Fire Scout to un­dergo elec­tro­mag­netic in­ter­fer­ence tests


In prepa­ra­tion for ship-board flights Northrop Grum­man Cor­po­ra­tion-built MQ-8C Fire Scout will be tested for its abil­ity to op­er­ate safely in the in­tense elec­tro­mag­netic en­vi­ron­ment aboard US Navy ships.

The MQ-8C Fire Scout uses spe­cial­ly­de­signed cages, known as Fara­day cages, to pro­tect sen­si­tive equip­ment on the air­craft from sig­nal in­ter­fer­ence.

“All Navy air­craft must go through elec­tro­mag­netic in­ter­fer­ence test­ing to en­sure they can op­er­ate safely in the ship en­vi­ron­ment,” said Capt. Patrick Smith, Fire Scout Pro­gram Man­ager at Naval Air Sys­tems Com­mand. “We’re con­fi­dent that the de­sign of the Fara­day cages and other en­gi­neer­ing work done on the MQ-8C Fire Scout will pass these tests.”

The MQ-8C is based on a larger he­li­copter air­frame and can fly al­most twice as long and carry three times more in­tel­li­gence-gath­er­ing sen­sor pay­loads than the MQ-8B vari­ant. Since first flight Oc­to­ber 31, the MQ-8C Fire Scout has flown 102 flights. The ini­tial flight tests will val­i­date that the au­ton­o­mous con­trol sys­tems of the he­li­copter are work­ing prop­erly be­fore its first ship-based demon­stra­tion.

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