General Atomic Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) announced that the Avenger drone autonomously tracked and followed targets using a Lockheed Martin Legion touchpad for the first time.
Usually, radar is used to detect and track air targets by aircraft or drone. This is not always convenient. For example, it must be disabled so that the enemy does not detect its location. Also, the radar signal is not immune to natural or intentional interference.
To solve this problem, Lockheed Martin developed the Legion Pod sighting and reconnaissance system, which has already been used on F-16 and F-15C fighters. The unit, 2.5 m long and 41 cm in diameter, is equipped with an IRST21 passive infrared sensor, which replaces the active radar. By detecting infrared radiation, the system processes the data and tracks external targets.
The Legion Pod is equipped with standard interfaces, so no major modifications are required to install it on an aircraft. Therefore, the integration of the Avenger drone with the software platform took only 90 days. The interaction of the system with the drone platform is provided by the Open Mission Systems (OMS) system messages standard. This ensured a fast and low cost installation
During a test flight, the Avenger discovered several aircraft moving at high speed. The drone also analyzed the tracking data and made a series of maneuvers necessary to hit targets.