SeaGuardian UAS Completes Maritime Test Flights

By Mike Ball / 15 Sep 2020
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GA-ASI SeaGuardian UAS

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI) has successfully completed a series of maritime test flights off the coast of Southern California with the SeaGuardian variant of the company’s MQ-9B UAS (unmanned aerial system). SeaGuardian is an MQ-9B SkyGuardian that has been specifically configured for maritime ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) missions.

This particular aircraft was the first MQ-9B to be configured for surveillance operations over open water. The test flights demonstrated how SeaGuardian can be used for a variety of maritime missions, including surface search, subsurface search, littoral surveillance, anti-piracy and search and rescue.

The aircraft’s onboard payloads included the GA-ASI Lynx Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), a Raytheon Intelligence & Space SeaVue Expanded Mission Capability (XMC) radar, a Raytheon Intelligence & Space Multi-Spectral Targeting System, a Leonardo Electronic Support Measure (ESM)/Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) SAGE 750, a Shine Micro Automatic Identification System (AIS), an Ultra sonobuoy receiver and a General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada sonobuoy processor.

The MQ-9B platform is all-weather capable, and compliant with STANAG 4671 (NATO Airworthiness type-certification standard for UAS). This feature, along with its operationally proven collision-avoidance radar, enables flexible operations in civil (including ICAO) airspace.

Linden Blue, CEO of GA-ASI, commented: “The SeaGuardian’s debut demonstrated persistent situational awareness in the maritime domain for our customers.”

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