General Atomics and Hellenic Air Force (HAF) will conduct a series of demonstration flights of MQ-9 drones to showcase its surveillance and drone countermeasures capabilities to the European countries, in December.
“Flights will base out of the HAF’s site in Larissa and use a MQ-9 Guardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) to showcase maritime surveillance capabilities, as well as a Detect and Avoid (DAA) system that enables RPA to fly safely in civil airspace alongside manned aircraft,” General Atomics said in a statement Monday.
The demonstration configuration is based on the MQ-9 systems operated by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in support of its maritime surveillance roles.
Developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), 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 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. This 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 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 operational range beyond that of “line-of-sight” datalinks.