The United States' Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently completed Phase 2 flight tests of its Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program demonstrating advanced algorithms performing real-world tasks without human assistance.
FLA performs tasks dangerous for humans – such as pre-mission reconnaissance in a hostile urban setting or searching damaged structures for survivors following an earthquake, DARPA said in a statement Wednesday.
Built on Phase 1 flight tests in 2017, researchers refined their software and adapted commercial sensors to achieve greater performance with smaller, lighter quadcopters. Aerial tests were conducted in a mock town of Georgia, showed significant progress in urban outdoor and indoor autonomous flight scenarios, the report stated.
“Unmanned systems equipped with FLA algorithms need no remote pilot, no GPS guidance, no communications link, and no pre-programmed map of the area – the onboard software, lightweight processor, and low-cost sensors do all the work autonomously in real-time,” said J C Ledé, DARPA program manager.
During Phase 2, a team of engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Draper Laboratory reduced the number of onboard sensors to lighten their air vehicle for higher speed.
“As the vehicle uses its sensors to quickly explore and navigate obstacles in unknown environments, it is continually creating a map as it explores and remembers any place it has already been so it can return to the starting point by itself,” said Jon How, the other MIT/Draper team co-leader.
A separate team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania reduced the air vehicle’s size and weight to be able to fly autonomously in small, cluttered indoor spaces.
Lockheed Martin and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently performed a series of flight tests demonstrating how a system of systems (SoS) approach enables seamless – and rapid – integration across air, space, land, sea and cyber in contested environments. The demonstrations held at the Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, California, were part of a five year DARPA program called System of Systems Integration Technology and Experimentation (SoSITE)
US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agencys (DARPA) Ground X-Vehicle Technologies (GXV-T) program aims to improve mobility, survivability, safety and effectiveness of future combat vehicles without piling excessive armor. Several Phase 2 contract awardees recently demonstrated advances on a variety of technologies to meet the programs goals, the agency said in a statement Friday
Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has been selected to participate in Phase 3 of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Gremlins program as part of the Dynetics-led team. The Gremlins program will develop the capability to launch groups of reusable Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) from manned aircraft while out of range of adversary defenses, enhancing the operational flexibility, safety and effectiveness of U
In recent tests, the United States Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) demonstrated the ability of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) to autonomously adapt and respond to unexpected threats in an anti-access area denial (A2AD) environment. The UASs were equipped with a DARPA system called Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) program
Sikorsky and the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have begun to integrate the Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) into a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter for testing and flight demonstration of the pilot-less technology in 2019. “Weve chosen the Black Hawk as the platform we want to demonstrate full integration of ALIAS type capabilities; all the circuit breakers and switches and instruments in the aircraft, so that the capability ALIAS provides to a crew member is really like a co-pilot,” said Graham Drozeski, the DARPA program manager for ALIAS
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected BAE Systems to develop data-driven, cyber-hunting tools that detect and analyze cyber threats to help protect extremely large enterprise networks. The contract for Phase 1, 2, and 3 of the program is valued at approximately $5
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