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GA-ASI furthers Predator radar development

GA-ASI furthers Predator radar development

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has furthered the development of its Due Regard Radar for the Predator B by testing a prototype on a manned aircraft.

Announced by the company on 22 February, the radar was demonstrated aboard a Twin Otter aircraft on 17 October in Borrego Springs, California, US.

The radar is designed to support the Predator B’s overall radar-based sense and avoid architecture according to the company, and a representative told Shephard that the radar is expected to be tested aboard a UAV ‘within the next year or two’.

‘Equipping a highly reliable UAS such as the Predator B with this capability will expand its capacity to operate routinely in domestic and international airspace, ensuring its interoperability with civilian air traffic and airspace rules and regulations,’ Linden Blue, president, reconnaissance systems group, GA-ASI said in a statement.

The system is based around an AESA radar and during testing it successfully detected ‘intruder’ King Air aircraft which entered the Twin Otter’s airspace.

Testing was conducted to collect data for algorithm development in preparation for additional manned testing which is due later this year.

It will then fly with upgraded hardware, the representative explained and will collect further data to support algorithm development and requirements analysis.

The company is also considering testing the radar on all of its current aircraft, including other members of the Predator family and the Gray Eagle UAS. However, initial development will focus on testing aboard the Predator B.

The continued evaluation aims to allow the radar to achieve technology readiness level 7. It is expected to be production-ready by 2015, GA-ASI concluded.

Source: by Beth Stevenson in London - 08 March 2012 - shephardmedia /UV Online News

Photo: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) Predator UAV (Photo by Shephard Group)



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