Military Embedded Systems

Multi-domain operations demo held using Gray Eagle ER


July 06, 2020

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

General Atomics photo.

POWAY, Calif. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) completed a month-long demo event that showcased a suite of long-range sensors, Air Launched Effects (ALE), and Scalable Command and Control (SC2) on its Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

The third demonstration built on the previous demos as the GE-ER – in flight at 25,000 feet – identified emitters with Communications Intelligence (COMINT) payload and integrated antenna array. This configuration was intended to provide single aircraft geo-location and cross-cueing to the onboard Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to produce precision coordinates sufficient for targeting within minutes.

L3Harris’ Rio Nino lightweight COMINT system was combined with GA-ASI’s Lynx multi-mode radar with SAR to perform the task. Additionally, the GE-ER gathered Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) using a Sierra Nevada Small SWAP Auto-ELINT (SSAE) system. The ELINT detections were cross-cued to the Lynx SAR for rapid processing of target identification and targeting coordinates.

GA-ASI also conducted the launch and control of ALEs from the GE-ER. The ALEs were launched and controlled through the GE-ER and provided real-time full-motion video to simulated ground forces over a Tactical Scalable Mobile (TSM) network. The GE-ER also acted as a Tactical Scalable Mobile Ad-hoc Networking node, relaying voice and data to displaced users during the demonstration. All flight activities (including preflight, taxi, mission profiles, and landing) were controlled from a GA-ASI laptop-based SC2 system. 

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