General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ (GA-ASI) Guardian RPA has concluded large-scale demonstration flights in Japan, the company announced on 21 June.
The flights, which took place from 10-23 May, were carried out to promote the system’s civil and scientific applications.
The Guardian RPA has an endurance of more than of 20 hours. The RPA’s sensors include a long-range maritime surface-search radar, stabilised optical and infrared video cameras and an active collision-avoidance system, including a short range air-to-air radar.
During the demonstration, the Guardian RPA successfully demonstrated utility in humanitarian and disaster response by monitoring the volcano on Fugendake and tracking the spread of a small brush fire on Iki.
The aircraft also provided overwatch support to the Japanese fisheries agency during routine patrols; demonstrated the utility of company’s detect and avoid system which ensured safe operational flight throughout
Japanese airspace; and verified the automatic identification system ability of the SeaVue Radar, enabling rapid identification of ships at sea as a method of countering piracy and illegal fishing.
The sensor data collected by Guardian will be provided to scientific research institutions, and flight data will be given to airspace management organisations to help establish procedures for using RPA systems in national and international civil airspace.