Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2020-11-09

GA-ASI Conducts Sparrowhawk sUAS Flight Tests

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) recently conducted captive carry Sparrowhawk Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) flight demonstrations. The Sparrowhawk aircraft is designed as an airborne launch and recovery demonstrator aircraft tailored to fit GA-ASI platforms and is focused on Advanced Battle Management System’s attritableONE technologies. Sparrowhawk iterates on the DARPA Gremlins Programme to further airborne recovery of sUAS, reducing the cost of operation and enabling new mission capabilities to GA-ASI’s MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft.
 
The Sparrowhawk sUAS was carried on a MQ-9A and controlled using GA-ASI’s Metis Software Defined Control Station hosted on a laptop computer, which reduced the system’s logistical footprint and supports the vision for interfaces to the aircraft from across the battlefield — without the need for a Ground Control Station shelter or vehicle. Communications were achieved using a fielded meshONE datalink, enabling collaborative autonomy capabilities among the platforms. The Cooperation in Denied Environments (CODE) autonomy engine was implemented to further understand cognitive Artificial Intelligence (AI) processing for unmanned systems.
 
The test flights build on the capabilities demonstrated when Gray Eagle carried two Area-I Altius-600 Air Launched Effects (ALEs) during Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) demonstrations, underscoring GA-ASI’s commitment to expanding the capabilities of its aircraft. 
 

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