Northrop Grumman Corporation has begun flight testing the MS-177 sensor payload with a successful inaugural flight on an RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance autonomous aircraft system. The flight tests mark the first time the sensor has been flown on a high altitude long-range autonomous aircraft and they will extend the mission capabilities of the system. The MS-177 sensor is designed to not only ‘find’ targets using broad area search and different sensing technologies, but to also fix, track, and assess targets through its agility and multiple sensing modalities.
The MS-177 testing is expected to continue through the first half of 2017. The successful flight test at Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale, California facility follows the demonstrations of two sensors previously unavailable on the Global Hawk. Northrop Grumman successfully flew a SYERS-2 intelligence gathering sensor in February 2016 and has recently completed flight tests of the Optical Bar Camera.
Edited by Michael Jones