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GA-ASI to Conduct Capability Demonstrations in Europe

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), is working with the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) in Greece to conduct a series of demonstration flights for European countries in December.

Flights will base out of the HAF’s site in Larissa and use a GA-ASI MQ-9 Guardian RPA to showcase maritime surveillance capabilities, as well as a GA-ASI-developed Detect and Avoid (DAA) system that enables RPA to fly safely in civil airspace alongside manned aircraft.

“We appreciate the HAF’s support in helping showcase the maritime surveillance and civil airspace integration capabilities of our unmanned aircraft in Europe,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “The demand for affordable, long-endurance airborne surveillance of the seas surrounding Europe is growing.”

The demonstration configuration is based on the MQ-9 systems operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in support of its maritime surveillance roles. The DAA system consists of an air-to-air radar and processor integrated with Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). The DAA system from GA-ASI is operational in the U.S. The system’s collision-avoidance radar provides an essential safety feature for integrating unmanned aircraft into civil airspace.

The MQ-9 system will also demonstrate a multi-mode maritime surface-search radar with Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) mode, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, and High-Definition/Full-Motion Video sensor equipped with optical and infrared cameras. The sensor suite enables real-time detection and identification of surface vessels over thousands of square nautical miles. The featured Raytheon SeaVue surface-search radar system provides automatic tracking of maritime targets and correlation of AIS transmitters with radar detection.

GA-ASI is also partnering with SES, a leading satellite communications (SATCOM) operator and managed services provider, with over 70 satellites in Geostationary Orbit (GEO) and Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). SES will provide the GEO satellite connectivity that enables the MQ-9 to operate securely with a high capacity datalink, enabling real-time transmission of sensor data from the aircraft, and extending its effective operational range far beyond that of “line-of-sight” datalinks.

“With our global satellite fleet, SES has been supporting the critical needs of GA-ASI and their government customers who have operated these aircraft for close to two decades,” said Nicole Robinson, Senior Vice President, Global Government at SES Networks. “We are proud to support this demonstration effort for the Hellenic Air Force as part of our long-standing relationship with General Atomics.”

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