General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has selected Rockwell Collins to upgrade the proven PREDATOR B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) system to simplify civil airspace access.

The capabilities of Rockwell Collins' PRO LINE FUSION integrated avionics system for this unmanned aerial system (UAS) ground control station were chosen in order to support customers and missions that require operations in civil airspace. The solution will feature interactive touch-control displays and a proven Flight Management System to support Instrument Flight Rules flight in today’s airspace. The intuitive operator interface and interactive touchscreen map will minimize the workload of the UAS operators while allowing them to access civil airspace features integrated with the graphical presentation of the existing ground control station.

Our PRO LINE FUSION avionics bring a proven, civil-certified pedigree from manned aviation to unmanned systems. The flexibility of the system enables its application for UAS,” Dave Schreck, Vice President and General Manager, Airborne Solutions, for Government Systems at Rockwell Collins, said. “This programme with GA-ASI will help pave the way and set the standards for UAS platforms accessing controlled civil airspace.”

Rockwell Collins is focused on the development of technologies for safe and routine operation of UAS in civil airspace. "The MQ-9B SKYGUARDIAN is the first RPA system of its kind designed to be compliant with international airworthiness standards," according to General Atomics. Deliveries of the MQ-9B PROTECTOR to the United Kingdom Royal Air Force are expected to begin in 2019.

Rockwell Collins’ PRO LINE FUSION integrated avionics for the MQ-9B SKYGUARDIAN will feature touch-control displays and a proven FMS. (Photo: Rockwell Collins)

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