Black Hawk helicopter completes first uninhabited flight

Very first flight of uninhabited helicopter: achievement designed doable by advancement of versatile, extensible automation architecture.

The DARPA Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation Procedure (ALIAS) method done a to start with ever flight of a UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter with out anybody onboard. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin enterprise, completed 30-minutes of uninhabited flight with the optionally piloted automobile (OPV) more than the U.S. Army installation at Fort Campbell, Kentucky on February 5th. An added uninhabited flight was also performed on February 7th.

The Black Hawk was retrofitted with Sikorsky MATRIX™ autonomy technologies that kind the core of ALIAS and can change the way aviators and air crews execute their missions by giving assistance when flying with restricted visibility or devoid of communications.

ALIAS is a adaptable, extensible automation architecture for current manned plane that enables secure minimized crew functions, which facilitates the addition of superior levels of automation into current aircraft. It also presents a system for integrating further automation or autonomy capabilities personalized for precise missions.

“With minimized workloads pilots can concentrate on mission administration as a substitute of the mechanics,” said Stuart Youthful, system manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Workplace. “This unique combination of autonomy software and components will make flying each smarter and safer.”

The ALIAS plan has leveraged the appreciable improvements in plane automation methods above the earlier 50 several years, as very well as similar improvements in remotely piloted aircraft. Even in today’s most automatic plane, pilots will have to nevertheless deal with advanced interfaces and react to unpredicted situations.

ALIAS aims to assist execution of an complete mission from takeoff to landing, including autonomously managing contingency situations these kinds of as plane system failures. Quick-to-use interfaces aid supervisor-ALIAS interaction.

“With ALIAS, the Army will have significantly additional operational overall flexibility,” claimed Youthful. “This incorporates the capability to operate plane at all occasions of the working day or night, with and without the need of pilots, and in a wide range of tricky ailments, this kind of as contested, congested, and degraded visible environments.”

The Military is now checking out probable use circumstances for systems this sort of as ALIAS, together with people outlined in the U.S. Army’s Foreseeable future Vertical Elevate (FVL) software.

Within the subsequent month, the ALIAS application designs to conduct the to start with flight of a fly-by-wire M-model Black Hawk at Fort Eustis, Virginia.

Supply: DARPA