SAN DIEGO – 16 April 2018 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has successfully demonstrated aircraft carrier deck handling to include taxi capability and transition to the launch and recovery phases using a Predator® C Avenger® jet aircraft as a surrogate. As part of the proposed MQ-25 solution, GA-ASI has demonstrated that the new carrier-based unmanned tanker can integrate with the complexities of existing flight deck operations.
“MQ-25 will need to integrate seamlessly with the Carrier Air Wing regardless of whether the aircraft is conducting flight or deck operations,” said David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. “This demonstration proves that the GA-ASI solution will integrate into existing ship operations, and that translates into less time spent steaming into the wind for launches and recoveries.”
Specifically, MQ-25 deck operations will use specially designed director wands that are the same size, shape, and weight as those used today. Directors fully control aircraft taxi operations on deck, including lowering/raising the launch bar, spreading/folding the wings, and raising the arresting hook. GA-ASI employs unique gesture recognition algorithms in the wands that recognize standard Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures (NATOPS) flight deck director hand gestures and then translates and sends those commands to the MQ-25 air vehicle. MQ-25 receives the commands and converts them into the appropriate aircraft actions.
“MQ-25 will be able to ‘talk back’ to the controller and other flight deck personnel using a small series of LEDs that change colors and/or flash to show that they have received a command and indicate the aircraft’s condition or operating state,” said Alexander. “A safety observer on deck can stop the aircraft instantly any time an unsafe situation is identified. To give you an idea of how the system works, think Wii® for aircraft control.”
A video demonstrating flight deck control was on display last week during Sea-Air-Space 2018 and can be found at www.ga-asi.com/MQ-25. High resolution photos of GA-ASI’s proposed MQ-25 are available upon request to qualified media outlets.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator®, Reaper® and Gray Eagle UAS programs of record and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With more than 5 million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, multi-mission capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight, enabling situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas. For more information, visit www.ga-asi.com.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
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