Rockwell Collins Fly UAV With One Wing
Software helps UAVs regain stable flight after suffering serious damage…
Rockwell Collins has demonstrated software which has the ability to regain control of a UAV in event of serious damage or systems failure.
The software, known as Automatic Supervisory Adapted Control (ASAC), can be seen in action in the clip below as it brings a UAV back to stable flight after the craft has lost nearly all its right wing.
All UAVs are currently installed with procedures to execute in the event of loosing communications; these include circling high to try and re-establish a link, or flying to a predetermined safe zone to crash.
But ASACs ability to regain control and continue to steer a damaged UAV enables the aircraft to continue on its original flight-path and land safely.
To satisfy the FAA, UAVs must act in a safe and predictable manner so as not to confuse air traffic control – a characteristic that might not be possible when all communications are lost. Rockwell Collins new ASAC software offers a solution to that problem.
The demo is pretty impressive and goes to show that the technology to deal with such unexpected malfunctions exists, whether or not this will lead to increased invasion of privacy as UAV’s begin to roam civilian skies is another question.
- Graham Warwick: Damage-Tolerant Controls -- Gimmick or Breakthrough? Ares Defense Blog, 8/26/2010. AviationWeek