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Optionally Piloted Helicopters and UAS in Emergency Services

Lockheed Martin Demonstrates Human-Machine Teams

Proving that autonomous and unmanned systems are radically altering the operational landscape for first responders as well as the military, Lockheed Martin recently demonstrated how its suite of UAS and optionally piloted helicopters can work in harmony to achieve superior results in emergency services scenarios. The exercise featured the Kaman K-MAX and Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA) engaged in collaborative firefighting and SAR operations with the INDAGO quadrotor and DESERT HAWK 3.1 UAS providing information and surveillance.

When lives are at risk, advanced human-machine teams can complete dangerous missions without putting others in harm’s way,” said Dan Spoor, Vice President, Lockheed Martin Unmanned Systems. “The advances that Lockheed Martin is pioneering in autonomous and unmanned technologies will lead to improved safety and efficiency for humanitarian aid, first response and other civil, commercial and military operations in the air, on land and undersea.”

Sikorsky‘s MATRIX technology on SARA gives operators the confidence to fly large rotorcraft safely, reliably and affordably as autonomous or optionally piloted aircraft. Lockheed Martin integrated the MATRIX technology with K-MAX so that it could communicate with SARA which, using information provided by K-MAX, autonomously scanned the area and found a safe place to land.

Our goal is to support the integration of autonomy into aviation to improve the safety and capabilities for military and commercial missions. Utilising MATRIX to support the mission in this demonstration highlights an example of the ability to reduce pilot workload and augment mission performance,” said Mark Miller, Sikorsky Vice President, Engineering and Technology.

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