Boeing tests locally-developed autonomous control system in Queensland

By on 21 August, 2018

Image provided by Boeing.

Boeing has conducted test flights of an Australian-developed command and control system on fixed-wing UAVs in regional Queensland.

The firm has reported successful flight tests of five drone test beds, carrying out synchronised maneuvers, programmed in-flight and conducted by the new system without the input of a human pilot.

The flight system automatically perceives, processes and reacts in coordination with other unmanned vehicles, and was developed in Queensland in conjunction with 14 Australian small businesses and SMEs.

This testing has taken place at a regional airfield in Queensland in partnership with the Queensland government as part of Boeing’s Advance Queensland Autonomous Systems Platform Technology Project. Established six months ago, the project is the company’s largest international autonomous systems development program.

Shane Arnott, director of Boeing Phantom Works International, indicated that the system has applications beyond autonomous aircraft.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

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