General Atomics' aeronautical systems business demonstrated autonomous sensing capabilities aboard an Avenger remotely piloted aircraft during a 90-minute flight test.
The company said Friday the RPA with Lockheed Martin's Legion Pod infrared search-and-track technology performed a captive-carry mission to test the aircraft's aerodynamics safety and mechanical interfaces.
Legion is designed to help air vehicles trace air-to-air targets in radar-denied areas through a passive high-fidelity detection capability. General Atomics noted it took less than three months for the technology to transition from concept to flight demonstration phase.
“We are excited to see how our IRST21 systems will be integrated on other unmanned platforms,” said Kenen Nelson, director of fixed-wing sensor programs at Lockheed's missiles and fire control unit.
The team plans to conduct follow-on flights for Legion in 2021.
In December 2020, GA-ASI also tested the Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment, an autonomy software engine, on the Avenger to demonstrate Advanced Tactical Data Links integration and flight and mission critical system separation.