Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

US Military hopes AI autopilot can replace flight crews
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Apr 25, 2014

File image.

The US Defense Department is developing a method of autopilot that may allow the military to reduce air flight crews to a fraction of their current size. This announcement comes after officials worried that a reduced military would be less effective.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon's research and development department said Tuesday that, over the next 50 years, it will work to introduce automated flight systems in aircraft.

While military planes and aviation vehicles would still be flown by a pilot, that soldier would serve as a high-level "mission supervisor" who issues commands through a touch screen. The technology could replace five members of a flight crew, according to a statement.

"Our goal is to design and develop a full-time automated assistant that could be rapidly adapted to help operate diverse aircraft through an easy-to-use operator interface," Daniel Pratt, a program manager at DARPA, said in the notice published this week. "These capabilities could help transform the role of pilot from a systems operator to a mission supervisor directing intermeshed trusted, reliable systems at a high level."

The plan is officially known as the Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit automation System (ALIAS) and will act essentially as an autopilot program that will help with every aspect of the flight. As currently advertised, ALIAS will be involved with takeoff, landing, and even in-flight emergencies. It may also have a hand in any number of smaller tasks, such as aircraft maintenance.

ALIAS will be designed with a pilot in mind, although DARPA also said it will be capable of completing every aspect of a mission if pre-programmed.

"ALIAS should present a high-level, latency-tolerant interface to a human supervisor to enable operation and foster effective human-machine collaboration," the statement went on. "For example, simple touch and voice interfaces may enable supervisor-ALIAS interaction."

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced in February of this year that the Obama administration would work to shrink the size of the US Army to its smallest size since before World War II. Citing the federal government's budgetary concerns and the winding down of the wars in the Middle East, Hagel deemed it necessary to reduce the military personnel and lingering, expensive equipment costs.

He said in a speech that cutting the current level of 522,000 soldiers was necessary "to protect critical capabilities like Special Operations Forces and cyber resources."

"We are repositioning to focus on the strategic challenges and opportunities that will define our future: new technologies, new centers of power, and a world that is growing more volatile, more unpredictable, and in some instances more threatening to the United States," he said, as quoted by USA Today.

How much involvement ALIAS will have in a less expensive, more agile military remains to be seen, although the autopilot project is far from the only project DARPA is known to be researching.

A report from earlier this week revealed that DARPA is also dedicating resources to a foldable space telescope that could someday provide detailed, high resolution images at a relatively cheap price. The Membrane Optical Imager for Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE) may someday orbit the planet at an altitude near where telecommunications satellites currently float.

Whether MOIRE is in fact cheaper than the image technology currently in use is unknown, although Lt. Col. Larry Gunn, a MOIRE program manager, implied that an initial investment could yield high dividends in the future.

"Membrane optics could enable us to fit much larger, higher-resolution telescopes in smaller and lighter packages," he said.

"In that respect, we're 'breaking the glass ceiling' that traditional materials impose on optics design. We're hoping our research could also help greatly reduce overall costs and enable more timely deployment using smaller, less expensive launch vehicles."

Source: Voice of Russia


Related Links
Military Space Technology
UAV News - Suppliers and Technology

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Lockheed touts improvements for SUAS operations
Owego, N.Y. (UPI) Apr 24, 2013
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 redu ... read more

Raytheon touts ballistic missile defense weapon

Russia warns Ukraine against missile technologies proliferation

Japan orders to shoot down any new N Korea ballistic missile launches

US to send two more missile defence ships to Japan: Hagel

US Navy deploys Standard Missile-3 Block IB for first time

LockMarts GMLRS Warhead Logs Successful Flight-Test Series

International customer signs agreement with USG for Raytheon's TOW missiles

Raytheon awaits FMS order for TOW missiles

US Military hopes AI autopilot can replace flight crews

Lockheed Martin Demonstrates Enhanced Ground Control System and Software for Small Unmanned Aircraft

Air Force taps Engility Holdings for remotely piloted aircraft support

Lockheed touts improvements for SUAS operations

High Gain Amplifiers for Commercial and Military Radar Released by Pasternack

Radio terminals for MUOS satellite communications have testing facility

Tactical radios tested with MUOS waveform

Harris supplying more communications terminals to Navy

Nexter, Chemring in deal over ammunition manufacturers

A-T Solutions continues counter-IED work

Lockheed Martin Team's Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Tops 100,000 Testing Miles During EMD Phase

Patria vehicles getting Saab communications electronics

Saudis seek FMS support deal

Jacobs Engineering acquiring Federal Network Systems

Japan military in popularity push

Bloomberg arms US gun control with $50 mn

Dispute islands 'within scope' of US-Japan alliance: Obama

Obama in Tokyo backs Japan in China island row

China frees Japan ship after $28 mn paid in 1930s row

Russia vows to help free OSCE men held as 'NATO spies' in Ukraine

Cloaked DNA nanodevices survive pilot mission

Nano shake-up

Nanomaterial Outsmarts Ions

The Motion of the Medium Matters for Self-assembling Particles

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.