The U.S. Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation program office has conducted a lab integration event to test the ability of the Boeing-built MQ-25 Stingray’s ground control station to control the drone in the carrier environment.
The event was conducted at the program’s System Test and Integration Lab at Pax River where Lockheed Martin’s ground control station controlled Boeing’s Hardware-in-the-Loop system, which uses hardware and software to provide a realistic copy of the aerial refueling aircraft.
The defense contractors provided functional software for the government to enable connectivity between the ground control station and the HITL.
“Bringing multiple systems together is never easy, but the joint government/industry team, coming together, understanding problems and finding solutions made this event successful. We learned how the system works as a whole and that early learning and discovery is key to keep the program moving forward,” said TJ Maday, MQ-25 labs and integration manager.
Naval Air Systems Command plans to simulate a complete flight using the HTIL air vehicle and demonstrate switching connections to the drone and integrate other aircraft hardware and software.