Northrop Grumman’s Firebird Completes Profitable Multi-Day Functionality Demonstration Flights – Drones Information


Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) recently completed a number of missions, including the integration and testing of Overwatch Imaging’s Twatch-9 Earthwatch sensor. The sensor was integrated in one day as part of ongoing capability flights to validate the wide range of missions that the Firebird system can perform for government and business customers.

“During this exercise, we quickly integrated sensors and used Firebird’s operational flexibility to demonstrate the unique performance of the system,” said Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager of autonomous systems at Northrop Grumman. “We used Firebird’s communications suite and computing power to patch customers into our virtual feed so they could view flight activity in real time.”

Over a four-day period, Firebird demonstrated multiple data collection missions, including long-range surveillance, life pattern monitoring, route sharing, search and rescue, high-quality subject tracking, hostage-taking, and detection of fire hotspots. The Firebird team performed four more than 10-hour manned flights with 100% aircraft availability for day and night operations.

Northrop Grumman’s Firebird product line offers mid-range flexibility, long life, multi-mission flexibility, and affordability. Firebird is available in autonomous and optionally piloted configurations and offers critical ISR functions to meet customer requirements. The system offers more than 30 hours of endurance and flies up to 25,000 feet. As a result, customers receive almost actionable information in real time.

Overwatch Imaging offers automated aerial imaging systems for piloted and unmanned aircraft. The TK-9 Earthwatch sensor has a flexible, integrated AI-capable automatic image processing engine that allows the system to adapt very quickly to new roles in new environments, from emergency management for natural disasters to the border patrol and large-scale infrastructure inspection.

Northrop Grumman solves the most difficult space, aviation, defense and cyberspace problems to meet the ever changing needs of our customers worldwide. Every day, our 90,000 employees define the opportunity to develop and provide advanced systems, products and services using science, technology and technology.

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