Global Hawk UAV continues reconnaissance in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, 13 Feb. 2010. The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) continues its persistent watch over areas of Haiti damaged by the massive earthquake and ensuing aftershocks earlier this year. To date, the UAV from Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) in San Diego has flown six missions, approximately 130 hours, and provided more than 3,600 images of Haiti.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, 13 Feb. 2010. The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) continues its persistent watch over areas of Haiti damaged by the massive earthquake and ensuing aftershocks earlier this year. To date, the UAV from Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) in San Diego has flown six missions, approximately 130 hours, and provided more than 3,600 images of Haiti.

"Thanks to Global Hawk's highly advanced sensors, which are capable of taking hundreds of images in a single mission, we've provided disaster assessments for various agencies to make real-time decisions," says Gen. Bob Otto, commander of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, Calif. "The ability to fly 24-hour duration sorties meant the Global Hawk could support hundreds of ad-hoc requests while staying well clear of the relief workers and neighboring airports. Truly, Global Hawk's capabilities have proven invaluable to the worldwide humanitarian efforts in Haiti."

"Not only has Global Hawk helped determine the extent of damages and usability of Haiti's infrastructure, it has also helped to find and recommend roadways and airfields accessible for delivering emergency supplies and rescuing injured and trapped people," says George Guerra, Northrop Grumman vice president of high-altitude, long-endurance systems. "We are committed to supporting the ongoing relief efforts in Haiti for as long as necessary to help rebuild the lives of those affected."

The Global Hawk team collaborated with other agencies to assist in all aspects of recovery and relief. Officials and analysts from U.S. Southern Command in Miami, the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Group from Beale Air Force Base, the 480th ISR Wing from Langley Air Force Base, and the Naval Air Systems Command Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstration program from Patuxent River helped provide critically needed imagery and information.

Capable of flying at altitudes as high as 60,000 feet for more than 32 hours at a time at speeds approaching 340 knots, Global Hawk is equipped with an integrated sensor suite, which includes synthetic aperture radar, electro-optical, and infrared sensors. Global Hawk has supported previous humanitarian relief efforts, including the southern and northern California wildfires in 2007 and 2008, respectively, as well as Hurricane Ike in 2008.

More in Defense Executive