Defense

March 4, 2013

Gray Eagle completes initial operational testing, evaluation

Tags:
Kris Osborn
Army News

The U.S. Army’s Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system recently completed a successful initial operating test & evaluation at the Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

The U.S. Army’s Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system recently completed a successful initial operational testing and evaluation at the Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

During the initial operational testing and evaluation, or IOT&E, the Gray Eagle platform was operated from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and employed in an operational and realistic way in support of a brigade combat team rotation at NTC, explained John Moltenberry, military test plans analyst, U.S. Army Operational Test Command, Army Test and Evaluation Command.

The basic thrust of the IOT&E is to assess the degree to which a given platform or technology meets its designated requirements, typically as a way to inform anticipated full-rate production decisions, he said.
“We collect data and provide data to the evaluators. The evaluator then does his analysis based on that data. The idea is to exercise the system against a specified set of requirements such as day and night operations, operational tempo, maintenance man hours and mission load — essentially assessing the types of missions the Gray Eagle would be most likely to perform,” Moltenberry added. “Some of the requirements might be the ability to remain on station for a given number of hours or demonstrate an ability to acquire and engage a target.”

Operators can control the Gray Eagle through the use of satellite communications – which allow for “beyond-line-of-sight” missions – or through tactical common data link line-of-sight signals, Moltenberry explained.

Timothy Baxter, the project manager for unmanned aircraft system, UAS, said the IOT&E verified that the Gray Eagle platform was effective, operationally suitable and meeting survivability and force protection key performance parameters. He also added that the beyond low-rate-initial-production report included a handful of worthwhile recommendations.

“The recommendations are associated with improving tactics, techniques and procedures, improving doctrine with respect to UAS, and then next-war preparation,” Baxter said.

Baxter explained next-war preparation in terms of examining the implications regarding what the much-discussed Air-Sea Battle concept might mean for UAS development and deployment.

Among other things, he said, Air-Sea Battle-type deployments might require UAS to operate against hybrid or “near-peer” threats as opposed to performing primarily counter-insurgency operations.

“We’ll be returning to mobile operations because we have been kind of forward operating base-centric over the last 10 years or so,” he said. “An expeditionary and mobile operations mindset will be our focus as we develop a five-year plan for product improvements across the board.”

Among the tactics, techniques and procedures, known as TTPs, being refined is something called manned/unmanned teaming, a technology wherein manned aviation platforms such as helicopters can share information, data and full-motion video in real time with nearby UAS; explained Baxter and Richard Kretzschmar, the Army’s deputy project manager for unmanned aerial systems.

The recent Gray Eagle IOT&E afforded the technology an occasion to demonstrate, test and utilize this latest iteration of the technology.

“We are maturing the manned/unmanned teaming capabilities associated with the Gray Eagle,” said Baxter.
“We’re not resting on our laurels and have a robust interoperability profiles. As we learn more about these TTPs and how we want to fight, we can be more efficient,” said Kretzschmar.

The IOT&E also further established and refined standardized procedures and protocols for what’s called the one system remote video terminal, or OSRVT. The terminal is a small, mobile technology that displays real-time full-motion video to warfighters, said Lt. Col. James Kennedy, the product manager for common systems integration.

In total, the OSRVTs are designed to work in tandem with the UAS system and its sensors to provide the warfighter with substantially enhanced capability in combat. The sensors on the Gray Eagle, for instance, can be of greater value and relevance to Soldiers when they are increasingly able to be viewed in a wide range of scenarios, Baxter and Kennedy said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines December 17, 2014

News: U.S. Air Force tanker platform slated for year-end debut - Boeing is planning for first flight of its 767-2C – upon which the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker will be based – by year’s end, six months late. Northrop Grumman wins $657.4 million deal to supply drones to South Korea - Northrop Grumman has won...
 
 

NASA launches new Micro-g NExT for undergraduates

NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a new microgravity activity called Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 28, 2015. Micro-g NExT challenges students to work in teams to design and build prototypes of spacewalking tools to be used by astronauts for spacewalk training in the...
 
 
launch1

Storm fails to quench liftoff of secret reconnaissance satellite

The fiery launch of an Atlas V (541), among the most powerful of the venerable Atlas family, briefly dispelled the gloom over Californiaís Central Coast on the evening of Dec. 12. A team of personnel from United Launch Allianc...
 

 
Coast Guard photograph

Navy demonstrates unmanned helicopter operations aboard Coast Guard cutter

http://static.dvidshub.net/media/video/1412/DOD_102145893/DOD_102145893-512×288-442k.mp4 Coast Guard photograph An MQ-8B Fire Scout UAS is tested off the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf near Los Angeles, Dec. 5 2014. The Coast...
 
 
GPS-OCX

GPS III, OCX successfully demonstrate key satellite command, control capabilities

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon successfully completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance and launch readiness of the worldís most powerfu...
 
 

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demonstrates 3D printed rocket propulsion system for satellites

Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>