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Aerospace 2018, 5(1), 6;

A Macroscopic Performance Analysis of NASA’s Northrop Grumman RQ-4A

Department of Computer Architecture, Technical University of Catalonia—Barcelona Tech, Esteve Terradas 7, 08860 Castelldefels, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 2 January 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aircraft Dynamics & Control)
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This paper presents the process of identification, from a macroscopic point of view, of the Northrop Grumman RQ-4A Global Hawk Remote-Piloted Aircraft System from real, but limited flight information. Performance parameters and operational schemes will be extracted by analyzing available data from two specific science flights flown by the Global Hawk back in 2010. Each phase of the flight, take-off, climb, cruise climb, descent and landing, is analyzed from various points of view: speed profile, altitude, climb/descent ratios and rate of turn. The key performance parameters derived from individual flights will be confirmed by performing a wider statistical validation with additional flight trajectories. Derived data are exploited to validate a simulated RQ-4A vehicle employed in extensive real-time air traffic management simulated integration exercises and to complement the development of a future RQ-4A trajectory predictor. View Full-Text
Keywords: RQ-4A; Global Hawk; RPAS performance; RPAS operations; RPAS integration RQ-4A; Global Hawk; RPAS performance; RPAS operations; RPAS integration

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Pastor, E.; Pérez-Batlle, M.; Barrado, C.; Royo, P.; Cuadrado, R. A Macroscopic Performance Analysis of NASA’s Northrop Grumman RQ-4A. Aerospace 2018, 5, 6.

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