Company Receives Awards for Outstanding Achievement by an Aerospace Organization, Outstanding Contributions to Aerospace Management and the AIAA San Diego Section
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions, today announced that it recently has been honored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) with local awards for outstanding aerospace contributions and achievements. The San Diego Section is dedicated to promoting awareness, activism, and access throughout the aerospace community.
In the category of Outstanding Achievement by an Aerospace Organization, GA-ASI was recognized for the development of its Due Regard Radar (DRR), an air-to-air radar produced under company funding to enable RPA systems to fly safely in domestic and international airspace. The award is presented to companies that have advanced the state-of-the-art of aerospace engineering or have utilized significant technical and/or managerial innovations in a project that has resulted in exceptional accomplishments.
DRR has become a critical component of GA-ASI’s airborne Detect and Avoid (DAA) architecture for its Predator© B RPA. The company is partnered with the FAA, NASA, and several industry partners to mature a DAA capability onboard NASA’s Ikhana RPA. DRR will be used to track cooperative as well as non-cooperative aircraft.
"GA-ASI is honored to receive this award, which is a testament to our DRR team members who have worked tirelessly since the program began in 2011 to mature this capability," said Claudio Pereida, executive vice president, Mission Systems, GA-ASI.
In the category of Outstanding Contribution to Aerospace Engineering, GA-ASI’s Aircraft Systems Technical Director of Advanced Programs, Mike Atwood, was recognized for his achievements which have proved instrumental in advancing the company’s aircraft design and development. The award is presented to candidates who have made significant contributions to the technical direction of engineering projects, developing new products, obtaining patents, pioneering new technologies and conducting fundamental research.
“Mike Atwood is an invaluable and highly innovative developer of next-generation advanced technologies and is a key player in GA-ASI’s overall success,” said David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI.
Mr. Atwood and his team are currently developing the next generation of airborne recoverable Small Unmanned Air Systems (SUAS) to leverage distributed swarm technologies. He previously was responsible for designing low observable aircraft in support of the U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program.
Lastly, in the category of Outstanding Corporate Contribution to the AIAA San Diego Section, the General Atomics Sciences Education Foundation was recognized for awarding AIAA a generous grant in support of its active program to enhance young peoples’ experiences with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
Second Consecutive Appraisal Validates Company’s Commitment to Continuous Improvement
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions, today announced that the Development and Production processes of its Aircraft Systems business unit (“Full-Directed Programs, Systems, and Software”) have been appraised at Maturity Level 51 using the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Institute’s Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI) version 1.3b.
“This is a significant accomplishment in the maturing of an organization’s management, development, and support processes,” said David Greer, CMMI Institute-certified high maturity lead appraiser, Assess-IT, Inc. “Only a small percentage of companies have achieved this milestone in continuous process improvement. Absent an externally-levied requirement to achieve Maturity Level 5, GA-ASI has set this goal for itself, indicating a deep seated belief in the value of process improvement, and has done so over consecutive appraisals.”
CMMI is a process improvement approach that provides organizations with the essential elements of effective processes, ultimately improving their performance. Appraisal at maturity level 5 - the highest that can be attained - indicates that the organization is performing at an “optimizing” level. At this level, an organization continually improves its processes based on a quantitative understanding of its business objectives and performance needs and uses a quantitative approach to understand the variation inherent in the process and the causes of process outcomes.
“We are pleased to once again demonstrate that our processes are continuously improving,” said David R. Alexander, president, Aircraft Systems, GA-ASI. “Maintaining the Maturity Level 5 rating underscores our commitment to deliver products that exceed customer needs while also making effective use of metrics to manage and optimize the organization’s performance.”
1 CMMI Institute, GA-ASI Published Appraisal Results, April 2016.