GA-ASI Successfully Tests Predator C Avenger with Long Range Imaging Sensor

By Mike Ball / 15 Jun 2016

Predator C Avenger

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems and related mission systems solutions, has announced the successful flight tests of Predator C Avenger, equipped with a MS-177 Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) sensor manufactured by UTC Aerospace Systems.

MS-177, an advanced sensor in UTC’s SYERS family of sensors, is a key component that supports GA-ASI’s effort to equip Avenger with a long-range imaging capability. MS-177 is more technically advanced than the SYERS 2 flying on U-2 aircraft and also is significantly more affordable to manufacture. The sensor is a 7-band multi-spectral system that can be upgraded to a 10-band system to enhance target detection for maritime applications.

Find Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) sensor manufacturers >

“Avenger and MS-177 deliver a game-changing capability that dramatically alters the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance [ISR] landscape,” said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. “A MS-177-equipped Avenger provides a strategic ISR capability at a fraction of the cost of other ISR collecting platforms, offering high-resolution imagery from significant standoff ranges, thereby expanding the situational awareness of the warfighter greatly.”

During government-funded testing, Avenger demonstrated its ability to collect high-resolution imagery of land-based and littoral objects with the MS-177 sensor at altitudes above 37,000 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL). A total of seven test flights occurred between January and February 2016 at Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, Calif.

GA-ASI plans to begin flight testing of an Improved Avenger in October 2016, which will further enhance the operational capabilities of the MS-177. With an increased wingspan of 76 feet, Improved Avenger will extend the aircraft’s already impressive endurance from 15 hours to 20 hours, thus increasing the utility of MS-177 over a longer period of time. Improved Avenger will provide an optimal balance of long loiter ISR and precision-strike capability, supporting a wide array of sensors and weapons payloads to perform high-speed, long-endurance, multi-mission ISR and ground support missions.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact