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AAI’s One System(R) Ground Control Station (GCS) Automatically Launches and Lands Sky Warrior(R) Unmanned Aircraft


Demonstrations Highlight GCS Control and Interoperability Advances

Hunt Valley, MD. - AAI Corporation, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that its One System Ground Control Station (OSGCS) has demonstrated successful automatic takeoff and landing of the U.S. Army’s extended range/multi-purpose (ER/MP) Sky Warrior unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Three successful automatic landings occurred during test flights at ER/MP Sky Warrior prime contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ El Mirage Flight Operations Center in Adelanto, Calif., on August 29, followed by three successful automatic takeoffs on September 26.

The test flights also proved several advances in AAI’s OSGCS that provide greater command-and-control of unmanned aircraft. The OSGCS controlled the ER/MP Sky Warrior in several flight modes, and demonstrated features for improved mission planning, navigation, payload control and low-speed taxiing.

“Automating air vehicle operators’ tasks will allow them to focus more closely on mission performance,” explains Steven Reid, AAI’s vice president of UAS. “Further, our customers will benefit from simplified training requirements and a lower mishap rate.”

These next-generation OSGCS capabilities also support NATO standardization agreement (STANAG) 4586 requirements for interoperability between unmanned systems. AAI, working with the U.S. Army’s UAS Program Office and the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City, has successfully demonstrated command-and-control of unmanned ground and surface vehicles, as well as UAS, using a new open-architecture GCS system.

“The ultimate goal of these STANAG 4586 requirements and our OSGCS innovations is the seamless operation of unmanned assets,” says Reid. “Warfighters will have improved mission coordination and execution capabilities. Utilizing common GCS technologies also enables reduced procurement and operating costs.”

AAI’s One System technologies -- including the OSGCS, One System Portable GCS, and One System Remote Video Terminal -- are fully interoperable with all of AAI’s UAS including the Shadow(R) and Aerosonde(R) systems, as well as the Sky Warrior and Hunter unmanned aircraft.


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