General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has been awarded a contract to upgrade unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for the United States Air National Guard (ANG), which include Block 1 and Block 5 MQ-9 aircraft, the Block 25 Dual Control Module Ground Control Station (DCMGCS) and the Block 30 Ground Control Station (GCS). The contract covers kits for high-definition displays and Barrett Asymmetrical Digital Datalink Computers (BADDC), as well as Multi-Intelligence Smart Processing (MISP).
The BADDC is a system that acts as a payload data multiplexer, increasing the number of sensor data sources that the drone can send over data links, within its channel and bandwidth constraints. The BADDC interleaves data from onboard sensors and forwards the data into a single channel, enabling several sources of sensor data to be transmitted through the link.
MISP is a bi-directional data architecture that has developed in conjunction with the Air Force Research Laboratory and BAE Systems. It enables the GCS and Squadron Operations Center to securely share internal and external data. The MISP network establishes a baseline for quickly adding new IP-enabled sensors to the system. These sensors can be operated locally or remotely as required by the operators. MISP also provides unit-level intelligence capabilities allowing data from the MQ-9 to be disseminated to the right personnel, at the right time, to inform the best possible decision.
GA-ASI President David R. Alexander commented: “We’re pleased to see the ANG move forward with these upgrades and further enhance the capabilities of their RPA systems. The HD kits and BADDCs will allow enable increased throughput and higher quality of sensor data between the MQ-9 and GCS, while MISP will enable seamless data flow between GCS and external networks. These upgrades will improve mission-effectiveness tremendously.”