Oroka
Topic Author
Posts: 1080
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 4:37 am

RQ-170 Sentinel UAV Revealed

Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:45 pm

Appearantly Skunkworks has been busy!



Quote:
The RQ-170 is a stealthy unmanned aircraft designed to "provide reconnaissance and surveillance support to forward deployed combat forces." It's flown by the 30th Reconnaissance Squadron at Tonopah Test Range, Nevada, under the Air Combat Command's 432d Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.

I thought it was the X-47B that got modified during construction... that landing gear looks very beefy for a land based aircraft... the X-47B is supposed to do carrier trials in 2011.
 
GST
Posts: 812
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:27 am

RE: RQ-170 Sentinel UAV Revealed

Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:58 pm

Agreed, the landing gear looks very out of proportion. I wonder where the tailhook folds away to?  stirthepot 
 
User avatar
par13del
Posts: 6775
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

RE: RQ-170 Sentinel UAV Revealed

Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:00 pm

It's possible it does not have one installed, build the basic frame heavy enough - materials for salt air environment - with the robust landing gear, the tail hook would be a simple addition for those purchased by the Navy, on the other hand they could install them on all and have carriers serve as floating gas stations.

On a deployment side, I wonder if the a/c will be autonomous during the mission phase, if you have a stealth a/c hard to see on radar, put up an ECM bird to monitor "stray signals".
 
GST
Posts: 812
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:27 am

RE: RQ-170 Sentinel UAV Revealed

Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:32 pm

That is a good point. If it is presumably transmitting various feeds home in realtime, it must be quite tricky to do so without letting off electronic noise that can be detected and ruin your stealth. Possibly using lasers to talk directly to satellites as if using a fiber optic cable, is that not how many submarines can get detailed messages from base at periscope depth without being detected electronically?
 
MarSciGuy
Posts: 454
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:14 pm

RE: RQ-170 Sentinel UAV Revealed

Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:36 pm



Quoting GST (Reply 3):
That is a good point. If it is presumably transmitting various feeds home in realtime, it must be quite tricky to do so without letting off electronic noise that can be detected and ruin your stealth. Possibly using lasers to talk directly to satellites as if using a fiber optic cable, is that not how many submarines can get detailed messages from base at periscope depth without being detected electronically?

Are you suggesting the ocean is lined with cables that are submerged at periscope depth that they can plug in to? I think submarines scan for any EM signals when the get to Periscope depth and then send their messages to satellite once they know the area is clear...
"There weren't a ton of gnats there where a ton of gnats and their families as well!"
 
User avatar
Tugger
Posts: 6318
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:38 am

RE: RQ-170 Sentinel UAV Revealed

Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:54 pm



Quoting MarSciGuy (Reply 4):
Quoting GST (Reply 3):
That is a good point. If it is presumably transmitting various feeds home in realtime, it must be quite tricky to do so without letting off electronic noise that can be detected and ruin your stealth. Possibly using lasers to talk directly to satellites as if using a fiber optic cable, is that not how many submarines can get detailed messages from base at periscope depth without being detected electronically?

Are you suggesting the ocean is lined with cables that are submerged at periscope depth that they can plug in to? I think submarines scan for any EM signals when the get to Periscope depth and then send their messages to satellite once they know the area is clear...

He is meaning that subs can receive data from satellites with lasers while the periscope is up.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
Boeing4ever
Posts: 4479
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2001 12:06 pm

RE: RQ-170 Sentinel UAV Revealed

Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:09 pm

Figures the Polecat was a prototype for something.

Looks like Skunk Works claims title for first operational jet powered stealthy UAV in operation.

 airplane B4e-Forever New Frontiers airplane 
 
BladeLWS
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:41 pm

RE: RQ-170 Sentinel UAV Revealed

Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:38 pm



Quoting MarSciGuy (Reply 4):

Are you suggesting the ocean is lined with cables that are submerged at periscope depth that they can plug in to? I think submarines scan for any EM signals when the get to Periscope depth and then send their messages to satellite once they know the area is clear...

Basically from what I've read it happens like this...

1.Sub picks up ELF (low freq) transmission with its ID code, it takes a LONG time to get one character so they only send the ID code to let the sub know it needs to take a message.

2.Sub goes up to periscope depth, takes a listen, then raises ESM/periscope mast to see it anything is around. If all is clear they raise the antenna and take the message.

I also think that the subs can trail an antenna wire along the surface of the water to get signals, but I think that would probably take longer to send/transmit then the pole antenna.
 
GST
Posts: 812
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:27 am

RE: RQ-170 Sentinel UAV Revealed

Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:37 pm



Quoting Tugger (Reply 5):
He is meaning that subs can receive data from satellites with lasers while the periscope is up.

That is a better explanation for what I wanted to say, cheers. As I understand it, they can both send and receive extremely detailed messages basically with a pulsing laser in more or less the same way as a fiber optic cable, only without the cable!
I could well be wrong, but I would imagine that if you mounted some similar apparatus on top of the UAV, where it is shrouded from most radar sources you could have a continuous data stream to a satellite of your choice without any normal EM signature to give you away and defeat your own stealth. I am unsure if this would limit you to operations above clouds, and in this case high cloud may just ruin your whole day, but there may be something that can shine on through, I don't pretend to be an expert.
 
User avatar
Tugger
Posts: 6318
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:38 am

RE: RQ-170 Sentinel UAV Revealed

Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:32 am



Quoting GST (Reply 8):
, but I would imagine that if you mounted some similar apparatus on top of the UAV, where it is shrouded from most radar sources you could have a continuous data stream to a satellite of your choice without any normal EM signature to give you away and defeat your own stealth. I am unsure if this would limit you to operations above clouds, and in this case high cloud may just ruin your whole day, but there may be something that can shine on through, I don't pretend to be an expert.

Well the key difference is that the UAV can't remain near motionless while the sub mast can.

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 7):
I also think that the subs can trail an antenna wire along the surface of the water to get signals, but I think that would probably take longer to send/transmit then the pole antenna.

Now imagine a ESM/periscope mast system on a trailing wire sitting stable on the surface listening watching and protecting while the sub moves away safely at speed. Much like tow array sonar systems but on the surface.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: madstop and 1 guest

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos