Defense

July 23, 2012

Navy carriers prepare for X-47B unmanned aircraft arrival next year

Air traffic controllers aboard USS Harry S. Truman receive training and provide fleet feedback on Navy Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration software during recent carrier sea trials.

The Navy is one year away from landing its first unmanned jet aircraft aboard a carrier after completing the most recent round of surrogate tests aboard USS Harry S. Truman.

In early July, members from the Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration carrier integration team engaged in extensive software testing aboard Truman to validate the concept of autonomous UAV operations around an aircraft carrier and prepare for the X-47B unmanned aircraft’s arrival on a carrier next year.

“Demonstrating our concept of operations and making sure the Carrier Segment is performing as advertised is a huge milestone for the program,” said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, Navy UCAS program manager. “The crew, equipment, and program team performed exceptionally well during all planned test events and the Harry S Truman is ready for our next phase of X-47B testing.”

Last year, the team conducted surrogate testing aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower with a manned F/A-18 to evaluate ship systems, avionics systems and early versions of the unmanned vehicle software. The team is now back at sea aboard Truman with the F/A-18 aircraft, testing precision landing performance with the latest X-47B software and hardware configuration.

“The purpose of the UCAS-D carrier integration effort is to mature precision carrier-landing technologies for unmanned systems and digitize the communications and navigation information flow,” Engdahl said. “Since the X-47B is unmanned, the aircraft operates using digital messages from the mission operator and shipboard controllers, rather than through verbal instructions. The carrier requires modification for unmanned flight operations, and the integration effort performs these in a way that minimally affects existing hardware, training and procedures.”

During at-sea testing, the Navy UCAS team gathered valuable feedback from fleet air-traffic controllers and air-department personnel about the usability of the new software and lessons learned about how to most effectively operate UAVs in the carrier environment.

“The new software used during these tests is more comprehensive than earlier versions,” said Cmdr. Jeff Dodge, Navy UCAS carrier integration team co-lead. “There have been significant changes made to the user interface and navigation systems. Data compiled during surrogate flights allows us to determine the effectiveness of the new software and how it supports the carrier environment.”

Throughout the remainder of 2012, the Navy UCAS program will conduct carrier suitability and system performance testing with both X-47B aircraft at Pax River. These tests will include arrested landings, catapult launches, and flight deck operations at the land-based facility and establish the aircraft’s ability to conduct precision approaches to the aircraft carrier.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Untitled-2

Tactical reconnaissance vehicle project eyes hoverbike for defense

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, or ARL, has been exploring the tactical reconnaissance vehicle, or TRV, concept for nearly nine months and is evaluating the hoverbike technology as a way to get Soldiers away from ground thre...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. William Banton

Upgraded AWACS platform tested at Northern Edge

Air Force photograph by SSgt. William Banton Maintenance crew members prepare an E-3G Sentry (AWACS) for takeoff during exercise Northern Edge June 25, 2015. Roughly 6,000 airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen ...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson

First Marine graduates Air Force’s F-35 intelligence course

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson Marine Corps 1st Lt. Samuel Winsted, an F-35B Lightning II intelligence officer, provides a mock intelligence briefing to two instructors during the F-35 Intelligence Formal Train...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. James Richardson

5,000 days of war

Air Force photograph by SrA. James Richardson Airmen from the 17th Special Tactics Squadron out of Fort Benning, Ga., control airspace operations during exercise Jaded Thunder Oct. 29, 2014, in Salina, Kansas. Joint special ope...
 
 
Huntington Ingalls photograph

Navy’s new aircraft launch system tested on future carrier CVN 78

Huntington Ingalls photograph Aboard the aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), Susan Ford Bales, the ship’s sponsor and daughter of the late President Ford for whom the ship is named, rejoices i...
 
 
Navy photograph by JO2 John Hetherington

Prowler retires following 45 years of naval service

Navy photograph by PO3 Brian Stephens An EA-6B Prowler assigned to the Garudas of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 134 lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). George H.W. Bush is supporti...
 




One Comment


  1. […] more on AerotechNews.com. Filed Under: Maritime & […]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>