An onboard autonomy framework and a prototype platform abstraction layer developed by Aurora Flight Sciences were part of a Boeing demonstration of a new open autonomy architecture for manned-unmanned teaming with MQ-25.
The demonstration showed how other aircraft could easily task an MQ-25 teammate with an ISR mission specifying only the search area and no-fly zones.
Using an onboard autonomy framework developed by Aurora, the MQ-25 autonomously did the rest – including validating the command against its operational constraints, planning its route and conducting its search pattern, among many other tasks.
Aurora also created and demonstrated a prototype platform abstraction layer – a software boundary that decouples MQ-25’s flight safety and flight critical components from mission software and sensor hardware.
This commercial best practice allows third-party “app” integration on MQ-25. Using an Aurora-provided software development kit, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division created a new radar search application for MQ-25 that was successfully used during the demonstration.
“Aurora’s robust software development kit enables our Navy teammates to rapidly integrate new capabilities,” said Graham Drozeski, vice president of Government Programs for Aurora Flight Sciences. “The platform abstraction demonstration met test objectives for resource sharing between multiple onboard systems and supervisors, and these efforts will greatly reduce government test and certification costs as new capabilities are added over time.”