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Jackson State University computer science grad Brenda Matthews is currently lead systems engineer of the pre-planned product improvement program for the Shadow product line of the tactical unmanned aerial system project office in the Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (AMRDEC) at Redstone Arsenal. She is responsible for planning and system modification programs. One of them is the Shadow, a medium-sized unmanned aerial system that provides reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition for up to 12 hours of continuous operation within a 24-hour period.
"The Shadow UAS is the Army's tactical ‘workhorse’ supporting brigade and combat team operations," Matthews said. "The Shadow provides the ground commander with significant situational awareness and ability to influence operations in a timely manner. The addition of extended wings and increased fuel storage capacity increased mission endurance allowed for expanded payload capability.”
The Shadow has compiled 800,000 flight hours since its fielding in early 2003. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) Soldiers deploy Shadows to facilitate reconnaissance, targeting enemy forces for air or artillery strikes. A UAS platoon's training regimen consists of preparing the Shadow for flight, launching it, maintaining a flight pattern and landing safely.
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