Global Hawk icing tests
The Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) has launched a new national campaign of flight tests of the Neuron UCAV technology demonstrator. The DGA Flight Test Center will oversee this campaign, one of whose objectives is to study the use of a UCAV in a naval context. The campaign includes sea trials onboard the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. It will be followed by an electromagnetic signature measurement campaign carried out until early 2017 by DGA’s IT Dominance unit located in Bruz, near Rennes in Brittany.
Neuron foreshadows the next generation of combat aircraft. Launched in 2006, the project is a European cooperative effort that brings together, in addition to France
Whenever the Global Hawk begins a mission, it has to travel through a certain area of the atmosphere that, under certain conditions, can create ice on the aircraft, adding weight and aerodynamic drag. A cloud deck from about 8,000 feet to 22,000 feet is the main concern for the Global Hawk, according to project engineer Jonny Kim, Global Vigilance Combined Test Force (CTF).
According to Major Ryan Finlayson, test pilot with the Global Vigilance CTF, the ice only forms for about five minutes on the way up, and again on the way down through this cloud deck.
“This was a first-of-type testing done here at Edwards. No other programme or CTF has accomplished icing testing in this manner,” said Lt Colonel Cory Naddy, Director of the Global Vigilance CTF.