Navy Progresses In Demonstrating Unmanned Refueling Capability | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

AMA Drone Report

Airborne-Monday

Airborne-Tuesday

Airborne-Wednesday

Airborne-Thursday

Airborne-Friday

Airborne-Unmanned w/AUVSI

Airborne On ANN

AMA 10.19.17

Airborne 10.16.17

Airborne 10.17.17

Airborne 10.18.17

Airborne 10.19.17

Airborne 10.20.17

Airborne-Unmanned 10.17.17

Airborne-YouTube

AMA 10.19.17

Airborne 10.16.17

Airborne 10.17.17

Airborne 10.18.17

Airborne 10.19.17

Airborne 10.20.17

Airborne-Unmanned 10.17.17

NEW!!! 2017 AirVenture Innovation Preview -- YouTube Presentation / Vimeo Presentation

Wed, Jan 25, 2012

Navy Progresses In Demonstrating Unmanned Refueling Capability

System Under Development That Could Significantly Increase The Endurance And Range Of Carrier-Based Unmanned Aircraft

As part of the Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) program, the Navy and industry partner Northrop Grumman have been developing Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) technologies to refuel unmanned aircraft in flight. The team completed a series of flight tests Jan.21 in St. Augustine, FL, as the latest step toward demonstrating unmanned AAR capability.

Image Provided By NAVAIR

“The AAR segment of the program is intended to demonstrate a system that will enable the X-47B UCAS-D to safely approach and maneuver around tanker aircraft, performing both Navy and Air Force style refueling techniques,” said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, Navy UCAS program manager.

The Navy has been working closely with the Air Force Research Lab for the past decade to develop technologies and operating concepts for AAR, Engdahl said. Both services share a common goal of enabling tankers to autonomously refuel manned and unmanned aircraft in the future, he added.

The UCAS-D team began this test phase in November when a team from Northrop Grumman installed X-47B hardware and software on a Calspan Learjet surrogate aircraft. The initial ground and taxi tests culminated in the first AAR test flight Dec. 20. The team then conducted a series of flights using the surrogate aircraft, equipped with X-47B software and hardware, and an Omega K-707 Tanker. The Learjet successfully completed multiple air-refueling test points autonomously while commanded by a ground operator.

The AAR segment of the UCAS-D program is designed to assess the initial functionality of the X-47B AAR systems and navigation performance, as well as to test the government tanker refueling interface systems. The AAR program is using similar command and control, and navigation processes being demonstrated by the UCAS team aboard the aircraft carrier. “The next big step for the program is to demonstrate this capability with the unmanned X-47B and actually plug the aircraft autonomously,” Engdahl said. “The AAR team did an exceptional job executing flight test in St. Augustine. The team’s' ability to successfully complete these test maneuvers so early in the program is a significant learning event and reduces risk for the future."
 
The team plans to conduct two more surrogate test periods before demonstrating refueling techniques on the X-47B in 2014. Data from the tests will be used to assess system performance, demonstrate viability of the AAR concept and develop operational procedures to support further development of future unmanned systems. "By adding an autonomous aerial refueling capability to unmanned aircraft, we can significantly increase their range, persistence and overall flexibility," added Engdahl, who said he is very impressed with the system’s performance. “This is a game-changer for naval aviation and is critical for our success with unmanned long range aircraft in the future.”

FMI: www.navair.navy.mil

Advertisement

More News

RFP: ANN Seeking New Site/Facility For Major Studio Upgrade

It's Official: Aggressive Upgrades For New Airborne Programs WILL Require New Digs It's been in development for years, but we're getting to a point where we think we can pull off s>[...]

Airborne 10.19.17: 200th TBM 900-Series, MooneyShares, E-AB Accident Stats

Also: Supersonic Test, Kobe Steel, Sullenberger Awarded, A-29 Super Tucanos, Textron, 109th AW CDR Daher recently rolled out its 200th TBM 900-series very fast turboprop aircraft s>[...]

AMA Drone Report 10.19.17: Drone/Airliner Midair?, FAA Sued, CNN 107 Waiver

Also: Swedish Drone Ban Lifted, Rocky Mountain Hobby-Expo, Drone Shark Detection, Kittyhawk DJI Sync 2.0 Recent reports about a midair collision between a jet and a drone have been>[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 10.17.17: Eagles v Drones, DJI AeroScope, Drone Policy

Also: AeroVironment Award, Washington State Patrol, Altavian Nova UAS, Robotaxis The French Military is training four Golden Eagles to attack drones in flight as a way to defend ag>[...]

Airborne 10.20.17: Santa Monica Setback, Red Bull Aviatrix, C-49 Flies Again

Also: HondaJet World Tour, Barnstorming, SpaceX, Dauntless, Fixed-Wing VTOL, Gravitational-Waves, Swedish Drones The City of Santa Monica may now proceed with shortening the runway>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2017 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC