SAN DIEGO, Jan. 5, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CONNECT, an innovation company accelerator in San Diego, awarded its highest honor for a technology or product developed in San Diego to the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS), manufactured by Northrop Grumman Corporation. The William W. Otterson Award was given in recognition of Global Hawk's significant impact on society and quality of life.
Global Hawk earned the award for its record-breaking endurance, vital intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, its support to science missions and its disaster relief responses to wildfires, hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes.
"Global Hawk has always been on the cutting edge of innovation, from its first flight in 1998, to our current efforts to fly any current or future sensor at any time," said Mick Jaggers, vice president and program manager, Global Hawk, Northrop Grumman. "Global Hawk flies worldwide but is directly tied to San Diego – its development birthplace. William Otterson's efforts to evolve San Diego as a world-class technology community played a role in Northrop Grumman's decision to establish its Unmanned Center of Excellence in San Diego. We have a strong connection to this city and are honored to accept this award."
The William W. Otterson Award is named after CONNECT's first executive director, an early Internet entrepreneur, who worked tirelessly to create a technology hub in San Diego. Global Hawk received the award at a special presentation at CONNECT's annual Most Innovative New Products ceremony Dec. 1, 2015. CONNECT is an innovation company accelerator in San Diego focused on the technology and life sciences sector.
Global Hawks operate at altitudes up to 60,000 feet for over 30 hours, surveying thousands of square miles on a single mission. In addition to the Otterson Award, the Global Hawk program received the coveted Dr. James G. Roche Sustainment Excellence Award this year - for an unprecedented third year in a row - for demonstrating performance excellence in aircraft maintenance and logistics readiness.
Global Hawk first entered combat operations shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Since then, it has flown operational missions over Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, as well as humanitarian missions supporting relief during the 2007 Southern California wildfires, Japanese tsunami, Haitian earthquake and the Philippines typhoon.