GA-ASI demonstrating its Guardian RPA in Japan



On May 13, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) conducted a “Public Day” demonstration of its Guardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) for the community of Iki City and Nagasaki Prefecture in Japan.

​GA-ASI will spend three weeks conducting demonstration flights out of Iki Airport, in an effort to promote the “civil and scientific applications” of the RPA.

“We thank the Mayor of Iki and the many other public and private stakeholders for their making this demonstration possible,” says Linden Blue, CEO GA-ASI.

“We believe that these flights of long-endurance RPAs in Japan’s maritime environment will provide valuable information, and we look forward to reviewing the important data gathered from these flights.”

The demonstrations, which officially began on May 10, will be made up of approximately 10 five-hour test flights over a three week period out of Iki Airport, in the Nagasaki Prefecture. During these flights, data will be collected and shared across multiple government agencies.

According to GA-ASI, data will be collected for three main purposes—meteorological, disaster and oceanic observations; marine accidents and rescue support; and aviation, communications and industrial support.

The demonstrations are being led by GA-ASI, in cooperation with the Iki Airport. The data collected with the sensors on the Guardian will be provided to research institutions to support scientific research, and relevant organizations will receive flight data to help establish procedures for using RPA systems in private airspace.

Guardian’s sensors include a long-range maritime surface-search radar, stabilized optical and infrared video cameras, and an active collision-avoidance system, which includes a short range air-to-air radar.

Details for the demonstration have been coordinated with several organizations, including airspace authorities. Additionally, GA-ASI has sent a team of experienced RPA pilots and maintenance personnel to Japan to ensure safe operations during all phases of the demonstrations.