AeroVironment Inc designs, tests, and manufactures diversified technological products. It is based in Monrovia, California. These include small, unmanned, remote-control military aircraft and rapid battery-charging stations, though the company's pipeline features many other potential future products such as small building-mounted wind turbines. Inventor Paul MacCready founded the firm in 1971, and the company held its initial public offering in 2007. The firm's unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)--typically used in military surveillance missions--constituted more than 85% of AV's 2008 revenue. During the past few years, the U.S. Department of Defense has awarded several full-rate contracts for small, unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, and AV has thus far won every one. PosiCharge Systems, the company's next- largest business, offers rapid battery-charging stations to customers looking to improve the efficiency of their electric vehicles, such as forklifts. Historically, these vehicles' batteries have had very long recharge and cool-down cycles. With its ability to rapidly recharge any battery and prevent the necessary cool-down period, however, PosiCharge can materially improve the return on such capital equipment. Potential new products include a constantly flying, high-altitude UAV and wind power facilities for buildings.
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