United States of America
- Common Operating System
- Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
- Joint Unmanned Combat Air System
- National Aeronautics & Space Administration
- Satellite Communication
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
- Ultra High Frequency
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has released that Boeing's
X-45A unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) control was successfully transferred to a
remote control station nearly 900 miles (1,350 kilometers) away, and back again,
completing its first beyond the line-of-sight flight demonstration on December
flight demonstration lasted approximately 46 minutes. The command and control of
the Boeing's Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS), named AV-1, was
transferred from an operator at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards
Air Force Base, California, via UHF SATCOM, to a mission control operator at
Boeing's facilities in Seattle, Washington. The operator in Seattle then
controlled the air vehicle for over six minutes.
During this time, the Seattle operated demonstrated positive command and control
by sending four altitude and airspeed command changes to in-flight air vehicle.
All the commands were received and executed by the air vehicle before the
command and control was handed back to the local Edwards mission control
The command and control transference capability is envisaged by US military as a
key capability that will enable a distributed command and control architecture
for unmanned air systems. The nodes of such architecture during future warfare
could be air bases or aircraft carriers deployed around the globe. Reliable
communications paths will complete that vision providing persistent lethal J-UCAS
strike capability presence anywhere, anytime.
The J-UCAS program is developing multiple unmanned combat air platforms driven
by a single Common Operating System (COS), seamlessly linked to achieve shared,
interactive control of worldwide operations. Currently, Boeing is demonstrating
the X-45A air vehicles along with Block 3 software, which is a strong candidate
to be the basis for future development of COS.
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