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.