General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) continues to advance new levels of autonomous control for unmanned aircraft, successfully completing an airborne Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) demonstration on Aug. 25, 2021 pairing a company-owned MQ-20 Avenger with a modified King Air 200 as a surrogate for 4th- and 5th-generation tactical fighters.
The flight demonstrated autonomous collaboration using command and control (C2) of the Avenger from a ruggedized tactical control tablet, integrated with Autonodyne’s RCU-1000 Advanced Human Machine Interface, to provide real-time situational awareness combined with complex behaviour tasking. The airborne node utilized a GA-ASI-modified King Air 200, which allowed for rapid integration and test of the C2 hardware.
“GA-ASI continues to innovate by integrating state-of-the-art technology, providing combatant commanders with tested solutions for persistent, affordable air sensing with challenging target sets,” said Mike Atwood, senior director of advanced concepts at GA-ASI. “This flight builds on the previous long-wave IR passive autonomous testing, and continues to validate that persistent Group 5 UAS aircraft can perform complex Air Moving Target Indication (AMTI).”
The Avenger flight originated from GA-ASI’s Desert Horizon facility in the Mojave Desert and the King Air took off from Montgomery Airport in San Diego. The demo lasted for approximately two hours. The successful test proves the ability for GA-ASI MUM-T to command airborne assets while autonomously executing behaviours and missions that provide increased awareness and effectiveness to the warfighter.
“Autonodyne was thrilled to work with GA-ASI to leverage our previous work in MUM-T C2 and apply it to such an impressive air vehicle,” said Autonodyne CEO Steve Jacobson. “Tactical control combined with powerful autonomy capabilities is critical to providing our warfighters the tools they need now.”
Autonodyne is a Boston-based software AI company specializing in control and display of uncrewed vehicles across the air, land and sea domains. Principal products center on Common Control Stations and autonomy software in a wide variety of use cases for both defense, government, and civil customers. For more information, visit www.autonodyne.com.
General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), an affiliate of General Atomics, is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems, including the Predator® RPA series and the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar. With more than six million flight hours, GA-ASI provides long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with integrated sensor and data link systems required to deliver persistent flight that enables situational awareness and rapid strike. The company also produces a variety of ground control stations and sensor control/image analysis software, offers pilot training and support services, and develops meta-material antennas. For more information, visit www.ga-asi.com