US: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. a USD 8 million contract for Phase 1 of the Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) programme.
The objective of DARPA's ALIAS programme is to develop and insert new automation into existing aircraft to enable operation with reduced onboard crew. The programme seeks to leverage the considerable advances that have been made in aircraft automation systems, including progress made in remotely piloted aircraft, to help reduce pilot workload, augment mission performance, and improve aircraft safety. Sikorsky's approach to ALIAS is based on its Matrix Technology to develop, test and field systems and software that improve significantly the capability, reliability and safety of flight for autonomous, optionally piloted, and piloted vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Matrix aims to give rotary and fixed-wing aircraft the high level of system intelligence needed to complete complex missions with minimal human oversight.
According to the company’s press release, Sikorsky Innovations, along with its teammates – the United Technologies Research Center, the National Robotics Engineering Center, and Veloxiti, Inc. – plan to demonstrate the value of applying autonomous technology across different aircraft consistent with the ALIAS vision, including the Black Hawk helicopter and other aircraft in the Department of Defense fleet.
Source: PR newswire