Boeing has announced it has successfully completed a series of unmanned teaming flight tests at the Queensland Government’s new flight test range at Cloncurry.
Held over a period of 10 days, the latest series of tests were flown with five 11 foot long jet-powered ‘surrogate’ aircraft that featured artificial intelligence algorithms that allowed them to share command and control data in flight. The $14.5m test range is designed for small and medium sized UAS, and is managed by QinetiQ Australia.
“The tests demonstrated our success in applying artificial intelligence algorithms to ‘teach’ the aircraft’s brain to understand what is required of it,” Director of Phantom Works International, Emily Hughes said in a release. “The data link capabilities enabled the aircraft to communicate with the other platforms so that they could collaborate to achieve a mission.
“With the size, number and speed of aircraft used in the test, this is a very significant step for Boeing and industry in the progress of autonomous mission systems technology.”
The technology being developed through these tests will be applied to Boeing’s Airpower Teaming Systems (ATS) it is developing for the RAAF’s DEF 6014 Phase 1 Loyal Wingman program, and other Boeing unmanned programs. The first ATS is scheduled to make its first flight by the end of 2020.