Aurora’s operations capabilities can meet the demanding security needs of defense services, as well as provide support for everyday science and commercial applications. The Aurora team stands ready to provide our capabilities and services through a fee-for-services model. Name the objective and we will provide a turnkey operation staffed by Aurora personnel with the primary deliverable being the successful and efficient execution of your mission.


Over the years, Aurora’s unmanned aircraft have supported a number of environmental and educational  missions across the globe. From the North Slope in Alaska, to the wilderness in South Africa, Aurora has conducted dozens of successful scientific and philanthropic operations, proving the countless abilities of unmanned flight.

In 2012, Aurora’s Skate small unmanned aerial system (SUAS) traveled to Peru in support of Vanderbilt University’s archeological survey efforts. Equipped with a high definition camera, Skate conducted routine flights above the Mawchu Llacta archeological site, capturing images to effectively map the area. Skate’s rapid survey and photography of the site was conducted in a matter of minutes, a monumental improvement over the months-long mapping previously executed by kites and blimps.

Skate has also proven an effective solution for wild life conservation efforts. In 2013, the SUAS helped rangers from Kruger National Park in South Africa detect poachers hunting endangered rhinoceroses. The 1-kilogram aircraft demonstrated a new and efficient way to monitor poaching over vast areas, scanning terrain that would have taken rangers on foot hours to canvas in a fraction of the time.

Another platform with proven operational capabilities is the Centaur optionally-piloted aircraft. In 2013, Aurora teamed with Harvard University and NOAA to integrate a greenhouse gas measurement system to the Centaur DA-42. The aircraft logged more than 60 hours of scientific data collection over the North Slope of Alaska, providing scientists with measurements of carbon dioxide and methane levels being released in the Arctic region. The research provided insight on the contributors to global warming and was critical in analyzing the rate of carbon addition to the atmosphere.


Although it is often associated with the armed forces or defense missions, ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) is a largely encompassing field of operations with numerous applications. Commercial ISR capabilities range from landscape surveying and mapping, to building and infrastructure inspection. Aurora’s UAS are developed and equipped to execute all of these applications and more.

The Centaur Optionally Piloted Aircraft and the Orion long endurance UAS can each carry and operate Electro-Optical/Infrared sensors, synthetic aperture radars, LiDAR systems, hyperspectral sensors, intelligence systems, and a host of other instruments in various combinations to meet our clients’ needs.
In addition to defense missions, the use of ISR can enhance operations for a number of industries including agriculture, land surveying, pipeline inspection, fishery monitoring and oil, gas, and mining support.

Aurora’s ISR capabilities can meet the demanding security needs of defense services, while also providing unparalleled support for science and commercial applications. The Aurora team stands ready to provide our capabilities and services. Through a fee-for-services model, we will provide turnkey operations staffed by Aurora personnel with the primary deliverable being the end-product desired by our customer.

Airspace Research

Centaur’s ability to operate in an augmented mode, being controlled remotely while a pilot is on board, makes the aircraft ideal for airborne research and testing.

This hybrid operation provides the opportunity to safely test unmanned technology on an aircraft that can be manually flown if the need arises. This mode allows the Centaur to be flown as an unmanned aircraft for the testing of payloads, equipment, or operational procedures, but without any of the airspace limitations typically encountered for UAS flights.

Aurora delivered the first ever OPA to armasuisse, the procurement agency of Switzerland’s Department of Defence, in November of 2013. armasuisse operates its own flight test center and uses Centaur as a platform to test sensors and sense and avoid equipment required to operate UAS in the Swiss national airspace.


Aurora’s unmanned aircraft are on the verge of changing the global communications landscape by allowing communications providers to reduce their dependence on expensive satellites.

From commercial endeavors to the most demanding defense missions, Centaur and Orion are ready to support our customers’ communications needs. With impressive flight endurance on both aircraft (20 hours for Centaur and 120 for Orion), Aurora’s UAS platforms are perfect for communications servicing payloads.