Air Force flight training experts eye artificial intelligence (AI) to help hone skills of unmanned pilots

July 2, 2020
AI will track how a student's progress, and introduce simulated enemies or threatening weather to maintain training challenges.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Air Force is expanding an experiment with advanced, artificial intelligence (AI)-infused pilot training for creating drone pilots and sensor operators. Air Force times reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

2 July 2020 -- The program, called RPA Training Next, takes some cues from the Air Force’s Pilot Training Next program. Program director Maj. Adam Smith says this new system of learning could help teach new unmanned aircraft aircrew faster and more efficiently than the old system, and fine-tune their lessons to what they actually need.

The Air Force adopted its current model of RPA training about a decade ago, cobbled together from existing manned undergraduate pilot training. This included almost 40 hours of training in the DA-20, a light propeller-driven aircraft, and then instrument training in a T-6 simulator.

The new RPA Course, or RPAC, will consolidate the RPA instrument qualification course, where students fly the T-6 flight training simulator, and the subsequent RPA fundamentals course, which focused on academics and mission-focused simulations.

Related: Artificial intelligence (AI) in unmanned vehicles

Related: Neither manned nor unmanned: the future of air warfare will be about teaming and the proper use of aircraft

Related: Military researchers to develop artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for future unmanned jet fighters

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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