Northrop Grumman AHRS played critical role in nEUROn flight
Northrop Grumman has announced that its German navigation systems subsidiary, Northrop Grumman LITEF, provided the fibre-optic, gyrocompassing LCR-100 attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) for the nEUROn Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator. The aircraft, equipped with the AHRS, completed a successful first flight in December 2012.
The nEUROn is an experimental UCAV being developed with international cooperation, led by France, and including government and industry partners from Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The programme aims to develop, test and sustain key technologies for use by European manufacturers in the next generation of unmanned aerial vehicles and combat aircraft.
The LCR-100 AHRS provides navigation information relating to the aircraft's position, heading and attitude. The north-finding gyrocompass feature eliminates the need for a magnetic sensing unit, similar to an inertial reference system. Additionally, the system's precise inertial measurement unit enables extended coasting performance for the aircraft to continue providing accurate navigation information in the event of GPS signal loss. The LCR-100 is certified to civil standards for commercial off-the-shelf equipment in military platforms.
Eckehardt Keip, managing director for Northrop Grumman LITEF, said: ‘The LCR-100 has proven that it is an efficient, cost-effective solution for unmanned aerial vehicles, particularly because of its small size and light weight. The system performed to our high standards and played a critical role in the nEUROn's major milestone achievement.’
The nEUROn demonstrator will not enter serial production, but is expected to undergo additional flight testing, including a flight in Sweden during 2014, as part of the programme.
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