Lock­heed Martin demon­strates en­hanced ground con­trol sys­tem for SUAS

SP's MAI - - UNMANNED -

Lock­heed Martin’s Group 1 fam­ily of un­manned air­craft sys­tems is mi­grat­ing to en­hanced au­to­ma­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties us­ing its Kestrel “Fly Light” flight con­trol sys­tems and in­dus­try-leading mo­bile ground con­trol sta­tion (mGCS) soft­ware. The in­creased au­to­ma­tion al­lows oper­a­tors to fo­cus on ex­e­cut­ing the mis­sion, rather than fly­ing var­i­ous air­craft.

Ear­lier this year, Lock­heed Martin’s Desert Hawk III small un­manned air­craft sys­tem (SUAS) demon­strated these en­hance­ments by de­liv­er­ing im­proved sit­u­a­tional aware­ness to oper­a­tors. The mGCS en­hance­ments also proved to sub­stan­tially re­duce op­er­a­tor work­load through an in­tu­itive in­ter­face, user­friendly touch­screen and joy­stick op­tions, as well as a so­phis­ti­cated set of op­er­a­tor warn­ings, cau­tions and ad­vi­sories.

“The mGCS is a de­riv­a­tive of our proven VCS-4586™ soft­ware that fo­cuses on pro­vid­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties to the small unit level,” said Kevin West­fall, Di­rec­tor of Un­manned So­lu­tions at Lock­heed Martin’s Mis­sion Sys­tems and Train­ing busi­ness. “mGCS is a sin­gle, por­ta­ble sys­tem ca­pa­ble of con­duct­ing mis­sions that would typ­i­cally re­quire mul­ti­ple con­trollers and fed­er­ated soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tions in or­der to man­age the many dif­fer­ent types of UAS.”

mGCS was de­vel­oped on an open sys­tem us­ing commercial off-the-shelf tech- nol­ogy that is in­ter­op­er­a­ble with a va­ri­ety of por­ta­ble com­put­ers, hand con­trollers, au­topi­lots, data links and sen­sors. The mGCS soft­ware is com­pli­ant with NATO’s Stan­dard­i­s­a­tion Agree­ment (STANAG) 4586 and also in­cludes a full soft­ware de­vel­op­ment kit to pro­vide other UAS man­u­fac­tur­ers the abil­ity to add sys­tems and other ca­pa­bil­i­ties with­out re­stric­tion. This sig­nif­i­cantly eases in­te­gra­tion while re­duc­ing sup­port and sus­tain­ment costs as well.

With more than five decades ex­pe­ri­ence in un­manned and ro­botic sys­tems, Lock­heed Martin of­fers mul­ti­ple so­lu­tions for air, land and sea. From the depths of the ocean to the rar­i­fied air of the strato­sphere, Lock­heed Martin’s un­manned sys­tems help mil­i­tary, civil and commercial cus­tomers ac­com­plish their most dif­fi­cult chal­lenges.

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