GA-ASI Completes Initial Testing of New UAS Open Payload Architecture


Sep 14, 2011 

Testing Conducted in Conjunction with SELEX Galileo Radar Integration

SAN DIEGO 14 September 2011 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), a leading manufacturer of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems, today announced that it has completed initial testing of a new UAS open payload architecture in its Poway, Calif., System Integration Lab (SIL).

The testing demonstrated the ability to host third party-developed payload control software on existing airborne and Ground Control Station (GCS) processors and was conducted in partnership with SELEX Galileo in support of the integration of SELEX Galileo’s SeaSpray 7500E radar into GA-ASI’s Predator B UAS.

“GA-ASI’s implementation of the UAS open payload architecture greatly reduces integration complexity by allowing payload providers and mission systems integrators to develop their own payload control software and ultimately integrate their own payloads,” said Frank Pace, president, Aircraft Systems Group, GA-ASI.

The new open payload architecture supports sovereign payload integration capability by enabling integrators to perform the mission management, sensor integration, sensor control, and sensor fusion tasks. Due to the aircraft’s segmented avionics and open payload architectures, payloads can be integrated without the need to modify UAS or GCS software, yet integrators can access aircraft data links and communication buses, control certain aircraft power switching, and receive vehicle and sensor data feeds. The architecture also provides the framework to support networked-sensor control. GA-ASI will continue to offer payload integration services as requested by the customer.

The integration and open payload architecture demonstration are part of a joint Independent Research and Development (IRAD) effort between GA-ASI and SELEX Galileo. GA-ASI is performing the software and hardware modifications to the Predator B system to implement the open payload architecture, while SELEX Galileo is developing the airborne payload control software and delivering the radar for integration. Known as the Sovereign Payload Capability (SPC) Demonstration, the project’s conclusion will feature a live flight demonstration from GA-ASI’s Gray Butte Flight Operations Center in Palmdale, Calif., over the Pacific Ocean in early December.

About GA-ASI

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, delivers situational awareness by providing unmanned aircraft, radar, and electro-optic solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company’s Aircraft Systems Group is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable unmanned aircraft systems, including

Predator® A, Predator B, Gray Eagle™, and the new Predator C Avenger®. It also manufactures a variety of solid-state digital Ground Control Stations (GCS), including the next-generation Advanced Cockpit GCS, and provides pilot training and support services for UAS field operations. The Reconnaissance Systems Group designs, manufactures, and integrates the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar and sophisticated Claw® sensor control and image analysis software into both manned and unmanned aircraft. It also develops and integrates other sensor and communication equipment into manned ISR aircraft and develops emerging technologies in solid-state lasers, electro-optic sensors, and ultra-wideband data links for government applications. For more information, please visit

Predator, Avenger, Lynx, and Claw are registered trademarks and Gray Eagle is a trademark of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

For more information contact:

Kimberly Kasitz

Public Relations Manager

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.


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