GA-ASI Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper RPA surrogate, STARE, and Lynx multimode radar combine with FLIR EO/IR sensor and Tactical Common Data Link during NATO trial of ISR aircraft systems


BERLIN, Germany, 14 Sept. 2012. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA‑ASI), a manufacturer of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems, participated in NATO’s Unified Vision (UV12) Trial at Orland Main Air Station in Brekstad, Norway. The news was revealed during the Berlin Air Show, happening this week in Germany.

The goal of the Joint ISR (JISR) trial, which is sponsored by the NATO Joint Capability Group on Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (JCGISR), is to enhance the interoperability of national ISR assets, ISR data sharing, and improving NATO JISR tactics, techniques, and procedures. More than 1,200 participants from 21 NATO commands, member nations, and associated government organizations attended the event, which marked GA-ASI’s first.  

GA-ASI officials demonstrated a Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper surrogate (manned King Air 200) with a Block 30 Lynx multimode radar, a FLIR Star SAFIRE 3800HD electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor, and Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL), as well as GA-ASI’s new System for Tactical Archival, Retrieval, and Exploitation (STARE) and Link 16 integration.

“We were honored to help fill the ISR gap for this year’s trial with a surrogate RPA and to have the opportunity to demonstrate the game-changing capabilities of our new STARE ISR data processing technology,” says Linden Blue, president, Reconnaissance Systems Group, GA-ASI. “We look forward to continuing to develop STARE to meet the needs of the customer community.”

GA-ASI’s involvement centered on ensuring that assets were actionable to the warfighter. The company’s STARE technology filled critical gaps in data distribution, archiving, and retrieval during the various trial vignettes, by simultaneously processing sensor feeds from multiple systems, including the Reaper surrogate, AeroVironment’s Puma Small unmanned aircraft system (UAS), and Lockheed Martin’s Persistent Threat Detection System (aerostat). STARE was used to collect, exploit, and disseminate Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery, stationary and moving target information, and high-definition (HD) video to NATO networks.

The Reaper surrogate demonstrated all-weather capabilities with the Lynx radar and participated in all mission profiles, including flights during inclement weather. Onboard the aircraft, GA-ASI’s Claw sensor control and image analysis software provided command and control of the radar and FLIR sensor, and processed data through the data link. On the ground, STARE provided the exploitation and fusion of ISR sensor data, as well as HUMan INTelligence (HUMINT) and Measurement and Signature Intelligence (MASINT) reporting, including ingestion, exploitation, and display of full-motion video (FMV) and Moving Target Indicator (MTI) data from the Persistent Threat Detection System in Yuma, Ariz., along with other FMV and MTI feeds from disparate, local NATO trial participants.

STARE was also used to rebroadcast and share Reaper and other NATO ISR data via cross-domain solutions to unclassified and classified NATO network partners and provide “Reaper” Link 16 tracks to all NATO air assets participating in the trial.

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