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The Military Technology

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."

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Army Tests Autonomous Black Hawk Helicopter

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  • Re:Great! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wmac1 ( 2478314 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @03:11AM (#42201313)

    Or it can be an Apache helicopter shooting at civilian people and no one can be criticized of killing them. The copter has malfunctioned.

  • Re:So? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Quila ( 201335 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @11:03AM (#42203667)

    Or sometimes last-minute changes to production are made that completely invalidate the tests.

    Take the M-16, great in final tests, but soldiers were dropping like flies in Vietnam because their rifles were jamming. Turns out the Army chose a different powder manufacturer for production cartridges, and this caused fouling and corrosion of the chamber and barrel, and increased the rate of fire beyond design specs.

The system was down for backups from 5am to 10am last Saturday.