|Global Hawk UAV. Photo: Northrop Grumman
[Avionics Today 08-11-2015] Northrop Grumman has successfully demonstrated mission management control features that the company claims create more Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) versatility and efficiencies. During a series of high-altitude, long-endurance RQ-4 Global Hawk demonstrations, the UAS responded seamlessly to external requests to dynamically alter its route of flight and sensor functionality. This breaks the one-user to one-vehicle paradigm, opening up the technology to other usage formats, which commercial companies such as Amazon are seeking to implement.
The demonstration verified that Global Hawk is capable of integrating advanced mission management capability without changes to the air vehicle software.
It also supported the broader objectives of the U.S. Air Force's Common Mission Control Center (CMCC) program. The Global Hawk interfaced to the CMCC using the UAS C2 Initiative (UCI) message set, which is an emerging standard that enables interoperability across multiple weapon systems.