Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Industry and Business News .

Army touts interoperability of Apache helos, unmanned aircraft
by Richard Tomkins
Redstone Arsenal, Ala. (UPI) Oct 8, 2014

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

A new "first" has been achieved by the U.S. Army in the interoperability of helicopters and unmanned aircraft systems.

In the past, unmanned aerial vehicles in flight have shared surveillance video with helicopter pilots via a ground station control system, but recent technological developments now allow AH-64E Apache attack helicopter pilots to control themselves the payloads, sensors and flight of unmanned aircraft systems.

"From an operational standpoint, this provides the Apache with another pair of eyes higher in the sky and a third crew member from the Ground Control Station operator," said Sean Gilpin, UAS Level IV interoperability lead, Apache Project Office, PEO Aviation.

"Unmanned aircraft help to take away the unknown on the battlefield because they can fly out from the Apache and allow the Apache pilot to see over the horizon. Any additional capabilities we can provide above what we have now will only make it better for our Apache pilots."

The Army said the new level of interoperability is the result of a 2 1/2-year effort by the military and industry, which culminated in technology testing at the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama and El Mirage Flight Test Facility in California.

Contributing to the effort were Textron, General Atomics, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

The tests involved the newest Apache variant, the "E" model, the Gray Eagle medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, and the RQ-7 Shadow, a small UAV from AAI Corporation.

"During our test events, we've taken the manned-unmanned capabilities of Shadow and Gray Eagle, and the Apache "E" model to a level where the Apache cannot only receive information but also transmit command and control to the unmanned systems," said Doug Wolfe, interoperability lead, Common Systems Integration, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office, Program Executive Office for Aviation.

"We've also tested the use of a One System Remote Video Terminal, where the soldiers in the fight can use the OSRVT to control the sensors on all unmanned aircraft systems.

"Right now, the OSRVT allows the receipt of data from different UAS. But the next version will make OSRVT bi-directional so that it cannot only receive from all UAS, but also transmit to all UAS to control their payloads," Wolf said.

The Gray Eagle UAS is the largest UAS in the Army fleet. It can fly as high as 29,000 feet and is primarily used for wide-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; convoy protection; IED detection; close air support; target acquisition; and communications relay. It is also capable of carrying Hellfire missiles.

The Shadow is a small UAS used by brigade commanders for reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting and assessment missions. It can fly as far as 77.5 miles away from ground control stations.

The Army says the catapult-launched Shadow can detect and recognize tactical vehicles while flying at an altitude up to 8,000 feet and from a range of more than two miles.

The two types of UAS are the anchoring systems in a UAS fleet featuring a variety of aircraft.

"These new capabilities are a force multiplier for infantry and field artillery," Wolfe said. "The experiences we've had with this testing have exceeded my expectations. I am very positive about the results of our testing and the capabilities that will be provided to the war fighter."


Related Links
Aerospace News at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Afghan Air Force receiving MD Helicopter's 530F aircraft
Mesa, Ariz. (UPI) Oct 6, 2014
MD Helicopters Inc. reports the U.S. Army has exercised a contract option for the supply of a dozen MD 530F aircraft to the Afghan Air Force. The helicopters will be initially configured to train Afghan pilots and later will be reconfigured to operate weapon systems for light attack capabilities. "The OH-6 Cayuse, the platform on which the MD 530F is based, is a legendary aircraf ... read more

Raytheon reports USAF contract for 3D radar

Ecuador opens tender to acquire radars

Space debris expert warns of increasing CubeSat collision risk

Paper-thin and touch-sensitive displays on various materials

Northrop Grumman Debuts Low-Cost Terminals To Protect US Warfighters

'Space bubbles' may have aided enemy in fatal Afghan battle

Space control Airmen ensure constant communication

Russian Aerospace Defense Forces Again Dismiss Satellite Explosion Rumors

Europe sat-nav launch glitch linked to frozen pipe

Proton Failure Review Board Concludes Investigation

Arianespace's lightweight Vega launcher is readied for its mission with the European IXV spaceplane

Soyuz Rocket Awaiting Launch at Baikonur Cosmodrome

India's Tata Power licensed to produce Honeywell navigation system

Beidou sat nav sees increasing civil use

Russia to Launch New GLONASS Navigation System Satellite by Year End

Russia Unable To Reject Foreign Parts in GLONASS Satellites

Rafale F1 naval jet upgraded by Dassault Aviation

BAE Systems Australia building avionics components for F-35

Afghan Air Force receiving MD Helicopter's 530F aircraft

Next phase of underwater MH370 search begins

New technique may enable silicon detectors for telecommunications

Intel to buy stake in two Chinese firms

Oxides Discovered by CCNY Team Could Advance Memory Devices

New discovery could pave the way for spin-based computing

NASA Support Key to Glacier Mapping Efforts

China to improve earth observation service

New Forest Land Classification Data Set Launched

US, India Cement Cooperation in Earth Exploration

Nanoparticles Accumulate Quickly in Wetland Sediment

New study explains wintertime ozone pollution in Utah oil and gas fields

Air pollution increases river-flows

US finds no pollution from Mexico mine spill

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.