UV - Unmanned Vehicles

Lightning strikes for MQ-9B

22nd June 2018 - 11:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has carried out successful lightning tests on its second full-scale MQ-9B in Poway, California, the company announced on 19 June. 

The test was conducted jointly by GA-ASI and NTS Pittsfield, a developer of sophisticated lightning protection systems for the aerospace industry.

During the test, a scaled lightning current was injected onto the aircraft structure, simulating a direct lightning strike. The current flowed along the aircraft structure and exited from a predetermined return location, verifying the effectiveness of the lightning protection design.

The same lightning protection technology will be used by GA-ASI for its proposed MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling tanker.

MQ-9B is a certifiable (STANAG 4671) version of GA-ASI’s multi-mission Predator B fleet of RPA. The company named its baseline MQ-9B aircraft SkyGuardian and the maritime surveillance variant is called SeaGuardian.

A weaponised variant of the system is being acquired by the UK Royal Air Force under the Protector RG Mk 1 programme.

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