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The Military

Army Tests Autonomous Black Hawk Helicopter 125

An anonymous reader writes "A specially equipped Black Hawk was recently used to demonstrate the helicopter's ability to operate on its own. In the first such test of its type, the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research's Development and Engineering Center, based at Redstone Arsenal, flew the Black Hawk over Diablo Mountain Range in San Jose, Calif. Pilots were aboard the aircraft for the tests, but all flight maneuvers were conducted autonomously: obstacle field navigation, safe landing area determination, terrain sensing, statistical processing, risk assessment, threat avoidance, trajectory generation and autonomous flight control were performed in real-time. 'This was the first time terrain-aware autonomy has been achieved on a Black Hawk,' said Lt. Col. Carl Ott, chief of the Flight Projects Office at AMRDEC's Aeroflightdynamics Directorate and one of the test's pilots."
Government

FAA Adds a Study On Adding Drones To Commercial Aviation 215

coondoggie writes "Facing a number of technical challenges, the Federal Aviation Administration said today it added another research project designed to better understand how unmanned aircraft can be brought safely into the national airspace. The FAA set a two-year research and development agreement with Insitu (an independent subsidiary of Boeing) and the New Jersey Air National Guard that will help FAA scientists to study and better understand unmanned aircraft design, construction, and features. Researchers will also look at the differences in how an air traffic controller would manage an unmanned aircraft vs. a manned aircraft."

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