NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California has partnered with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) to demonstrate technologies that will expand the capabilities of remotely operated, unmanned aircraft to perform high-altitude Earth science missions. GA-ASI developed a version of its Predator reconnaissance aircraft, the Predator B, to meet these requirements.
A feature article in the August issue of Defense Tech Briefs (DTB) highlights the development of the Altair/Predator B, including how NASA and GA-ASI met the stringent requirements that the aircraft be able to fly 24 to 48 hours at a primary altitude from 40,000 to 65,000 feet while carrying a payload of at least 660 pounds. Earth science missions will include volcanic observation and other missions that are too difficult, too dangerous, or too lengthy for manned aircraft.
Read the feature story on page 4 of the August issue of DTB. Visit here for more info .