Military Embedded Systems

Comms pod for MQ-9 drones demonstrated for California agencies


July 03, 2023

Dan Taylor

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Photo courtesy General Atomics

SAN DIEGO, California. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) demonstrated a communications pod for the MQ-9A Reaper uncrewed aerial system (UAS) for California agencies, the compay announced in a statement.

The flight demonstration involved the Rosetta Echo Advanced Payloads (REAP) Pod on an MQ-9A. The test was a joint collaboration between GA-ASI and the California Air National Guard (CA ANG), National Guard Bureau, AT&T FirstNet, California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the statement reads.

The company says that during natural disasters, when the risk of losing cellular communications is high, the REAP Pod is designed to provide airborne communication infrastructure to maintain communication between emergency service providers and those requiring assistance.

The May 25 demonstration displayed bridged communications networks enabling connectivity between airborne and ground participants, bridging VHF/UHF networks, functioning as a P25 repeater, connecting distant mobile ad hoc networks, and providing both FirstNet and emergency 911 cellular capabilities, the statement reads.

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