The Tempest

Unmanned Fixed Wing Drone

The Tempest was designed and engineered by UASUSA specifically for the University of Colorado. The plane fit the University’s requirements for the National Science Foundation Tornado research project, Vortex2. The Tempest surpassed all of CU’s design specifications, and was 200% better than requested. 

The Tempest emerged from the latest trends in state-of-the-art sailplane flight profile, resulting in a sleek and streamline design. The Tempest possesses dynamic performance, something critical in the emerging civil drone market. It is fully autonomous, with point-and-click waypoints on a remote tablet, and has a very user-friendly interface. UASUSA offers the Tempest with customized payloads and software for a variety of different applications:

The Tempest has many advantages over its competition:


The Tempest is one of the most efficient designs in its class. With the supplied battery it achieves an hour and a half flight time traveling at 42-50 mph with a max of 110 mph. At a slower speed, the flight time increases. Additional batteries can be added for increased flight times. The Tempest offers quick and easy deployment.


The Tempest can cover 3.6 square miles (2,300 acres) in one flight flying at 400 feet. 


The Tempest was designed to be an extremely stable platform. This provides a great platform for cameras, and sensitive payloads.

Extreme weather capability

Because of its stability and efficiency, the Tempest can operate in high, turbulent winds up to 60 MPH. 

Proven track record

The Tempest has more COA’s issued in the US than any other commercially available platform.

Composite construction and design

Its lightweight composite construction allows a more efficient, accurate design and additional payload capacity. 

Increased product life span

When operated properly, our composite material, will stand the test of time (compared to some civil drones that use inexpensive EPP swimming pool toy foam).


The Tempest is fully customizable to fit any payload or mission requirement. 

Performance and Technical Information

  • Vehicle Weight 10lbs
  • 10 foot wing span
  • 7+ lb payload capacity
  • 50 MPH cruise speed
  • 1.5 hours on a fully automous mode with standard battery
  • Modular radio system 7-50 miles of range depending on requirements


The University of Colorado engaged UASUSA in 2008 to design and develop the Tempest for a joint NSF and NOAA project studying tornados.  The Tempest excelled in the extreme weather conditions.  Our aircraft had a 100% mission success record and gained national acclaim and exposure.  

Here is a link to a mission video:


  • 60+ COA’s (certificate of authorization) approved for Tempest
  • 100’s of successful missions
  • The University of Nebraska is using the Tempest to enhance its agriculture research program in its precision AG program 
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology has acquired a Tempest to investigate remote medicine delivery
  • Raytheon, Airware, and Aeromech (now Lockheed) as well as numerous other technology companies have purchased the Tempest for their projects
  • The Naval Research Laboratory completed an amazing mission in which the Tempest was taken aloft by a weather balloon to 58,000 feet and released. The Tempest was the “mothership” carrying two small UAS sensor aircraft. The Tempest returned from 28 miles downrange, sometimes encountering 50 knot head winds and minus 60 degree temperatures.  The Tempest deployed the UAS sensors at 38,000 feet and then autonomously landed at the launch site. The Tempest was so remarkably efficient that it never used the electric motor throughout the entire flight.

When you have to present your superiors with your acquisition suggestions, make sure it’s a Tempest from UASUSA. They will applaud you for securing the low cost, beautifully designed, high value, and reliable complete system that only UASUSA can provide.

Click Here To Download The Tempest Spec Sheet