NASA Global Hawk

Advancing Scientific Research and Discovery

NASA Global Hawk 

Program Overview

The NASA Global Hawk Project Office at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center is managing Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) RQ-4 Global Hawk air vehicles in partnership with Northrop Grumman Corporation. These preproduction Global Hawk air vehicles were acquired by NASA from the U.S. Air Force to be used to support NASA science customers and other customers who need access to a high-altitude, long endurance (HALE) system. DFRC and Northrop Grumman have entered into a five-year Space Act Agreement that includes the stand-up and operation of the NASA Global Hawk system. Northrop Grumman is providing technical, engineering, maintenance, and operations support and will share access to the air vehicles with NASA.


Wingspan: 116.2 ft (35.4 m)
Length: 44.4 ft (13.5 m)
Height: 14.6 ft (4.2 m)
Gross Take-off Weight: 26,700 lbs. (12,110.9 kg)
Internal Payload Capacity: 1,500 lbs (680.4 kg)
Pod Payload Capacity: 700 lbs per side (317.5 kg)
Ferry Range: 11,000 nm (20,372 km)
Maximum Altitude: < 65,000 ft (19.8km)
Loiter Velocity: 343 knots True Air Speed (TAS)
Maximum Endurance: 31 hrs