Military Embedded Systems

Due Regard Radar successfully tested on Predator B by GA-ASI


February 15, 2013

Brandon Lewis

Technology Editor

Embedded Computing Design

Due Regard Radar successfully tested on Predator B by GA-ASI

SAN DIEGO. A flight test of the Due Regard Radar (DRR) aboard a Predator B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) has been completed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI). The GA-ASI-funded air-to-air radar system supports the company’s airborne Sense and Avoid (SAA) architecture for the Predator B platform, and its integration and detection and tracking abilities were successfully tested on December 10, 2012 at the GA-ASI Gray Butte Flight Operations Facility in Palmdale, CA.

Using Actively Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology, DRR is able to simultaneously track multiple targets while scanning the Field of Regard (FOR) for new potential threats. The information is then downlinked via satellite communications to a real-time Graphical User Interface (GUI) at a Ground Control Station (GCS), where the tracks can be validated with a radar feed from Air Traffic Control (ATC). In the December 10th tests, DRR system detected a “non-cooperative” GA-ASI King Air aircraft and tracked it as an “intruder” while also tracking multiple other aircraft.

“Detecting airborne vehicles not equipped with transponders will be key to safely integrating RPA into the National Airspace System [NAS],” said GA-ASI Aircraft Systems Group President Frank W. Pace. “The prototype Due Regard Radar is a critical component of GA-ASI’s Sense and Avoid system, facilitating collision avoidance onboard the aircraft and allowing the pilot to separate the RPA from other air traffic in cooperation with ATC.”

DRR prototypes continue to be adapted by GA-ASI to meet the full FOR and accuracy requirements of the NAS. Both manned and unmanned flight tests of the system will continue throughout 2013.