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

2020-11-15

GA-ASI Demos New SC2 Software

Work is on to ensure that the Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) provides reductions in emplacement, mission launch time and overall footprint size. This will be achieved thanks to the new laptop-based interface called Scalable Command & Control (SC2) from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI).
 
GA-ASI recently concluded a series of flight tests using the new SC2 interface hosted on the U.S. Government’s Improved Portable Maintenance Aid (IPMA) that is fielded to all UAS units in the Army. This provides 100 per cent of the functionalities of the Ground Control Station (GCS) shelter hosted on a laptop, greatly reducing the logistics burden of set-up, transporting and operating a Gray Eagle UAS. The effort was closely coordinated with GA-ASI’s Government customer to fully control a company-owned GE-ER UAS including pre-flight, taxi, takeoff and landing.
 
The operation was later conducted using a Government-owned GE-ER to confirm functionality with the field GCS software. The SC2 software enables control of the GE-ER and its payloads, while also allowing aircraft, payloads and sensors to be controlled by disparate users replicating a ground manoeuvre force or another disadvantaged user. SC2 also efficiently controlled the onboard sensors and commanded release of various payloads from disparate manufacturers all integrated in less than 90 days.
 
Supervised Autonomy 
SC2 is a collection of standalone software applications that reduce operator workload through automated check lists and optimises the operator steps for pre-flight, taxi, launch and recovery, health and status monitoring, sensor and payload control and maintenance of the Gray Eagle UAS. GA-ASI believes SC2’s automation will allow enlisted operators to focus on the more difficult and operationally relevant mission tasks, leaving the more mundane tasks to the software with minimal man-in-the-loop tasks to meet the Army concept of “supervised autonomy.”
 
SC2 leverages previous automation tools and government approved architectures to reduce overhead and integration and sustainment costs. The software incorporates GE-ER-specific capabilities needed for conducting everything from simple maintenance checks to full mission operations and flight testing. General Atomics is working closely with the Army to ensure SC2’s open architecture is aligned with the Army’s plans for Scalable Control Interface (SCI).
 
Incorporating SC2 into the fielded GE-ER configuration will allow to reduce the logistical footprint of a GE-ER platoon and provide a true expeditionary capability to the Army while enabling flexibility in the conduct of Multi-Domain Operations (MDO), providing situational awareness, critical and timely long range targeting information and enabling future vertical lift aircraft to focus on their missions. 
 

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