Northrop Grumman Corporation been awarded a contract by Saab Aerosystems to deliver Attitude and Heading Reference Systems (AHRS) for the NEURON European unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) demonstrator.
The LCR-100 AHRS units will be built by the company’s German navigation systems subsidiary, Northrop Grumman LITEF.
The LCR-100 Gyrocompass AHRS is a north finding attitude and heading reference system based on a state-of-the-art fibre-optic gyro and micro-electromechanical (MEMS) accelerometers. This commercial off-the-shelf equipment provides accurate and uninterrupted attitude, heading, position, velocity and status information.
“The LCR-100 was selected for the NEURON due to its data rate performance, small size, and light weight,” said Norbert Sandner, director of marketing and sales for Northrop Grumman LITEF.
“Precise attitude and heading information as well as linear accelerations and angular rates are essential for flight control of the UCAV. The excellent performance of the LCR-100 was a crucial factor for this UCAV demonstrator.”
The NEURON demonstrator will be used to investigate and validate technologies needed to design next-generation UCAV aircraft. First flight is expected in March 2012 and test flights will be conducted in France, Sweden and Italy.
The NEURON technology demonstrator programme is supported by government and industry participation from France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Saab Aerosystems, based in Linköping, Sweden, is responsible for overall design, fuselage, avionics, fuel system, flight control, airworthiness, autonomy, multi-payload capabilities, structural design and manufacture and ground and flight testing.
Northrop Grumman LITEF is a leading supplier of inertial sensors, inertial reference and inertial navigation systems and computers with products deployed in more than 30 countries in aircraft, naval and ground mobile applications worldwide. The company’s airborne navigation and reference systems are used on military and civil applications. More than 9500 units have been delivered and are in service on fixed-wing aircraft, trainer aircraft and helicopters.