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Lockheed demos automation improvements for SUAS

Lockheed Martin says it has demonstrated new software and ground control system enhancements that advance automation in the flying of small unmanned aerial vehicles.
By Richard Tomkins   |   April 24, 2014 at 11:43 AM
OWEGO, N.Y., April 24 (UPI) -- Enhanced software and an enhanced ground control system by Lockheed Martin are automating the operations of small unmanned aerial vehicles.

Earlier this year, the Kestrel Fly Light control system and mobile ground control software were demonstrated on the company’s Desert Hawk III small unmanned aircraft system, or SUAS, and delivered improved situational awareness to operators and reduced operator workload through an intuitive interface, user-friendly touchscreen and joystick options, Lockheed Martin said.

“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.”

The mGCS was developed on an open system using commercial off-the-shelf technology, the company said. It is interoperable with a variety of portable computers, hand controllers, autopilots, data links and sensors and includes a software development kit to enable UAS manufacturers the ability to add systems and capabilities.

Additional details on the demonstration were not provided.

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