Digital ELINT sensor completes demo onboard MQ-9 Predator

SAN DIEGO. Raytheon Deutschland GmbH (based in Freising, Germany) and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) collaborated to demonstrate the performance of the newly developed Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) sensor called the Advanced Radar Detection System (ARDS). The payload was integrated in a wing-mounted pod and test-flown on an MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA).

During the flight tests, the system was deployed in a wing-pod configuration on a GA-ASI Medium-altitude, Long-endurance (MALE) MQ-9 Predator B RPA, operating from their Gray Butte Flight Operations facility near Palmdale, California.

During flight testing against ground radar targets, the system verified its performance with regard to processing speed and geolocation precision.

ARDS is a fully digital, high-precision radar-detection sensor that was developed by Raytheon Deutschland GmbH. ARDS is a platform-independent, follow-on development of the digital ELS (Emitter Location System) that is now operational on German Luftwaffe Tornado ECR’s (Electronic Combat / Reconnaissance version).

In addition to sensor performance, the use of aircraft datalink and ground station elements were also successfully demonstrated. Precision direction-finding and identification of several civilian radars was demonstrated, with the resulting data downlinked in real-time to the aircraft’s ground control station.

The flight testing was a jointly funded initiative of GA-ASI and Raytheon Deutschland.