|Global Hawk UAS. Photo: NASA
[Avionics Today 06-18-2015] Northrop Grumman successfully flew a new Open Mission Systems (OMS) architecture on a NASA Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), demonstrating the ability to rapidly and affordably adapt new capabilities onto unmanned aircraft. The new architecture implementation flight took place at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base.
This flight confirmed the ability for ground operators to send OMS payload commands and receive OMS subsystem status responses over a Ku-satcom Beyond-Line-Of-Sight (BLOS) communications link between the unmanned aircraft and an operations center.
A previously developed OMS Critical Abstraction Layer (CAL) was adapted to an OMS Open Computing Environment (OCE) onboard the NASA Global Hawk using a production RQ-4 Global Hawk airborne database computer. The demonstration illustrates Northrop Grumman's ability to rapidly deploy OMS on production Global Hawk platforms. The architecture paves the way for integration of new payload options for Global Hawk to support mission flexibility and customer needs. In addition to flying on the NASA Global Hawk UAS, the OMS architecture will be adapted and demonstrated in-flight on a manned airborne weapons system later this month.