General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) has successfully demonstrated airborne Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) with an MQ-20 Avenger UAS (unmanned aerial system) and a modified King Air 200. The two aircraft were used as surrogates for 4th- and 5th-generation tactical fighters.
The Avenger UAS took off from GA-ASI’s Desert Horizon facility in the Mojave Desert, while the King Air took off from Montgomery Airport in San Diego. The demo lasted for approximately two hours, and successfully achieved autonomous collaboration using command and control (C2) of the Avenger from a ruggedized tactical control tablet, integrated with Autonodyne’s RCU-1000 Advanced Human Machine Interface, to provide real-time situational awareness combined with complex behavior tasking. The airborne node utilized a GA-ASI-modified King Air 200, which allowed for rapid integration and test of the C2 hardware.
The successful test proves the ability for GA-ASI MUM-T to command airborne assets while autonomously executing behaviors and missions that provide increased awareness and effectiveness to the warfighter.
Mike Atwood, senior director of advanced concepts at GA-ASI, commented: “GA-ASI continues to innovate by integrating state-of-the-art technology, providing combatant commanders with tested solutions for persistent, affordable air sensing with challenging target sets. This flight builds on the previous long-wave IR passive autonomous testing, and continues to validate that persistent Group 5 UAS aircraft can perform complex Air Moving Target Indication (AMTI).”
Steve Jacobson, CEO of Autonodyne, said: “Autonodyne was thrilled to work with GA-ASI to leverage our previous work in MUM-T C2 and apply it to such an impressive air vehicle. Tactical control combined with powerful autonomy capabilities is critical to providing our warfighters the tools they need now.”