|Global Hawk UAS. Photo: Carla Thomas|
[Avionics Today 07-11-2016] The U.S. Air Force has awarded UTC Aerospace Systems a contract to support the integration and testing of the MS-177 Multi-Spectral Imaging (MSI) and long-range Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) sensor onto the Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Adding the MS-177 system to the Global Hawk is part of the U.S. Air Force's planned modernization activities for the platform.
The MS-177 sensor is designed to provide capabilities to find targets using broad area search and different sensing technologies as well as fix, track and assess targets through multiple sensing modalities.
The enhancements made to the MS-177 sensor system include a gimbaled optical design, a wide area search mode, and a motion imagery mode. These enhancements aim to allow the MS-177 sensor system to collect greater than six-times more area coverage per hour than the current SYERS-2B sensor operating on the U2 platform. MS-177 also has the ability to continuously track a target without having to change the flight path of the UAS.