GA-ASI Successfully Tests NightLighter Airborne Imaging System
Enables Detection of IEDs at Night
AUVSI NORTH AMERICA, LAS VEGAS – 7 August 2012 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), tactical reconnaissance radars, and electro-optic surveillance systems, today announced the successful flight test of its Nightlighter airborne imaging system.
A prototype Nightlighter system was successfully flight tested and demonstrated on a Twin Otter aircraft during the Olympus Flight Test sponsored by the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) at China Lake, Calif. GA-ASI is currently developing a program to deploy the system on King Air 350 aircraft.
“Identifying and defeating IEDs before they detonate is one of today’s most pressing ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance] challenges,” said Dr. Michael Perry, vice president, Reconnaissance Systems Group, GA-ASI. “Nightlighter’s ultra high-resolution imagery not only detects IEDs in day or night, but also can be processed rapidly into precision, wide-area, three-dimensional relief maps of terrain and structures that are of high value to both mission planners and the warfighter.”
Under development since 2010, Nightlighter is a high-altitude airborne imaging system designed to detect Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other implanted devices along roads and other routes of travel. The system uses both standard cameras for operation in daylight and advanced night imaging technology to collect imagery under darkness.
Nightlighter delivers around-the-clock, ultra high-resolution imagery and is derived from GA-ASI’s proven daylight-only, Highlighter electro-optic sensor system. Developed in 2005, Highlighter recently completed a very successful six-year deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom. GA-ASI plans to conduct a series of additional flight tests under both daylight and nighttime conditions to validate the effectiveness of the Nightlighter platform further.
High-resolution photos of the prototype Nightlighter system are available from the GA-ASI media contact listed below.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, delivers situational awareness by providing remotely piloted aircraft, radar, and electro-optic solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company’s Aircraft Systems Group is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable remotely piloted aircraft systems, including Predator® A, Predator B, Gray Eagle®, and the new Predator C Avenger®. It also manufactures a variety of solid-state digital Ground Control Stations (GCS), including the next-generation Advanced Cockpit GCS, and provides pilot training and support services for RPA field operations. The Reconnaissance Systems Group designs, manufactures, and integrates the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar and sophisticated Claw® sensor control and image analysis software into both manned and remotely piloted aircraft. It also develops and integrates other sensor and communication equipment into manned ISR aircraft and develops emerging technologies in solid-state lasers, electro-optic sensors, and ultra-wideband data links for government applications. For more information, please visit www.ga-asi.com.
Predator, Gray Eagle, Avenger, Lynx, and Claw are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.
For more information contact:
Public Relations Manager
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.