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UTC next-gen sensor tapped for Global Hawk

Contract covers MS-177 multi-spectral imaging and long range-intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensor.

By Geoff Ziezulewicz
UTC next-gen sensor tapped for Global Hawk
UTC Aerospace Systems has been awarded a contract to support integration and testing of the MS-177 sensor on to Northrop Grumman's RQ-4B Global Hawk drone, the company announced Monday. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

FARMINGTON, Conn., July 11 (UPI) -- UTC Aerospace Systems has been awarded a contract to support integration and testing of the MS-177 sensor on Northrop Grumman's RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, the company announced Monday.

The contract for an undisclosed amount will add the sensor's multi-spectral imaging and long-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensor onto the drone as part of the U.S. Air Force's planned platform modernization, UTC said in a statement.

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The MS-177 sensor system has been enhanced over the past three years and is part of a collaborative effort with Northrop Grumman.

It provides capabilities to not only find targets using broad area search and different sensing technologies, but also to fix, track and assess targets through its agility and multiple sensing modalities, UTC said.

Enhancements to the sensor system include a gimbaled optical design, a wide area search mode and a motion imagery mode.

As a result, the system can collect more than six times' the area coverage per hour than the current SYERS-2B sensor operating on the U2 platform.

MS-177 can also continuously track a target without having to change the aircraft's flight path.

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The Global Hawk began supporting overseas contingency operations two months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Northrop said.

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