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UAS GSBAA test at Dugway (Michael AFB)

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posted on Jul, 6 2012 @ 03:17 PM
As reported in Ars Technica:

On July 5, the US Army announced it had completed a two-week demonstration of a new ground-based sensor system for its MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aerial system (UAS) that will allow UAS operators to detect and avoid other aircraft. The Army is now ready to begin the certification process with the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the Grey Eagle—formerly known as the Warrior—to fly unfettered in domestic airspace. The Army expects to start flying the UASs in domestic airspace for training by March of 2014. The $90 million Grey Eagle is a descendant of the Predator and manufactured by General Atomics. The aircraft is a medium-range multipurpose UAV that has seen duty in Afghanistan with the Army. In the demonstrations held at the Army’s Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah, the MQ-1C was tested with the Ground Based Sense and Avoid (GBSAA) system, a ground-based radar that monitors the UAV and the aircraft around it.

For those who have been plane spotting at the General Atomics facilities in the Mojave, they fly the Army Predator at El Mirage. However, it seems some of the collision avoidance testing has been going on at Grey Butte, just a few miles from El Mirage.

Now is there a connection with Lockheed Martin's N146PC?
The plane was at Dugway for this test. Earlier it was seen flying orbits. Now my guesses for the orbits were chase plane or they put a pod on it. However, based on the GBSAA document, maybe N146PC was the plane to be avoided, i.e. the collision avoidance target.

If you want to Google Earth the General Atomics facilities:
El Mirage: 34.622128° -117.600955°
Grey Butte: 34.564424° -117.680323°

posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 02:46 AM
Any chance your N146PC is actually the plane that the navy put the unmanned system on board for testing? I know they flew some other planes like this, although the pilot was onboard for emergencies. But this coinsidence is pretty cool. Just a thought...

Maybe its a surrogate like the King Air Beech was for the X-47B like here:

I doubt it, just throwing some ideas at ya.

posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 03:01 AM
Wait a minute...Come to think of it, it would make perfect sense that this plane is a surrogate of a UAV. The extra "pods" on the bottom could house the UAV stuff, the trip to dugway, the funky orbits and "jinks" in the flight path, almost like they are testing banks, and I'm not sure how fast they go but it's got to be faster than a king air beech used for the X-47.

Maybe they are testing flight avionics for a new UAV that needs higher speeds, etc. I think it makes a good deal of sense that this plane is a surrogate for a UAV program. Unless I'm just out there on my own world somewhere. But what if the GSBAA was testing the C146 instead of the MQ-1C? You said the aircraft was at dugway for these tests. So what's to say it's not the surrogate to the MQ-x?

I think a lot of evidence points to the surrogate idea, although no proof

EDIT: I went back to your original post on the aircraft and checked out the flight data paths again. Look at all the turns while in orbit! Orbits should resemble an oval, but this plane is constantly banking right and left, almost like it is testing banks. Also, if you look at the flight data for that particular tail number, it landed at plant 42 on March 30th, and didn't file IFR again until May 15th. That's probably plenty of time to get the UAV system installed and have a couple VFR tests done before heading to dugway!

Notice how all the flights are in the daytime too?
edit on 9-7-2012 by boomer135 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 02:14 PM
reply to post by boomer135

You lost me on the C146.

I think the Navy will do their testing at China Lake or Pax, but you can't rule out Dugway since it seems to be used for both Army and Air Force, i.e. multi-user, not to mention experimental projects like Argus/Gorgon.

posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 04:09 PM
reply to post by gariac

Sorry I meant N146PC

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