Open Architecture Ground Control Software Tested on Gray Eagle ER Drone

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ latest Gray Eagle ER test flight demonstrated successful integration with the new Ground Modernization Software Suite as part of the US Army’s Modular Open Systems Approach By DA Staff / 20 Oct 2022
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General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) and the US Army have successfully performed the first flight test of a new US Army Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) ground segment for the MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range (GE-ER) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). 

The test took place at Ft. Stewart, Ga. in coordination with the US Army Unmanned Aircraft System Project Office. Product Manager Endurance UAS and the B Co, 224th were also part of the US Army-funded development efforts to upgrade and modernize the GE-ER.

GA-ASI tested the new Ground Modernization Software Suite (GMSS) that was hosted on an Army prototype of a Gray Eagle Miniature Mission Interface (GEMMI) in September 2022. 

The flight test demonstrated the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE), a multi-vendor suite that commands the automated takeoff and landing, flight modes and sensor control of the GE-ER. GA-ASI provided major software components, or Units of Portability (UoPs), to enable robust, safe aircraft control and performed system integration of the overall software suite. 

This flight demonstrated the technical maturity of Open Architecture (OA) software to be able to control UAS with adherence to the Army’s Scalable Control Interface (SCI) System Architecture.  

This event enabled critical risk reduction for the Gray Eagle 25M UAS, which integrates new advanced datalinks, OA avionics suite, updated communications equipment, and new HFE 2.0 engine with Brushless Generator capabilities onto the GE-ER with GMSS as the new control segment. 

GMSS will be used for all aspects of GE-25M UAS flight testing beginning in 2023. GE-25M UAS is designed for Multi-Domain Operations with its OA avionics suite and future capabilities, which will include Air-Launched Effects (ALE), advanced teaming, and new sensor modalities.

“GA-ASI, in partnership with the Product Manager Endurance UAS  and third-party vendors, is at the forefront of demonstrating the technical maturity of Army’s MOSA vision,” said Don Cattell, GA-ASI Vice President of Army Programs. “GE-25M showcases the Army MOSA Transformation Office-led paradigm shift in how business is done to enable high reuse and portability of capability development across the Army enterprise.”

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