USA — Army plans large manned-unmanned demo

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army is plan­ning a largest-of-its-kind demon­stra­tion — called Manned Unmanned Sys­tems Inte­gra­tion Con­cept, or MUSIC — at Doug­way Prov­ing Ground, Utah, in Sep­tem­ber of next year, ser­vice offi­cials said.

 A Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle touches down at Camp Taji, Iraq, last year. In September of next year, Army officials just announced that an integration exercise will feature Apache helicopter pilots controlling Shadow, Hunter and Raven UAVs.
A Shad­ow unmanned aer­i­al vehi­cle touch­es down at Camp Taji, Iraq, last year. In Sep­tem­ber of next year, Army offi­cials just announced that an inte­gra­tion exer­cise will fea­ture Apache heli­copter pilots con­trol­ling Shad­ow, Hunter and Raven UAVs.
Pho­to cred­it Sgt. Travis Zielin­s­ki
Click to enlarge

“It’s going to be the largest sin­gle demon­stra­tion of inter­op­er­abil­i­ty between manned and unmanned sys­tems ever con­duct­ed,” said Tim Owings, deputy project man­ag­er for Army unmanned air­craft systems. 

The demon­stra­tion is aimed at ana­lyz­ing the progress of evolv­ing manned-unmanned team­ing tech­nolo­gies. It will show­case level‑4 UAS inter­op­er­abil­i­ty where­in Apache Attack heli­copter pilots will have the abil­i­ty to con­trol the pay­load of a near­by UAS from the cock­pit; the Apache pilots will also be able to view feeds from UAS sys­tems in real-time from the cock­pit as well. 

Dur­ing the exer­cise, the Grey Eagle, Hunter, Shad­ow, Raven and the Apache Block III will all be exchang­ing infor­ma­tion and exchang­ing com­mand and con­trol while in flight, Owings said. 

“The Block III Apache is going to take con­trol of the UAS, point the pay­load and do a mis­sion. All the oth­er sys­tems will see Apache video and Kiowa video. We will have a Uni­ver­sal Ground Con­trol Sta­tion on the ground as well,” said Owings. 

U.S. Army 

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