Nimrod MRA-4 New Sensor Undergoing Flight Tests

Released on Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Nimrod MRA4
EOSDS - Electro-Optical Surveillance and Detection System
Northrop Grumman Corporation has announced that flight testing is under way for the new Electro-Optical Surveillance and Detection System (EOSDS) intended for the U.K. Ministry of Defence's NIMROD MRA-4 aircraft.

NIMROD MRA-4 is currently undergoing extensive flight trials for which BAE Systems is the prime contractor. For its part in the ongoing two-year NIMROD MRA-4 in-service reliability maintainability demonstration program, Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division is providing flight-test support to include software development and flight test personnel training in addition to fielding inquiries regarding the system.

EOSDS is a gimbal-mounted electro-optical system designed to give the Royal Air Force the capability to observe and track targets of interest in the visible and infra-red spectrums by means of both a television camera and two thermal-imaging cameras. EOSDS has three detection modes and can automatically track targets through nadir to allow continuous surveillance even when over-flying a target.

These flight tests mark the first production aircrafts to integrate and operate the EOSDS systems during the NIMROD Flight Test Program. The purpose of the initial flights was to assess the aerodynamic effects of the deployment and retraction of EOSDS as well as to determine the impact of opening the bomb bay doors of the NIMROD MRA-4. During these test flights to date, the system was deployed at 5,000 feet and remained deployed up to 10,000 feet while flight operators tested all three EOSDS sensors and examined the aerodynamic effect on the aircraft.

The first flights of the EOSDS system onboard the NIMROD MRA-4 aircraft were accomplished through the combined efforts of the U.K. Ministry of Defence, Royal Air Force, BAE Systems, the Boeing Company and Northrop Grumman's Defensive Systems Division.


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