A research effort associated with DARPA’s Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program recently conducted the first successful flight tests of a shoebox-sized, plug-and-play system designed to enable manned and unmanned aircraft to automatically detect nearby aircraft and avoid potential mid-air collisions. An unmanned air vehicle (UAV) repeatedly used the technology demonstration system to detect […]
For decades, aircraft designers seeking to improve vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities have endured a substantial set of interrelated challenges. Dozens of attempts have been made to increase top speed without sacrificing range, efficiency or the ability to do useful work, with each effort struggling or failing in one way or another. DARPA’s VTOL […]
They may not have zoomed flawlessly around obstacles like the Millennium Falcon did as it careened through the hull of a crashed Star Destroyer in Star Wars VII. But the sensor-loaded quadcopters that recently got tested in a cluttered hangar in Massachusetts did manage to edge their way around obstacles and achieve their target speeds […]
Modern airborne warfare is becoming increasingly complex, with manned and unmanned systems having to rapidly share information in a volatile environment where adversaries use advanced, commercially available electronic systems to disrupt U.S. and allied communications. Complicating the communications challenge for allied warfighters, many current airborne radio networks are incompatible with each other, the result of […]
It sounds like an engineering fantasy, or maybe an episode from Mission Impossible: A flock of small, single-use, unpowered delivery vehicles dropped from an aircraft, each of which literally vanishes after landing and delivering food or medical supplies to an isolated village during an epidemic or disaster. And it would be nothing more than a […]
Currently global military aviation relies on a key enabler – aerial refueling. Fighters, bombers, reconnaissance and transport aircraft use “flying gas stations” to go the extra mile.