USN developing drone-manned aircraft interoperability

July 17, 2013 at 4:18 PM
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PATUXENT RIVER, Md., July 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy is developing technology for interoperability between manned and unmanned aircraft systems.

The work is being undertaken by the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapon's Common Standards and Interoperability (CSI) team.

"Right now, without these systems being interoperable ... the warfighter is not able to take or pass control of the payloads available across the Navy and Marine Corps unmanned aircraft portfolio," said Navy Reservist Cmdr. Tommy Tolson, CSI test director.

If the right controller and payload are matched together, there can be no direct access to a payload's products, possibility resulting in a lack critical situational awareness in the field, he said.

Interoperability will enable a service member to control an aircraft sensor to view streaming video and obtain other information no matter what control system, aircraft or payload is in the air.

"UAS interoperability has not been a priority and fielded systems can generally demonstrate only limited interoperability with other manned and unmanned platforms across services," says the U.S. Defense Department's Interoperability Integrated Product Team, which is working on cross-platform communications. "As more and more UAS are fielded, open systems architectures and profiles that support interoperability will be required to further enable a broader network-centric environment."

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