MQ-8C Fire Scout to be tested before ship-board flights
by MBJ Staff
Published: May 6,2014
MOSS POINT — In preparation for ship-board flights this spring, the Northrop Grumman Corporation-built MQ-8C Fire Scout will be tested for its ability to operate safely in the intense electromagnetic environment aboard U.S. Navy ships.
The MQ-8C Fire Scout uses specially-designed cages, known as Faraday cages, to protect sensitive equipment on the aircraft from signal interference.
“All Navy aircraft must go through electromagnetic interference testing to ensure they can operate safely in the ship environment,” said Capt. Patrick Smith, Fire Scout program manager at Naval Air Systems Command. “We’re confident that the design of the Faraday cages and other engineering work done on the MQ-8C Fire Scout will pass these tests.”
The MQ-8C is based on a larger helicopter airframe and can fly almost twice as long and carry three times more intelligence-gathering sensor payloads than the MQ-8B variant.
During the program’s design phase, a team of engineers created a new modular Faraday cage that protects electronic systems in flight.
“Almost 95 percent of what makes up the MQ-8B variant is reused in the MQ-8C to save money and the time needed to conduct a test program. However, we took advantage of lessons learned to incorporate a more modern shielding device in the new aircraft,” said George Vardoulakis, vice president, medium range tactical systems, Northrop Grumman.
The Faraday cages are built by Summit Aviation in Somerset, Kentucky, and installed during final assembly at Northrop Grumman’s Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point.
Since first flight Oct. 31, the MQ-8C Fire Scout has flown 102 flights. The initial flight tests will validate that the autonomous control systems of the helicopter are working properly before its first ship-based demonstration.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
FOLLOW THE MBJ ON TWITTERMy Tweets
Twang & Tourism: The Country Music Trail
Top Posts & Pages
- Retired judge to hear McDaniel's challenge of primary loss to Cochran
- PSC's Brandon Presley calls in-state nuclear waste dump a 'harebrained scheme'
- Former DMR manager pleads guilty to embezzlement
- State's jobless rate remains highest in U.S.
- GOLF ranks state's courses; Fallen Oaks, Dancing Rabbit make top 100
- Officials set hunting dates for birds; expands dove season by 20 days
- Court ruling on Section 42 leaves taxpayers on hook for tax repayments
- Wisconsin man pleads guilty to illegal wildlife trapping
- Jackson air fares among most expensive in the nation