General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has achieved a significant milestone in the world of unmanned aviation, showcasing the remarkable capabilities of its Aerial Recovery System for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems/Air-Launched Effects (SUAS/ALE).

On September 20, 2023, over Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, GA-ASI successfully demonstrated the deployment and retraction of a towline with a cutting-edge “smart end feature” from its MQ-20 Avenger Unmanned Aircraft System while in flight.

This groundbreaking demonstration showcased the seamless integration of a hoist from Breeze-Eastern, equipped with GA-ASI’s innovative smart end feature, into the payload bay of the Avenger.

Successful Integration of Smart End Feature

While the aircraft was in flight, the towline was expertly deployed to the ideal distance for aerial recovery.

What truly sets this achievement apart is the smart end feature’s ability to wirelessly transmit its precise position back to the Avenger, affirming its capacity to relay this data to nearby SUAS/ALEs for successful aerial recovery. This real-time position update matched GA-ASI’s multi-degree-of-freedom finite element catenary models, underscoring its potential for SUAS/ALE aerial recovery.