Partnership with Government of Queensland
Just six months after establishing Boeing’s largest international autonomous systems development programme in Queensland, Australia, the company has successfully completed the first suite of synchronised UAVS flight tests using new indigenously-developed on-board autonomous command and control technology.
Conducted at a regional Queensland airfield, the test flights saw five UAS test beds equipped with Boeing’s new on-board system safely complete in-air programmed missions as a team, without input from a human pilot. The Australian-developed on-board C2 system automatically perceives, processes and reacts in coordination with other unmanned vehicles. The activity has been delivered in partnership with the Queensland Government as part of Boeing’s Advance Queensland Autonomous Systems Platform Technology Project.
Boeing’s partnership with small and medium-sized enterprises helped drive rapid design, development and testing of this autonomous technology. In just two months, Boeing engaged small-to-medium enterprises and vetted and placed A$2.3 million in contracts with 14 Queensland businesses. Over the coming months, the Boeing Australia team will incorporate and test more advanced behaviours on high-performance air vehicles before exploring other domains such as unmanned ocean vehicles.
“What we’ve created here in Australia has the potential to transform the use of unmanned vehicles for civil, commercial and defence applications – whether that be in the air, on the ground or out at sea,” commented the director of Boeing Phantom Works International, Shane Arnott. “This capability will be a huge driver of efficiency and productivity. By safely teaming unmanned systems with human operated systems, we keep people away from dull, dirty and dangerous tasks so they can focus on activities that machines can’t or shouldn’t do.”