EADS Tests Barracuda
In a further test series comprising 4 flights, EADS Defence & Security (DS) has again successfully tested the technology demonstrator 'Barracuda' at Goose Bay Air Force Base, Canada. Advanced technologies and new procedures successfully passed new tests under realistic conditions. As part of the flight tests, DS particularly checked the Sense & Avoid capabilities, Auto Taxi Systems, a Structure Integrated Antenna and the Image Exploitation Chain (Automatic Target Detection Systems).
During this 2010 test campaign in the Goose Bay area of the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the jet-propelled unmanned flight system (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle - UAV) flew completely autonomously along pre-programmed flight profiles including auto-taxying processes. Flying some 2 hours and 42 minutes in 4 take-off and landing cycles this summer, the Barracuda now reaches an overall total flight hours of 4 hours and 15 minutes (sum of two test campaigns in 2009 and 2010). It was monitored from the Ground Control Station with respect to flight safety only, while the Payload Ground Station was used to steer the on-board Zeiss EO/IR sensor with regards to different modes and view angles from the ground as well as to receive the sensor data.
These successful flights have given EADS Defence & Security practical confirmation of the results of technology programs it had already conducted on its own initiative. Moreover, the Barracuda technology demonstrator was used for test flights in the 'Agile UAV in Network Centric Environment' technology program commissioned by the Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (Bundesamt fur Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung - BWB).
"The continued successful testing campaigns of the Barracuda mark an extremely important step in the technological development, enabling us to consequently increase our capability to offer a full range of UAV products", stated Nicolas Chamussy, Senior Vice President of Unmanned Aerial Systems at EADS Defence & Security.
The test campaigns also enabled practical experiences in the interoperability of UAS within Network-Centric (NEC) operations conducted in line with the latest NATO criteria and in autonomous operation involving interaction with other systems. The experiences and results of this flight test campaign will be used for future UAS programs such as Talarion.