The Universal Ground Control Station (UGCS) is an extension of the One System Ground Station (OSGCS) concept. The UGCS allows for interoperability of the U.S. Army’s unmanned assets of dissimilar types from a single common ground control station. It utilizes a design that houses flight critial hardware and software in a modular configuration and is based off of the STANAG 4586 interoperability architecture. Our software, VCS-4586 is installed in every UGCS and OSGCS shelters and is used to command and control the MQ-1C Gray Eagle, RQ-7B Shadow, MQ-5B Hunter and the LEMV Airship for the U.S. Army. Click here for more information about the U.S. Army’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
MQ-1C Gray Eagle
In August 2005, the U.S. Army awarded a contract for an Extended-Range/Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) UAS to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc (GA-ASI). GA-ASI proposed a variant of their highly successful Predator UAS, the Gray Eagle. CDL Systems was subcontracted by AAI Corporation to provide VCS-4586 to serve as the ground control station software for this U.S. Army project.
The MQ-1C Gray Eagle will provide combatant commanders an improved real-time capability to conduct wide area reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, communications relay, and attack missions. The Gray Eagle addresses a demand for greater range, altitude, endurance and payload flexibility.
Teamed with AAI Corporation, CDL Systems has been a integral member of the Shadow 200 project team since 1999. From day one, our focus has been on providing the ground control station software and operator interface that allows UAV operators to achieve mission effectiveness with all U.S. Army tactical unmanned vehicles. Designated RQ-7B Shadow 200, it is widely considered the most successful unmanned vehicle platforms in the world and is an invaluable intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance asset for the U.S. Army in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries spanning the globe. The RQ-7B Shadow 200 has amassed in excess of 700,000 hours of operational use with our VCS software.
In 2005, the U.S. Army introduced requirements to upgrade the capabilities of the Northrop Grumman RQ-5A Hunter, a multi-mission, medium altitude long endurance tactical unmanned aircraft system. Northrop Grumman responded by proposing the MQ-5B Hunter, a variant of the original RQ-5A. Upgrades included a modified airframe, the introduction of a heavy-fuel engine, an improved avionics suite, and a modified inertial navigation system.
CDL Systems was contracted by Northrop Grumman to develop and engineer VCS for use in the One System Ground Control Station (OSGCS) for the MQ-5B. These upgrades were completed in 2005. CDL Systems continued its cooperation with Northrop Grumman by upgrading VCS to support the Automatic Takeoff and Landing System (ATLS). CDL Systems continues to work closely with Northrop Grumman in providing upgrades to VCS for MQ-5B Hunter.
Currently in fielded use with the U.S. Army, the MQ-5B has seen over 80,000 flight hours in operation with CDL Systems’ software and continues to play a key role in reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition missions in times of peace and war.
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