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REAP pod on MQ9-A provides life-saving communications capability

July 26 2023

The REAP ® pod successfully completed a flight demonstration onboard General Atomics - Aeronautical Systems Inc.’s MQ-9A Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in support of first responders in California.

AUSTIN, TXJuly 26, 2023A flight demonstration was successfully completed of the Rosetta Echo Advanced Payloads (REAP) pod onboard the MQ9-A Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) in support of first responders in California. The REAP® pod was developed by Ultra Intelligence and Communications (Ultra I&C) and General Atomics - Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI). The REAP pod provides potentially lifesaving communications infrastructure from an aircraft, ensuring lines of communication remain open between providers of emergency services and those desperately needing assistance.

The test flight was led by GA-ASI in collaboration with the California Air National Guard (CA ANG), National Guard Bureau (NGB), AT&T FirstNet, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to successfully complete the demonstration.

The demonstration showcased bridged communications networks providing seamless connectivity between airborne and ground participants. The system showcased the ability to bridge VHF/UHF networks, function as a P25 repeater, connect geographically disparate mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), and most importantly, provide both FirstNet and emergency 911 cellular capabilities. The REAP pod also can support military waveforms like Link 16.

The REAP pod provides potentially lifesaving communications in the event of natural disasters. It is typical for first responders and residents to lose cellular service in affected regions due to damage to cellular infrastructure from wildfires. The REAP pod guarantees seamless and persistent communication between emergency responders and individuals in need of urgent assistance. Amidst the ongoing wildfire crisis, the pod can be a lifesaver for individuals in dire situations, enabling vital communications in the absence of regular cellular connectivity.

Jill Daiber, chief product officer for Ultra I&C’s Command, Control and Intelligence business unit commented, “This effort is yet another example of ULTRA I&C’s dedication to those on the front lines in the public safety and homeland defense domains. We are extremely proud of our strategic partnership with GA-ASI and look forward to continued success.”


About Ultra Intelligence & Communications
Ultra Intelligence & Communications, also known as Ultra I&C, has generations of experience fielding tactical communications, command and control, and cyber security technologies for the most challenging defense applications. Ultra I&C connects the multi-domain battlespace and ensures secured information advantage in high-threat environments. These innovative solutions are an integral operational component for the U.S. Department of Defense, the UK Ministry of Defence, the Canadian Department of National Defence and many more defense organizations worldwide. For more information, visit www.ultra-ic.com.


Media Inquiries
Amanda Rudolph, Vice President of Marketing and Communications: [email protected] 


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