Military Embedded Systems

Autonomous search-and-follow demoed on GA-ASI Avenger UAS


February 28, 2022

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

GA-ASI photo.

POWAY, Calif. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) used a company-owned Avenger unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and five hardware-in-the-loop synthetic Avengers to autonomously search and follow an artificially-generated adversary.

According to the company announcement, the live-virtual swarm utilized a simulated infrared search-and-track (IRST) sensor network in addition to the government-furnished CODE autonomy engine to accomplish the mission.

In the two-hour flight, officials claim the Avenger flew over the high desert of southern California. The live Avenger was commanded into a search mission with the five simulated Avengers. Once the simulated adversary entered the designated search area, the team of Avengers would decide, utilizing an artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning algorithm, which aircraft would autonomously break from the search-loiter and perform complex behaviors to show closed loop, air-to-air tactics.

The Avenger UAS integrated a ZPX-R ADS-B and Mode 5 Level 2 receiver provided by uAvionix. The low size, weight, and power (SWaP) sensor allowed the platform to track active aircraft within the local airspace.

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