U.S. Army Flies Autonomous Black Hawk Helicopter | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne/NBAA2014 10.24.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne/NBAA2014 10.24.14 **
** Airborne/NBAA2014 10.22.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne/NBAA2014 10.22.14 **
** Airborne/NBAA2014 10.21.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne/NBAA2014 10.21.14 **
** Airborne/NBAA2014 10.20.14 ** HD iPad-Friendly -- Airborne/NBAA2014 10.20.14 **

Mon, Dec 10, 2012

U.S. Army Flies Autonomous Black Hawk Helicopter

First Test Flight Had Pilots Aboard For Safety

Over the skies east of San Jose, CA, a Black Hawk helicopter was seen flying low and slow November 5. There were pilots aboard the aircraft, but all maneuvers during this flight were being conducted autonomously.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's Aviation and Missile Center successfully demonstrated low-level autonomous behaviors in a flight over the Diablo Range. This demonstration is critical to the next generation of technological advances in military rotorcraft: obstacle field navigation and safe landing area determination.

Terrain sensing, statistical processing, risk assessment, threat avoidance, trajectory generation, and autonomous flight control were performed in real-time during the two-hour test flight. "This was the first time terrain-aware autonomy has been achieved on a Black Hawk," said Lt. Col. Carl Ott, chief of the Flight Projects Office at AMRDEC's Aero Flight Dynamics Directorate.
 
Testing was conducted on the Rotorcraft Aircrew Systems Concept Airborne Laboratory, or  RASCAL, a JUH-60A Black Hawk equipped with the H.N. Burns 3D-LZ laser detection and ranging system for terrain sensing. "The RASCAL aircraft was the ideal platform to demonstrate this technology. It provides a fully programmable, fly-by-wire flight control system and [has] advanced sensor interfaces for rapid prototyping of new concepts while maintaining the standard UH-60 hydro-mechanical flight control system as a safety backup," said Jay Fletcher, RASCAL project manager.
 
Throughout the flight, the aircraft maintained an altitude of 200 and 400 feet above ground. During the final obstacle of the field navigation flight, the safe landing area determination algorithm autonomously identified a safe landing spot within a forest clearing and commanded the aircraft to approach and hover at 60 feet.

Final hover was accurate within a foot.
 
"A risk-minimizing algorithm was used to compute and command a safe trajectory continuously throughout 23 miles of rugged terrain at an average speed of 40 knots," said Matthew Whalley, the Autonomous Rotorcraft Project lead. "No prior knowledge of the terrain was used."
 
Crew members on the historic flight were Army experimental test pilots Lt. Col. Mike Olmstead and Ott, RASCAL system operator Dennis Zollo, and Dr. Marc Takahashi.

FMI: www.army.mil

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 10.24.14: AML's Innovations, NASA Preps For Mars, LightHawk Saves

Also: AW609 Pilots Honored, Airbus' VIP Cabin, FreeFlight's FTX-200, Quicksilver S-LSA Milestone During our visit this week to NBAA 2014, Jim Campbell had a chance to talk with Mar>[...]

Airborne at NBAA-10.22.14: Legacy 500, Universal InSight, BendixKing AeroWave

Also: GE Honda, Sagem's Active SideStick, Syberjet Update, Techno Aerospace Knows How to Party The FAA handed over certification papers for Embraer's Legacy 500 executive jet durin>[...]

Airborne 10.24.14: AML's Innovations, NASA Preps For Mars, LightHawk Saves

Also: AW609 Pilots Honored, Airbus' VIP Cabin, FreeFlight's FTX-200, Quicksilver S-LSA Milestone During our visit this week to NBAA 2014, Jim Campbell had a chance to talk with Mar>[...]

AD: Pacific Aerospace Limited Airplanes

AD NUMBER: 2014-21-02 PRODUCT: Pacific Aerospace Limited Model FU24-954 and FU24A-954 airplanes.>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (10.25.14)

The Canard Zone An online forum by and for owners and builders of canard aircraft.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC