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

2023-11-10

GA-ASI Improves Aerial Recovery for SUAS and ALE

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) recently advanced its Aerial Recovery System for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems/Air-Launched Effects (SUAS/ALE) by deploying and retracting a towline with a “smart end feature” from a GA-ASI MQ-20 Avenger Unmanned Aircraft System in flight. The demonstration took place on Sept. 20, over Dugway Proving Ground, Utah.
 
During this demonstration, a hoist from Breeze-Eastern equipped with GA-ASI’s smart end feature was integrated into Avenger’s payload bay. While in flight, the towline was deployed away from Avenger to the optimal distance for aerial recovery.

The smart end feature was able to wirelessly transmit its position back to Avenger, confirming its ability to transmit the data to a nearby SUAS/ALE for aerial recovery. The smart end feature’s “deployed” position correlated to GA-ASI’s multi-degree-of-freedom finite element catenary models, confirming its potential for SUAS/ALE aerial recovery.
 
Beyond just captive carry back to base, the SUAS/ALE can be refuelled, recharged, and/or rearmed and then redeployed. Redeployment can occur from the host aircraft, enabling SUAS/ALEs to conduct their own orbits from airborne launch and recovery positions.

Aerial redeployment allows UAS like GA-ASI’s Avenger or MQ-9A Reaper to serve as mobile command centres for a network of SUAS/ALEs in a persistent, expansive grid for surveillance, electronic attack, enemy air defence suppression, communication pathways, or joint all-domain mobile command and control for days or weeks at a time.

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