Northrop Grumman Communicates Over-the-Horizon Using Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

BALTIMORE, May 10, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) — Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), in conjunction with the Office of Naval Research, has successfully demonstrated the ability to extend communications range and capability using the Killer Bee tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (TUAV) built by Swift Engineering, Inc.

"When military units need to communicate over long distances through mountainous or urban terrain, connectivity becomes a challenge," said John Featherston, chief engineer for Northrop Grumman’s Beyond line-of-sight TUAV Communications Relay (BTCR) project. "We have successfully demonstrated that TUAVs can function as airborne communication relays and move information back and forth between tactical and command and control units."

During the demonstration, geographically-separated, mobile ground units were tasked to communicate with each other and also with a fixed, tactical command post using CenGen Inc.’s secure wireless, local area network. The units successfully made contact with the command post after their signals were relayed mid-air through the Killer Bee.

Testing took place Feb. 26 to March 3 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., as part of the BTCR program.


Source: Northrop Grumman
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