Modular Open Systems Approach Implemented on Gray Eagle UAS

General Atomics and the U.S. Army will integrate Modular Open Systems Approach on the Gray Eagle UAS to enable rapid integration of advanced payloads, communication equipment, and artificial intelligence & machine learning capabilities By DA Reporter / 19 Oct 2021

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) is working with the U.S. Army to develop a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) for the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO)-capable Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). 

Incorporating MOSA on GE-ER Increment 2 spans the entire system, including the aircraft and the Command and Control (C2) software suite.

This implementation will offer a range of new standards for C2, Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE), Open Mission Systems (OMS), Universal Armament Interface (UAI), as well as further segregating the Flight/Mission systems’ hardware and software.

“MOSA implementation on GE-ER Increment 2 supports rapid integration of best of breed capabilities,” said GA-ASI Vice President of Army Programs Don Cattell. “We share the Army’s vision for MOSA and want to help them create a system that makes interfacing from all platforms and users as easy as possible.”

MOSA will enable rapid integration of advanced payloads and communication equipment, along with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) capabilities. This will reduce the sensor to shooter timelines, while simultaneously reducing the datalink bandwidth requirements in a contested environment, thus increasing range and resiliency.

The ‘edge processing’ capability will increase the utility of the Medium Altitude aircraft providing, in near real time, threat Detection, Identification, Location and Reporting (DILR) to the U.S. Army and Joint Force. The software components are being designed to be portable to other manned and unmanned aircraft systems the Army is developing, enhancing capability while reducing cost.

For the C2 suite on the ground, MOSA implementation will separate the Human Machine Interface (HMI) from the software business logic and will decrease the time associated with interfacing with evolving communication capability in the Joint and multi-national environment. This will allow the Army to tailor the HMI for each platform and minimize regression testing, a capability the Army has never had before.

GA-ASI is currently testing the MOSA components on a simulator with plans to begin flight testing early next year, along with other industry and government partners selected by the U.S. Army.

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