General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) successfully demonstrated in December its latest Automatic Takeoff and Landing Capability (ATLC) using a satellite communications (SATCOM) data link for its MQ-9B SkyGuardian/SeaGuardian unmanned aerial system (UAS), according to a company statement.
Using only an encrypted SATCOM data link, GA-ASI successfully taxied the aircraft and initiated six auto take-off and landing events. The company said this capability will eliminate the need for a ground control station and a pilot and flight crew to be located at the aircraft’s base, which it said will drastically reduce airlift requirements when the UAS is forward deployed. GA-ASI also said the demonstration included the first SATCOM taxi of the MQ-9B.
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