Collins Aerospace
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ISR Sensor Supports Global Hawk Missions

Oct. 11, 2021
The RQ-4B Global Hawk Block 30 UAS was recently flown with a long-range MS-177 wide area ISR sensor capable of high-resolution intelligence gathering.

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) such as the Global Hawk rely on the accuracy and durability of electronic sensors for effective missions. In demonstrating the capabilities of UAS flights equipped with high-performance intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors, the U.S. Air Force recently completed its first RQ-4B Global Hawk Block 30 UAS mission armed with a long-range MS-177 multi-spectral imaging (MSI) sensor from Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp., for much wider-area coverage than other airborne ISR sensors.

The Global Hawk developed by Northrop Grumman is a long-range, high-altitude UAS with generous payload capability (see the figure). When equipped with long-range sensors such as the MS-177, the autonomous aircraft can collect long-range situational-awareness and targeting information over land and at sea, day or night.

“Sensors will play a key role in helping the Global Hawk support the Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) battlespace as it provides near-real-time visual intelligence to the USAF, thereby increasing situational awareness for the joint force,” said Dave McClure, vice-president and general manager, ISR & Space Solutions for Collins Aerospace. “For decades, Collins has been a leader in making MSI sensors for high-altitude ISR both fieldable and operational for military missions.” The MS-177 is an evolution of sensors based on the Senior Year Electro-optical Reconnaissance System (SYERS)-2C which has flown on different unmanned aircraft and has been in use for more than 20 years.

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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