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Hyperspectral UAV Sensor Slated for Flight Test

Feb. 28, 2014

Raytheon will flight-test a new U.S. Air Force hyperspectral sensor pod. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center intends to issue a sole-source contract to Raytheon for testing the Airborne Cueing and Exploitation System Hyperspectral (ACES HY) UAV sensor.

Raytheon described ACES HY as an "infrared sensor system developed to identify targets based on their spectral characteristics," according to a 2011 company news release. It is designed to detect objects such as IEDs by their electromagnetic signatures.

The sensor was successfully flight-tested in September 2010 on a manned Twin Otter aircraft that was used as a surrogate test bed for an MQ-1 Predator. The Air Force did not specify what aircraft ACES HY would be mounted on in the latest test.

Hyperspectral imaging detects visible light in many bands, rather than three red, green and blue bands of visible light that the human eye can perceive.

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