AeroVironment Buys Unmanned Aircraft Navigation Tech Developer Planck; Wahid Nawabi Quoted

AeroVironment (Nasdaq: AVAV) has purchased Planck Aerosystems for an undisclosed sum as part of efforts to drive the development of autonomy capabilities for its unmanned aircraft platforms.

San Diego-based Planck is a small technology firm founded in 2014 and has worked with clients from the Department of Defense, allied governments and security agencies to build flight autonomy and navigation systems, AeroVironment said Wednesday.

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,” said Wahid Nawabi, chairman, president and CEO of AeroVironment. 

AeroVironment’s medium unmanned aircraft systems business segment in Petaluma, California, will integrate into the parent company’s portfolio of offerings Planck’s ACEM and AVEM platforms and set of machine learning object detection and tracking systems.

ACE is an autonomous control engine designed to enable autonomous takeoff and landing operations in GPS-denied environments, while AVEM is an integrated mobile tethered sensor system meant for persistent autonomous operation from moving ships and vehicles.

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,” Nawabi added.

Canaccord Genuity acted as Planck’s exclusive financial adviser in the transaction.

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