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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has completed a series of demonstration flights with its remote-controlled unmanned aviation system MQ-9 Guardian (RPAS) on December 19 of 2019.

In the demonstrations, maritime surveillance capabilities of the MQ-9 and developed by GA-ASI Detect and were presented Avoid system for monitoring traffic in the civil airspace. The flights were supported by the Greek Air Force and the Greek coast guard and carried out by the Air Force Base Larissa in Greece. The air campaign was attended by an audience of European representatives (military and civilian), including representatives of the German armed forces, instead.

The demonstrations served to European customers from GA-ASI MQ-9 demonstrate the ability as a means of maritime surveillance and their ability to integrate into civil airspace. The demonstration MQ-9 configuration is in the US already in operation.

"The advanced capabilities of these systems are impressive. During the 10 days of demonstrations Greece has the value of MQ-9 systems for maritime surveillance and the monitoring of exclusive economic zone, Border surveillance, supporting the search and rescue efforts and fighting forest fires come to expect, "quoted an official of the Greek air force in a study published by GA-ASI press release.

Detect and Avoid demonstration

The Detect and Avoid (DAA) system consists of an air-to-air radar with integrated traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS II) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B). The DAA system made light eden safe flight of the MQ-9 in civil airspace and can even detect such aircraft that do not actively communicate their position themselves.

The MQ-9 also has a maritime multimode ground radar and optical and infrared high-definition / full-motion video sensor. These sensor suite allows real-time detection and identification of large and small surface vessels in all weather conditions and over large distances, in a range of 360 degrees around the aircraft. Outfitted with the Raytheon SeaVue surface search radar provides continuous tracking of maritime targets and the correlation of AIS stations with radar detections. The Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) mode facilitates the classification of ships that are located outside the optical sensor range.

For demonstration purposes, GA-ASI has with SES, an operator and managed services provider for satellite communications (SATCOM) with over 70 satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO) and medium earth orbit (MEO) together. SES delivered the GEO satellite connection that the MQ-9 made it possible to work safely with a high-performance data connection that enables real-time transmission of sensor data from the plane and the effective range far beyond the "Line-of-Sight" -Datenverbindungen addition extended.

GA-ASI RPAS users worldwide

The GA-ASI RPAS operated by the US Air Force, US Army, US Marine Corps, the US Department of Homeland Security, and NASA. Beginning in December 2019 gave the Australian government Procurement of the MQ-9B for the Australian Defense Forces as part of the Air 7003 project known.

In Europe, the MQ-9 systems of GA-ASI in different versions already in the Italian Air Force, the British Royal Air Force, the French and the Spanish Air Force in use. The Dutch Ministry of Defense has the MQ-9 ordered for the Royal Dutch Air Force already in 2018 and is waiting for their feed. In addition, the Belgian government has the Belgian Ministry of Defense granted approval 9B MQ systems to negotiate the acquisition of several.

Waldemar Geiger