The system by General Atomics General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., called Nightlighter, is derived from GA-ASI's daylight-only Highlighter electro-optic sensor system, which was used for six years in Iraq. It features standard cameras for daylight operations and advanced night imaging technology for night operations.
The day system is a 1,600-pound, ultra-high resolution payload flown on special mission aircraft and is supported with "on-board automated image processing for rapid airborne image acquisition, analysis and dissemination in spotting and identifying hard to detect targets such as IEDs planted on roadsides or under the surface," the company said.
GA-ASI has completed a series of tests on Nightlighter using a Twin Otter aircraft. The test was sponsored by the U.S. Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization.
GA-ASI is developing a program to deploy the system on King Air 350 aircraft, with a series of flight tests to follow.