UAS flies with open payload architecture

May 18, 2012 at 1:56 PM

SAN DIEGO, May 18 (UPI) -- A new open payload architecture for the Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial system has been successfully demonstrated by U.S. and European companies.

The Sovereign Payload Capability Demonstration was conducted at a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. facility in California.

Frank W. Pace, president of GA-ASI's Aircraft Systems Group, said the demonstration represented "a significant step toward the goal of operational independence for Predator B."

"Our open payload architecture greatly reduces integration complexity by allowing payload providers and mission systems integrators to develop their own payload control software and ultimately integrate their own payloads."

The demonstration included a live flight of a GA-ASI Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper fitted with Selex Galileo Seaspray 7500E surveillance radar for tracking air, land and maritime targets.

Software modifications to the Predator B system for use of the Selex Galileo radar were performed by GA-ASI with Selex integration support, while Cobham PLC OF Britain provided airworthiness procedures.

Cobham, in conjunction with GA-ASI, provides support for the aircraft used by the British air force.

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