Predator C flies with MS-177 sensor
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA‑ASI) has conducted successful flight tests of its Predator C Avenger developmental UAV featuring an MS-177 Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) sensor from UTC Aerospace Systems.
Predator collected high-resolution imagery of littoral and land-based objects with the MS-177 sensor at altitudes above 37,000ft Mean Sea Level (MSL), during the government funded testing. A total of seven test flights were conducted throughout January and February at Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, California.
The MS-177 is part of the SYERS family of sensors from UTC Aerospace Systems, and aims to provide a long-range imaging capability to the Avenger. It is a seven-band, multi-spectral system that can also be upgraded to a ten-band system for greater target detection in maritime applications.
Linden Blue, chief executive officer, GA-ASI, said: ‘Avenger and MS-177 deliver a game-changing capability that dramatically alters the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) landscape. A MS-177-equipped Avenger provides a strategic ISR capability at a fraction of the cost of other ISR collecting platforms, offering high-resolution imagery from significant standoff ranges, thereby expanding the situational awareness of the warfighter greatly.’
GA-ASI plans to start flight-testing an improved Predator C Avenger in October 2016, further enhancing the MS-177's operational capabilities. The UAV will have a greater wingspan of 76ft, extending its endurance from 15 hours to 20 hours. The improved Avenger aims to balance the precision-strike and long-loiter ISR capability of the UAV, supporting various weapons and sensors payloads for long-endurance, high-speed, multi-mission ISR and ground support missions.
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