May 24, 2023
Exosonic today announced the successful beginning of a ground and flight test program to validate the capabilities of its EX-3M “Trident” autonomous, open architecture, high-speed, developmental unmanned aerial system (UAS) test aircraft.
Exosonic designed, manufactured, and brought the EX-3M to flight test in only nine months. The team accomplished this by rapidly iterating the aircraft design, diversifying the supply chain, and maintaining the assembly process within Exosonic.
The Trident will serve as a quarter scale testbed to validate the autonomy software that will ultimately be incorporated into Exosonic’s full-scale supersonic UAV, the EX-3 “Revenant”, the supersonic fifth-generation aerial target UAS that Exosonic is designing under a $1.250 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract with the USAF. In addition to the aerial target role, Exosonic will investigate a modified EX-3 version to serve in the adversary air role as well.
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The EX-3M was inducted into a rigorous testing program by completing a series of ground taxi tests at the New Cuyama UAS test range in the California high desert near Santa Barbara. The ground testing is being performed to verify taxi and takeoff characteristics in advance of a series of planned Summer 2023 flights which will validate vehicle performance and autonomous capabilities.
“I’m extremely proud of the team for getting the Trident vehicle designed, assembled, and into the test program in only nine months.” said Norris Tie, Exosonic’s CEO and co-founder. “They worked tirelessly over the past several weeks to reach this point.”
Exosonic Chief Technology Officer and co-founder Timothy MacDonald, PhD described the testing as “An excellent beginning to a comprehensive testing program. We were able to put our aircraft through its paces out in the field and gather some great results. The data will now be analyzed, and we’ll move to further ground testing and flight testing.” As Exosonic completes the flight test program, the company will explore commercial opportunities to leverage the EX-3M as an autonomy testbed or as a research vehicle to demonstrate USAF critical capabilities. Exosonic is currently in discussions with several commercial entities to demonstrate crewed-uncrewed teaming.