China’s Wing Loong-2 UAV completes emergency communication exercise

The China-developed Wing Loong-2 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has completed the country’s first large UAV-supported emergency communication exercise, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), its developer, announced Saturday.

The Wing Loong-2 successfully completed the communication support exercise mission, which was directed by the Ministry of Emergency Management (MEM), flying continuously for around 20 hours across three provinces, according to the AVIC.

This exercise verified the high reliability and adaptability of the Wing Loong-2 in complex environments, especially its communication support capability as a large unmanned aerial communications platform in extreme conditions, the AVIC said.

In the early morning of Sept. 29, the UAV took off from Anshun, in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, and headed to Muli County, in Sichuan Province, in the southwest of the country.

It successfully accomplished 20 hours of round-the-clock flight and communication support operations amid moderate rain and other adverse weather conditions.

During the exercise, the Wing Loong-2 supported the communication provider China Mobile by tackling harsh communications challenges at simulated disaster sites featuring damaged roads, blackouts and network outages.

Indigenously developed by the AVIC, Wing Loong-2 is a multi-purpose UAV platform with superb multi-sensor fusion capability, as well as stable performance and mature technologies.

The exercise was directed by the MEM and conducted by the AVIC, together with China Mobile (Chengdu) Industrial Research Institute and multiple other organizations.

It included a simulated forest-fire site in Muli County, a mountainous region where a forest fire this spring scorched about 270 hectares and caused causalities.

Establishing stable and smooth telecommunications has proven to be essential for emergency rescue missions in remote and hard-to-reach regions, such as those with mountainous forests.

With the combination of public and dedicated networks, innovative technologies such as broadband and narrowband integration, as well as integrated space-air-ground communications, the Wing Loong-2 provides a new solution for emergency rescue operations.

Test results from the exercise show that the UAV provided clear images, complete radar data and precise aerial maps. It supported real-time audio and video communications between rescue sites and the command center, facilitating real-time and efficient command, according to the AVIC.

Aviation emergency rescue has the unparalleled advantages of rapid response, high mobility and wide rescue range. The exercise helped to meet the needs of the national emergency rescue system and the national natural disaster prevention and control system.

The AVIC will spare no effort to support the MEM in enhancing the national aviation emergency rescue system and capacity, said the state-owned plane maker. 

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