BAE Systems has geared up for unmanned aircraft technology trials using a Jetstream 31 turboprop airliner as a ‘flying testbed’ that flies itself whilst having pilots on board who could take control at any time.
The trials are being conducted to assess how autonomous air vehicles could be integrated in UK airspace, The company announced today.
The latest trials are self-funded by BAE Systems at a cost of around £400,000 and build on the findings of the ASTRAEA (Autonomous Systems Technology Related Airborne Evaluation and Assessment) Research and Development programme which ran from 2008-2013.
In a series of 17 flights, BAE Systems’ engineers aim to prove the capability, maturity and safe operation of autonomous air technologies controlled by a satellite-communications based link. This has the advantage of being globally available already and therefore enabling operations without the need for new infrastructure.
Also being tested are further developments of sensing technologies including aircraft and cloud avoidance using only camera input rather than radar. The results of the trials will inform the direction of the Company’s future unmanned aircraft programme and the suitability of testing unmanned aircraft in the UK.
The series of test flights involve a team of two engineers on-board whom together with air traffic control experts at NATS, assess the performance of the systems on the testbed.
Flights last 1.5 hours and are flying through non-congested airspace on a route from Warton to Inverness, Scotland covering around 300 miles and normally flying at 15000 feet.
A pilot and co-pilot are in control for take-off and landing but once airborne and in controlled airspace the Jetstream flies itself.
On the ground a flight test observer and a unmanned air vehicle commander, who is a fully licensed pilot for these trials, are monitoring the flights via satellite communications.
BAE Systems has won a $69 million contract from US Army for production of MK90 propellant grains used to power rockets deployed on rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft. The MK90 grain is the propulsion component of the MK66 rocket motor, which is the propulsion unit that powers the family of Hydra 70 rocket systems in service with the US military and several allied nations, the company announced Wednesday
BAE Systems has received a contract to help NFU Mutual develop a system for the insurance company to protect customers against fraud and financial crimes. The teaming up of the insurance composite with BAE is aimed at utilizing external and internal data sources to identify fraudsters at the point of sale, BAE announced Friday
BAE Systems has developed a new suspension system for military vehicles to counter explosive impacts and is currently testing it. A prototype of the suspension system has already been constructed and tested by a team of experts and apprentices at BAE Systems as part of their response to a competition placed by the Governments Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory for an unmanned Highly Robust Ground Platform, the company said in a statement earlier this week
BAE is building a military tank that can withstand explosions by bouncing back into shape after impact, so that the vehicle can continue its mission. The firm is using a bendable titanium alloy suspension system, made from the same type of material used in flexible glasses, which enables the vehicle's suspension to return to its normal form after impact
BAE Systems has won a $49 million contract from the US Air Force Research Lab to enhance intelligence-sharing capabilities. Under the five-year contract, the company will develop, deploy and maintain cross-domain solutions for protecting sensitive information shared over government networks
BAE Systems has sold San Francisco ship repair business to Puglia Engineering which currently operates two shipyards in USA. BAE Systems operates six full-service shipyards in Alabama, California, Florida, Hawaii and Virginia, offering ship repair, maintenance, modernization, conversion, and overhaul services for the US Navy, other government agencies and select commercial customers
BAE Systems today rolled out the first prototype Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) to the US Army during a ceremony at the companys York, Pennsylvania facility. The AMPV provides the Army with enhanced mobility, survivability, force protection, and combat superiority
BAE Systems has won a $368 million five-year contract to provide systems engineering and support services to the US Navys Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) office. SSP oversees the Strategic Weapons System and Attack Weapons System on board current US Ohio and UK Vanguard class submarines, as well as on future Ohio replacement and the UK Dreadnought class of submarines
BAE Systems has rolled out the first of 16 Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1 prototypes for the US Marine Corps today
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