The LUNA UAV is an autonomous lightweight unmanned powered glider UAV, currently fielded by the German and Norwegian Armies. The Luna is powered by a two-cylinder twin-stroke engine. It is powered by a 6 HP piston engine driving a pusher propeller mounted above the wing. The glider flying capabilities enables Luna to shut the engine and perform unique stealthy glides without an acoustic signature. Another advantage is the use of robust takeoff by bungee catapult and crash-safe parachute landing system using redundant parachute release and impact dampers.
Using a 3D digital terrain map model, the aircraft constantly monitors the terrain and known obstacles in its flight path, to avoid collision. The aircraft is programmed to perform automated reconnaissance and surveillance missions, without the need for radio emissions by the ground station. Mission update or active remote control is also available. The vehicle transmits secure real-time images and system data to the ground station via the communications downlink.
When communications is not possible (such as in mountainous terrain) images are stored on-board for later transmission or manual retrieval. Luna has a 10 liter payload bay, which can be occupied by the quad sensor down-looking color video camera which offers both wide-field of view and close-range viewing capability. Optional 3 axis stabilized payload is also available, or a wide range of alternative payloads, including a new miniature SAR, radio jammers, meteorological sensors, GPS deception emitters, acoustical sensors, particle samplers and CBRN sensors and radiometers and more. According to the manufacturer’s data, after landing with parachute, Luna can be prepared for a new mission within 15 minutes.