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General Atomics Flies Avenger Drone Using AI Aided By Using Low Earth Orbit SATCOM

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has announced that it successfully conducted flight maneuvers with its MQ-20 Avenger drone using artificial intelligence aided by Low Earth Orbit satellite communication.

The company demonstrated its “live, virtual, constructive collaborative combat aircraft ecosystem over a Low Earth Orbit satellite communication (LEO SATCOM) provider’s IP-based Mission Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) datalink” by conducting collaborative maneuvers between AI and human pilots.

The connection allowed the AI pilots to rapidly “retrain and redeploy” during the demonstration as the drone conducted combat maneuvers in real time.

Human-Machine Teaming

GA-ASI’s constructive collaborative combat aircraft ecosystem enables a greater degree of human-machine teaming, with commands provided through LEO SATCOM to AI pilots autonomously adapting through reinforcement learning algorithms.

The event represented the first deployment of a LEO SATCOM connection to guide an AI-piloted combat aerial vehicle using two L3Harris Technologies RASOR Multi-Functional Processors housing a transceiver card and a BLOS Active Electronically Scanned Array controller.

“The flight demonstrated GA-ASI’s unmatched ability to fly autonomy on real, tactically relevant, unmanned combat aerial vehicles,” said GA-ASI senior director of advanced programs Michael Atwood

“It displayed effective BLOS command and control through the collaboration between three defense primes. This showcases our rapidly maturing CCA mission system suite and moves us one step closer to providing this revolutionary capability to the warfighter.”

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