The AAI RQ-7 Shadow is a U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used by the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, Australian Army and Swedish Army for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and battle damage assessment. Powered by a fuel-injected rotary engine, it’s launched 40-foot from a trailer-mounted pneumatic catapult, and it’s recovered with the aid of arresting gear similar to jets on an aircraft carrier. Once airborne, the aircraft is controlled by Ground Control Stations (GCS) through ground data terminals via radio frequency, while using its gimbal-mounted, digitally stabilized, liquid nitrogen-cooled electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) camera to relay video in real time via a C-band line-of-sight data link to the ground control station (GCS).
The Shadow system is the only Tactical Unmanned Aircraft of its size to accomplish the feat of having flown more than one million flight hours, with 85% of those having been during combat operations. A Shadow crew consists of a 28-Soldier platoon, with a platoon leader, two warrant officers, 16 officers and nine maintainers.
In this video, members of the Iowa Army National Guard TUAS Platoon, Company B, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division stationed at the Boone Army Aviation Support Facility flight a demonstration of an RQ-7B Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) on November 2016 at the Boone Municipal Airport, in Boone, Iowa. This little guy can surely reach enormous heights.
Check it out: