Wide-area search drone begins flights for Japan Coast GuardNews
October 20, 2022
SAN DIEGO, California. A new drone based on the MQ-9 platform that can conduct maritime wide-area search (MWAS) has started flight operations for the Japan Coast Guard, manufacturer General Atomics Aeronautical Systems announced in a statement.
The MQ-9B SeaGuardian drone "will primarily perform Maritime Wide Area Search (MWAS) over the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean [as well as] search and rescue, disaster response, and maritime law enforcement," the statement reads.
The SeaGuardian features 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 with optical and infrared cameras, the company says.
The company claims the platform's sensors are capable of detecting and identifying surface vessels over 1,000 square nautical miles, as well as automatic tracking of maritime targets.