General Atomics has been awarded a contract to demonstrate the US Air Force Research Lab’s “Agile Condor” capability under which a MQ-9 drone will surveil a large area continuously identifying targets of interest using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies.
“The Agile Condor project will allow a MQ-9 to surveil a large area of operations, autonomously identify pre-defined targets of interest and transmit their locations,” said David R. Alexander, president, GA-ASI.
The company will integrate the Agile Condor capability over a 10-month period beginning this month. The flight demonstration phase will be used to experiment with the Agile Condor payload to determine the optimum AI and machine learning methodologies to find, identify and track select targets.
The Agile Condor capability can also reduce satellite bandwidth requirements as a result of its ability to automatically identify, classify, and nominate targets of interest. If operating in a fully autonomous mode, it would be possible to only engage SATCOM connectivity or other data link channels to disseminate the imagery and location of those targets.