General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), utilizing Collins Aerospace Systems technology, recently succeeded in the first complete takeoff to landing flight of a MQ-9B SkyGuardian™ Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) using GA-ASI's Certifiable Ground Control Station (CGCS). The flight took place at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Yuma, Arizona on March 12. Collins Aerospace is a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
The Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion® integrated avionics system played a key role as part of the interface for the flight's ground control station. Pilots are able to take advantage of the systems' intuitive operator interface and touchscreen map, minimizing workload with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-certified solution.
"We're seeing the flexibility of Pro Line Fusion avionics shine in this program," said Brad Haselhorst, vice president and general manager, Training and Mission Solutions for Collins Aerospace. "Pro Line Fusion is making the path toward certified operation of UAS within the National Airspace System simpler for our customers."
Collins Aerospace is focused on the development of technologies for safe and routine operation of UAS in civil airspace. Solutions range from civil certified datalinks and integrated flight controls, to flight critical hardware and software that enable airworthiness for wider access to airspace. Integration of Pro Line Fusion into UAS ground control stations helps to bring together a multitude of data inputs such as weather, airspace information, mission data, Search and Rescue (SAR) pattern flight management and Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) notifications, providing real-time mission optimization and a common operating picture for the operator.