Military Embedded Systems

Seaspray AESA maritime radar to equip unmanned MQ-9B SeaGuardian


January 19, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Leonardo image.

POWAY, Calif. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) is working with Leonardo to integrate the Leonardo Seaspray 7500E V2 radar into the centerline radar pod of its MQ-9B SeaGuardian remotely-piloted aircraft system (RPAS).

The MQ-9B's all-weather capability and compliance with STANAG-4671 (NATO airworthiness standard for Unmanned Aircraft Systems) along with a collision-avoidance radar, are intended to enable flexible operations in civil airspace.

GA-ASI claims that SeaGuardian has a multi-mode maritime surface-search radar with Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) imaging mode, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver, and a High-Definition - Full-Motion Video sensor equipped with optical and infrared cameras.

This sensor suite, augmented by automatic track correlation and anomaly-detection algorithms, is designed to enable real-time detection and identification of surface vessels over a number of square nautical miles. The Seaspray 7500E V2 radar uses Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology to detect, track, and classify hundreds of maritime contacts. The company claims that the integration will also include an Open Mission Systems (OMS) approach.