General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) announced the selection of two Belgian companies – Hexagon’s Geospatial division and ScioTeq – from its “Blue Magic Belgium” (BMB) industry solicitation event that took place the week of 21 September.
The goal of BMB is to identify Belgian technology suppliers to support GA-ASI in the development of MQ-9B SkyGuardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). Held virtually this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this second-annual BMB event featured interviews and deep-dive engineering panel reviews with 18 small- to medium-sized Belgian companies that demonstrated novel or cutting-edge technologies.
“We were very impressed by the many talented companies that participated in Blue Magic Belgium, and particularly by the innovative concepts presented by the two companies selected,” said Tommy Dunehew, vice president of International Strategic Development for GA-ASI. “Belgium’s decision to acquire the MQ-9B speaks to the strength of the NATO alliance, and the importance of interoperability.”
Approximately 30 companies registered for BMB, and 18 companies were selected to present their innovative technologies to a technical panel of experts from GA-ASI. GA-ASI is committed to providing Research & Development funds to Belgium industry. This investment will focus on high-value technological development. The seed funds will be utilized to develop Belgian capabilities that meet Ministry of Defense (MOD) and industry objectives to be competitive in future European RPA programs.
Hexagon’s Geospatial division, with an office in Leuven, Belgium, specializes in software solutions and geospatial tools for visualizing location intelligence. Hexagon will expand upon the scope of its ongoing 2020 BMB project, and will develop additional enhancements to the auto-routing capability currently in development.
ScioTeq (formerly part of Barco), based in Kortrijk, Belgium, is a specialist in advanced visualization solutions. ScioTeq is the current GA-ASI advanced displays supplier and will be awarded a project to study the feasibility of a vision-based navigation capability for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.