System Allows One Station To Control Multiple UAS's
Raytheon Company has tested a proven, open-software architecture
unmanned ground system that enables one ground station to control
multiple KillerBee Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
"We have taken a ground system, which is a variant of the U.S.
Navy's Tactical Control System, and adapted it to a Linux operating
system to make it hardware independent and fully scalable," said
Mark Bigham, Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems business
development director. "Our Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems
(STUAS) ground station solution is aligned with the Office of the
Secretary of Defense's path for a common ground system capability,
reducing training costs and controlling multiple air vehicles."
In a recent demonstration, Raytheon controlled the KillerBee
aircraft while simultaneously providing a manned, anti-tank guided
weapon target information from the aircraft. This significantly
shortens the kill chain by leveraging the bird's-eye view from the
KillerBee to pass target-marking information to the shooter on the
ground, such as a soldier equipped with a Javelin anti-tank guided
weapon. Cross-cueing provides the soldier a machine-to-machine data
transfer to mark the direction to a potential target for possible
use in a busy urban terrain.
The Raytheon team has developed and tested a number of new
capabilities, including adapting full control of three
electro-optical infrared laser sensors, full control of all phases
of flight, including landing and takeoff, plus several other
significant new features, applications and integrations. System
features include running the flight system on a laptop control and
the ability to run the hardware on a platform-agnostic Linux-based
"The ground system can be flown using either a joystick or a
game pad controller used by many gaming enthusiasts today," Bigham
added. "Furthermore, it provides the Navy and Marine Corps with the
first open Universal Control System, capable of flying KillerBee,
MQ-8 Fire Scout and other UASs simultaneously."
The TCS variant ground system will be compatible with the U.S.
Marine Corps Combat Operations Center, as well as being common to
both a shipboard- and land-based systems.
KillerBee is designed to provide the Navy and Marine Corps with
a UAS for their respective STUAS and Tier II missions, which
require UAS launch and recovery aboard a ship.