Profile: AeroVironment Inc (AVAV.O)
7 Mar 2014
AeroVironment, Inc., incorporated on July 27, 1971, designs, develops, produces and supports a portfolio of products and services. The Company operates in two segments: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Efficient Energy Systems (EES). The Company’s UAS business segment focuses primarily on the design, development, production and support of UAS that provide situational awareness and other mission effects. Its EES, business segment focuses primarily on the design, development, production and support of electric energy systems that address the growing demand for electric transportation solutions. The Company supplies UAS, and related services primarily to organizations within the United States Department of Defense (DoD). The Company also supplies charging systems and services for electric vehicles (EVs) and power cycling and test systems to commercial, consumer and government customers.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems
The Company’s small UAS, including Raven, Wasp and Puma, are designed to provide valuable ISR, including real-time tactical reconnaissance, tracking, combat assessment and geographic data, directly to the small tactical unit or individual warfighter, thereby increasing flexibility in mission planning and execution. Its small UAS wirelessly transmit critical live video and other information generated by their payload of electro-optical or infrared sensors directly to a hand-held ground control unit, enabling the operator to view and capture images, during the day or at night, on the control unit. Its ground control systems allow the operator to control the aircraft by programming it for global positioning system (GPS)-based autonomous navigation using operator-designated way-points and also provide for manual flight operation. All of its small UAS in production operate from its common ground control system.
In military applications, its small systems enable tactical commanders to observe around the next corner, to the next intersection or past the ridgeline in real-time. Its small UAS also include spare equipment, alternative payload modules, batteries, chargers, repair services and customer support. Each system in its small UAS portfolio typically includes multiple aircraft, its common and interoperable hand-held ground control system and an array of spare parts and accessories. Additionally, its DDL enables each air vehicle to operate as an Internet-Protocol addressable hub capable of routing and relaying video, voice and data to and from multiple other nodes on this ad hoc network. This capability will enable beyond line-of-sight operation of its small UAS, further enhancing their value proposition to its customers.
The Company provides spare parts as well as repair, refurbishment and replacement services through our services operation. It designed its services operation to minimize supply chain delays and provide its customers with spare parts, replacement aircraft and support whenever and wherever they need them. The Company developed an Internet-accessible logistics system to provide its customers with the status of their returned products and their inventory. The secure system also provides recent parts and repairs history and tracks usage data to enable inventory optimization forecasting. One of its facilities also serves as the primary depot for repairs and spare parts. The Company provides training services to support all of its small UAS. It provides contract engineering services in support of customer-funded research and development projects, delivering new value-added technology solutions to its customers.
The Company competes with Elbit Systems Ltd., L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Efficient Energy Systems
The Company’s EES business segment produces electric transportation and industrial productivity solutions for commercial, consumer and government customers, develops new potential electric transportation solutions and performs contract engineering services. These solutions consist of: electric vehicle charging systems for passenger and fleet vehicles, PosiCharge industrial electric vehicle charging systems for electric material handling vehicles and airport ground support equipment, and power cycling and test systems for developers and manufacturers of EVs, as well as battery packs, electric motors and fuel cells.
The Company has developed solutions to support the adoption and use of EVs from automaker and startups worldwide. It offers an integrated solution designed to enable the adoption and the practical use of electric and hybrid electric vehicles. The Company also begun the commercial rollout of its EV fast charging system, which is a tool that can help enable the adoption of these vehicles in two main categories: passenger electric vehicles and fleet electric vehicles. PosiCharge industrial electric vehicle charging systems recharge industrial vehicle batteries while the batteries remain in the vehicle during regularly scheduled breaks and other times when the vehicle is not in use. Operators of fleets of electric industrial vehicles who use PosiCharge systems in multiple settings, including factories, distribution centers, cold storage facilities and airport tarmacs, include Ford Motor Company, Continental Airlines, Inc., Total Logistics Control and IKEA.
The Company’s PosiCharge systems and support products range from lower-power devices for smaller, less heavily-used vehicles to high-power devices for heavy-duty vehicles, and are capable of charging from one to 16 vehicles concurrently, depending on the needs of the operation. Included in its product line are systems for indoor and outdoor use, such as for airport ground support equipment. The Company also supplies accessories to help its customers integrate PosiCharge systems into their operations. These accessories include automated battery watering systems, charge status indicator lights, battery-mounted fans and cable management options. Its PosiCharge systems and support products, such as the 2500 Series of opportunity chargers, the BatteryRx battery health management solution and the port splitter.
The Company supplies a line of power cycling and test systems to research and development organizations that focus on electric propulsion systems, electric generation systems and electricity storage systems. Customers employ this electric load and sink systems to test batteries, electric motors and fuel cell systems. Its line of direct current (DC) test systems performs a variety of electric load tests. The Company also offers software control options through the C language Remote Operation System and Windows-based languages, such as LabVIEW or CAN. The Company has created and are expanding a network of licensed electrical contracting firms to provide installation and repair services for its passenger and fleet electric vehicle charging systems.
The Company competes with Aker Wade Power Technologies LLC, PowerDesigners, LLCm, ECOtality Inc., Bitrode Corporation, Digatron Firing Circuits, Coulomb Technologies Inc., ECOtality Inc., ClipperCreek Inc., Eaton Corporation, General Electric Company, Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc., Schneider Electric SA, The ABB Group and Siemens AG.
Suite 202, 181 W. Huntington Dri
MONROVIA CA 91016