U.S. Army working on universal unmanned aircraft control interface

By Ryan Maass  |  Feb. 1, 2016 at 3:05 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army is working to develop a universal control interface for unmanned aircraft systems to let operators fly more than one type using the same controls.

Currently, the Army's 15W Soldiers are trained for a singular platform, which includes either the AAI RQ-7 Shadow or the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle. Training and Doctrine UAS command capability manager Col. Paul Cravey says a universal operator and control interface will be one of the biggest changes to the program.

"Once qualified on that universal interface, they then can control the assets that are apportioned to the brigade combat team or the ground commander who is being supported in that environment," Cravey said during an Association of the U.S. Army event.

Cravey added that systems operated with a universal control interface could be added to an Army Intelligence and Security Command formation inside a Tactical Operations Center, or potentially in a Joint Light Tactical vehicle or in an Apache helicopter cockpit.

Unmanned aerial vehicles are used by the U.S. Armed Forces for a variety of missions, which can include airstrikes on enemy forces or intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.

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