Swiss company Garmin International will supply its weather radar GSX 70 for installation in the US Air Force’s fleet of RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
The RQ-4 maker Northrop Grumman has selected the Doppler-enabled weather radar to provide operators with real-time weather information.
The data will be useful to recognise convective weather threats and make better decisions.
The GSX 70 offers horizontal scan angles of up to 120 degrees to provide better visibility into the strength and intensity of convective activity.
Operators can make use of the vertical scanning mode to analyse storm tops, gradients and cell buildup activity at various altitudes.
The Global Hawk is a high-altitude and long-endurance unmanned aircraft system having a maximum altitude of 60,000ft and an endurance of more than 32 hours.
Garmin aviation sales and marketing vice-president Carl Wolf said: "The Global Hawk is an amazing unmanned surveillance aircraft, given the altitude it can attain, its range and incredible endurance, as well as the mission it serves.
"The selection of the GSX 70 for the Global Hawk is a testament to the technology and capability of our robust weather radar sensor, providing the US Air Force with real-time convective weather information that allows pilots to make informed weather-related decisions."
The Turbulence Detection feature identifies turbulence in air containing precipitation and other airborne particulates. Ground Clutter Suppression separates ground returns and removes them from the display, so operators can focus on weather of interest.
Installation of the GSX 70 weather radar in the RQ-4 Global Hawk is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2016.