AEROCHARGERS IN THE MILITARY
For over a decade, HiPerformance has supplied high-tech military and industrial turbochargers and turboexpanders for applications ranging from UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to cryogenic units.
The RQ-7 Shadow is the result of a continued US Army search for an effective battlefield UAV after the cancellation of the RQ-6 Outrider aircraft. AAI Corporation followed up their RQ-2 Pioneer UAV with the similar but refined Shadow 200, and in late 1999 the Army selected the Shadow 200 to fill the tactical UAV requirement, redestinating it the RQ-7. The Army requirement specified a UAV that used a gasoline engine, could carry an electro-optic/infrared imaging sensor turret, and had a minimum range of 31 miles (50 kilometers) with four hour endurance on station. The shadow 200 offered at least twice that range, powered by a 38hp (28.5 kW) rotary engine. The Army requirement dictated that it be able to land within a soccer field. Each Shadow system includes four aircraft, two ground stations, a launch trailer, and support vehicles for equipment and personnel. With a highly trained platoon the Shadow 200 can be unpacked, fueled, and launched in one hour. A SIGINT payload is in development, and is scheduled for service in 2008. It will swap out with the EO turret. The Army currently does not have planes to arm the Shadow with light munitions.
The Shadow 200 UAV Engine above is fitted with an Aerocharger, researching ways to increase the power and operating altitude. On other rotary engines burning heavy fuel (jet fuel) it was found that 2.5 pounds of boost from an Aerocharger increased power up to nearly 50%. Hi Performance continues to work with the Department of Defense for further increase the performance of various vehicles and machines.