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.

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