Military Embedded Systems

Drone built on MOSA principles completes first 'dirt operation'


August 04, 2023

Dan Taylor

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Photo courtesy General Atomics

SAN DIEGO, California. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) completed multiple takeoffs and landings with its Mojave uncrewed aerial system (UAS) on a dirt strip near El Mirage, California, marking the first Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) on an unimproved surface for the drone, according to a company statement.

The capability to take off and land on unimproved surfaces allows for operation in areas that were previously considered unsuitable for UAS activities, the company says, adding that the design of the drone adheres to Modular Open System Approach (MOSA) principles.

The tests included takeoffs in as little as 586 feet and landings in as short as 335 feet. The Mojave UAS is designed for forward-basing operations without traditional airport runways or infrastructure, the company says. It features a ruggedized airframe, enlarged wings, and multi-sensor suite and is intended for Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, attack, and contested logistics support missions, the company says.

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