X-47B drone demonstrates wireless ground handling for use on aircraft carriers

PATUXENT RIVER, 17 Md., Nov. 2012. The X-47B unmanned combat air system (UCAS) has begun demonstrating its ability to be maneuvered safely and wirelessly on the crowded deck of an aircraft carrier.

In early November, a team of Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) engineers and U.S. Navy personnel completed its first shore-based trials of a control display unit (CDU), a wireless, handheld device. Developed by Northrop Grumman, the device enables deck operators to maneuver the X-47B by remote control on the carrier deck.

The team demonstrated the CDU's ability to control the X-47B's engine thrust; to roll the aircraft forward, brake and stop; to use its nose wheel steering to execute precise turns; and to maneuver the aircraft into a catapult or out of the landing area following a mock carrier landing.

In practice, a deck operator will work in tandem with the flight deck director to move the X-47B from the CDU to a designated flight deck location. Standing in front of the aircraft, the director will use traditional hand signals to indicate how, when and where the aircraft should move, as if they were communicating with a pilot in a manned aircraft. The deck operator will stand behind the director and use the CDU to duplicate the director's instructions as wireless commands to the aircraft.

The UCAS-D program plans to conduct its first shore-based catapults of X-47B aircraft later this month. That testing will be followed by hoisting an X-47B aboard an aircraft carrier, and using it to validate the performance of the CDU in an actual carrier environment.

In 2013, the program hopes to demonstrate the ability of an X-47B to safely operate from a Navy aircraft carrier, including launch, recovery, and air traffic control operations. The program also plans to mature technologies required for future Navy unmanned air vehicle (UAV) programs.

Northrop Grumman is the Navy's prime contractor for the UCAS Carrier Demonstration (UCAS-D) program. The UCAS-D industry team includes GKN Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney, Eaton, General Electric, UTC Aerospace Systems, Dell, Honeywell, Moog, Wind River, Parker Aerospace and Rockwell Collins.




Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Webcasts

Harsh Environment Protection for Advanced Electronics and Components

This webinar will offer an opportunity to learn more about ultra-thin Parylene conformal coatings – how they are applied, applications they protect today, and the properties and benefits they offer, includin...

New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

Press Releases

CURTISS-WRIGHT AWARDED CONTRACT BY SIERRA NEVADA CORPORATION

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has received a contract from Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to supply its small form factor ...

Innovative Integration Announces the FMC-Servo

Camarillo, CA June 19, 2015, Innovative Integration, a trusted supplier of signal processing and data acquisition hardware and software solutions, today announced the FMC-S...

METADATA SUPPORT ENHANCES INDUSTRY-LEADING HD VIDEO MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FROM CURTISS-WRIGHT

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has further enhanced its innovative VRD1 high definition (HD) video management system (VMS) w...

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

August 2015
Volume 26, Issue 8
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

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities
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