statements that may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. Although Raven Industries, Inc. believes that expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurances that its expectations will be achieved. Factors that could cause actual results to differ from expectations include general economic conditions, the success of research projects, and the amount of budgeted funding from US government agencies.
On the Internet, information is available at www.ravenind.com, the company’s website.