Rockwell Collins' integrated avionics system Rockwell Collins
This integrated avionics system will enable the MQ-9B SkyGuardian remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) to perform missions in civil airspace.

Rockwell Collins Readies UAV for Civil Airspace

An integrated avionics system will enable a military drone to conduct missions in civil airspace.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has selected Rockwell Collins’ Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics system for use in the MQ-9B SkyGuardian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). This upgrade to the Predator B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) system will be used to support UAS access to civil airspace. The RPA system’s ground control station will use the advanced avionics technology from Rockwell Collins to support customers and missions that require operations in civil airspace.

The integrated avionics system (see photo) features interactive touchscreen displays and a solid flight management system to support instrument flight rules in civil airspace. The system provides an intuitive operator interface and interactive touchscreen map to simplify guidance for SkyGuardian operators while allowing them to access civil airspace features integrated with a graphical representation of the existing ground control station.

“Our Pro Line Fusion avionics bring a proven, civil-certified pedigree from manned aviation to unmanned systems,” said Dave Schreck, vice-president and general manager, Airborne Solutions, for Government Systems at Rockwell Collins. “The flexibility of the system enables its application for UAS.

“This program with GA-ASI will help pave the way and set the standards for UAS platforms accessing controlled civil airspace,” he added. According to General Atomics, the MQ-9B SkyGuardian is the first RPA system of its kind designed to be compliant with international airworthiness standards.

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