Learjet, NYSE, NOC, Northrop, Grumman, Navy, US, autonomous, refueling, aerial, UAV, UAS, Unmanned, vehicle, algorithm, hardware, software, Military, Aerospace, Electronics, Avionics, Intelligence, Pennwell, Defense, Technology, Airplane, Aviation, Security, System, Systems, Computing, Rugged, Aircraft Northrop Grumman and U.S. Navy test autonomous aerial refueling for unmanned combat air system - Military & Aerospace Electronics

Northrop Grumman and U.S. Navy test autonomous aerial refueling for unmanned combat air system

Veriable Stability LearjetST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., Jan. 26, 2012. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and the U.S. Navy have completed a series of flight tests to demonstrate technology that could help extend the operating range and flight duration of future carrier-based unmanned systems.

The flight tests, completed Jan. 21 in St. Augustine, proved the functionality of the hardware and software that will enable the X-47B unmanned aircraft to demonstrate autonomous aerial refueling (AAR) in 2014.

The AAR activity is part of the Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. Northrop Grumman is the Navy's UCAS-D prime contractor.

The AAR tests were conducted by a Northrop Grumman/Navy team using Calspan Corporation's (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) Variable Stability Learjet as the X-47B surrogate aircraft, and a K707 tanker provided by Omega Air Refueling (Alexandria, Va.). The tests included simulated flight demonstrations of both boom/receptacle and probe-and-drogue aerial refueling techniques. No fuel was exchanged between the aircraft during the test events, however.

The Learjet surrogate was equipped with functional equivalents of the navigation systems, flight control processor and vision system that the X-47B will use to conduct refueling operations. The aircraft contained no refueling receptacle or refueling probe. The K707, which is nearly identical in size and shape to an Air Force KC-135, was equipped with a Navy style refueling drogue only.

For each simulated refueling event, the Learjet/X-47B surrogate was piloted to a rendezvous position approximately one nautical mile from the tanker. Then the pilot transferred control of the aircraft to the X-47B's autonomous flight control processor, which controlled the Learjet during the test event.

During a typical refueling event, the tanker operator or a mission operator on the ground commanded the Learjet to fly, in sequence, to each of the major positions associated with aerial refueling: (1) the pre-tanking observation point off one wing of the tanker; (2) the refueling contact position behind the tanker; and (3) the post-tanking "reform" position off the other wing of the tanker.

The Northrop Grumman/Navy test team plans to conduct additional AAR surrogate testing using the same aircraft when flight-qualified versions of the relevant X-47B hardware and software become available.

The UCAS-D program plans to demonstrate in 2013 the ability of the tailless, autonomous, low-observable relevant X-47B demonstrator to safely operate from a Navy aircraft carrier, including launch, recovery, bolter and wave-off performance, followed by the autonomous aerial refueling in 2014. The program also plans to mature technologies required for potential future Navy unmanned air system programs.


Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

F-SIM-LDR ARINC 615A Data Loader

AIT's F-SIM-LDR, or Flight Simulyzer Loader, is a complete ARINC-615A Data Loader development kit...

cPCI-1760-SW-4

AceXtreme® Bridge Device - Smart Protocol Converter

DDC’s AceXtreme Bridge Device converts avionics messages in real time between Ethernet, MIL-STD-1...

Low Voltage Power Supplies for Avionics

Crane Aerospace & Electronics has over 50 years of experience in the design and manufacture of hi...

Transformer Rectifier Units (TRUs)

As the world’s leading supplier of Transformer Rectifier Units (TRUs) for commercial aircraft sin...

RAR-USB

The RAR-USB is an ARINC 429 USB 2.0 adaptor that provides up to sixteen totally independent recei...

DW 251

DW 251 has been developed for specific use in aerospace and aircraft electrical and wiring applic...

Aircraft gearboxes

Positronic's Front Runner Connectors

The Front Runner Series offers a multiplicity of connector features which makes it a first choice...

ANET1553 / ANET429 Ethernet modules

New Ethernet Avionics Databus solutions for MIL-STD-1553A/B and ARINC429 are available. Test & Si...

Related Companies

CES - Creative Electronic Systems SA

Has been designing and manufacturing complex high-performance avionics, defense and communication boards, subsystems ...

Boker's Inc

Boker's, Inc. can manufacture your flat washers, spacers and shims with an outside diameter from 0.080" to 12" and ma...

DLS Electronic Systems Inc

Provides EMC/EMI & Environmental testing to MIL-STD 461-A-F, MIL-STD 810 & RTCA DO-160-C-G, Boeing, Airbus FAA AC20-1...

MICCAVIONICS GmbH

Highly innovative, integrated time-critical solutions of an information mission management and command and control sy...

Speel Praha Ltd

Offers avionics systems, including aircraft monitoring systems, crash-protected solid-state flight data/cockpit voice...

Digital Systems Engineering Inc (DSE)

Harsh-duty ruggedized flat-panel display design and manufacturing for airborne, military, and marine surveillance app...

Astro-Med

Designs and manufactures ruggedized printers and Ethernet switches used in demanding military and defense application...

StacoSystems

Provides LED push button display switches and control solutions, subsystems, and rugged keyboards and keypads for com...

LAI International Inc

LAI International is a leading contract manufacturer of make-complete precision-engineered components and assemblies ...

Interpoint

Supplies high-density, high-reliability Interpoint microelectronics, DC/DC converters and EMI filters to the aerospac...
Wire News provided by   

social activity

Webcasts

Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the design considerations for blending general-purposes processors (GPUs), general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs), field-programmable ...
Sponsored by:

Advantages of Intel Architecture Products and Wind River Solutions in Military & Aerospace Applications

This webinar explains the individual advantages of the Intel Architecture hardware, available for long-life supply, and the WRS software portfolio.  There are extraordinary advantages of combining such ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

View the 2014 Buyer's Guide Now!


Mil & Aero Magazine

October 2014
Volume 25, Issue 10
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE