Dr. King joined General Atomics UK (GA-UK) when it was established in November 2010 and is responsible for the strategic development of the group’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business in the UK. Based in London, he works with the MoD and RAF to support the MQ-9 Reaper and the development and delivery of the future PROTECTOR programme. He also works with UK and European industry to further develop the capabilities of the Predator UAS series. Before joining GA-UK, Dr. King was Strategy Manager for Unmanned Systems at Cobham, responsible for bringing together the group’s global capabilities. He led new product concepts and marketing activities as well as supported acquisition programmes. Prior to this, Dr. King served as Technical Manager, Intelligent Vehicles for QinetiQ, where he was head of technology for various research and development programmes into autonomy and control. The applications included UAVs, hypersonic vehicles, weapons, thrust-vectored ejection seats. and a human high-G training centrifuge. Dr. King started his aerospace engineer career working as an Aerodynamicist and Control Systems Engineer at British Aerospace, Kingston upon Thames where he worked on aircraft modelling, simulation, and control. He has a PhD in Control Engineering from the Royal Military College of Science (now the Defence Academy) at Shrivenham, UK.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has established an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Training Academy for pilots and sensor operators in North Dakota in conjunction with the Grand Sky Business Park, the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS), Grand Forks Air Force Base, and the State of North Dakota. GA-ASI’s Training Academy has already graduated its first class and continues to provide world class training on the MQ-1 and MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). The Training Academy also serves as an anchor in GA-ASI’s broader strategy to integrate RPAS safely and seamlessly into non-segregated airspace. There are several critical technical challenges which will enable the routine use of RPAS in civilian airspace, including Detect and Avoid and C2 datalinks. GA-ASI will leverage the Training Academy, NPUASTS, and the ongoing activities within the FAA to advance solutions to these technical challenges, as well as the policies and procedures needed to enable large scale, routine RPAS operations.