General Atomics‘ aeronautical systems business has flight-tested a new datalink capability that the U.S. Army is looking to equip on a future, modernized version of the Gray Eagle Extended Range unmanned aircraft system.
The company said Thursday it demonstrated GE-ER’s ability to maintain link and accommodate high-bandwidth data rates with satellites in geostationary and medium Earth orbits.
The tests, which took place in December, demonstrated how the datalink can help GE-ER avoid interruptions during flight under multiple satellite constellations and maintain activity in contested environments.
The demonstration also included testing of advanced waveform capabilities to provide multiple line-of-sight options for the modernized GE-ER.
Don Cattell, vice president of Army programs at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., said the company and the Army are working together to make GE-ER ready for use in contested environments.
“Extensive use of modular open-systems approach principles, along with model-based systems engineering, made this capability possible,” Cattell said.
The modernized GE-ER will undergo flight testing in fourth quarter.