Germantown, Md. - February 20, 2007 - Proxy Aviation Systems, Inc., (www.proxyaviation.com) a company that develops fully autonomous, optionally piloted unmanned aircraft systems, announced that it won a contract with the United States Air Force to demonstrate the capabilities of its SkyForce Distributed Management System (DMS). The first phase of demonstrations took place on February 8, 9 and 10 at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, and the second phase is scheduled for early May at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. Proxy Aviation’s unmanned aerial vehicles, SkyWatcher and SkyRaider, are being used to complete the testing. The demonstrations are intended to test the cooperative flight of several unmanned aircraft flying in constellation formation, while simultaneously distributing sensor control and viewing capability among multiple end users.
In the first flight phase conducted at Eglin Test Range, a single SkyWatcher UAV successfully demonstrated cooperative flight with three simulated SkyWatchers, each UAV performing a different role and operating a unique sensor package. The cooperative constellation demonstrated adaptive autonomy using SkyForce DMS and the Virtual Pilot capability that are key software components of the SkyForce system. The single SkyWatcher flew four simulated constellation maneuvers and autonomously operated an onboard FLIR sensor, a thermal imaging and infrared camera, while simultaneously maneuvering with the other three UAVs through several operational scenarios.
SkyWatcher UAV is designed for medium-endurance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, while SkyRaider UAV is designed to operate at higher speeds and altitudes and carry special-purpose payloads. SkyWatcher and SkyRaider are controlled using SkyForce DMS, Proxy’s comprehensive, network-centric unmanned aircraft system that performs group tactical goals to meet a wide range of mission requirements.
SkyForce DMS consists of Proxy’s mission-oriented software system, a primary mission-management ground control station and mobile ground control user terminals. Together, these elements are designed to control up to 12 fully autonomous air vehicles engaging in concurrent, cooperative flight. With SkyForce DMS, each UAV has the ability to make fully independent decisions during flight, contributing to the group tactical goal, without any human intervention. This fact makes it completely different from any UAV system on the market today.
Lt Col Kent Shin, Assistant for Security Policy and Programs for the Secretary of the Air Force said, "I am very pleased by this weeks live demonstration of Proxy Aviation’s SkyForce DMS at Eglin AFB. Completing this phase is an important and positive step in the project. I am looking forward to additional demonstrations later this year where I can witness the full capabilities of the system and the potential value it brings to combat situations."
Don Ryan, CEO, Proxy Aviation said, "We are encouraged by the successful testing at Eglin and are eager to fully demonstrate the highly advanced capabilities of SkyForce DMS for the United States Air Force at Creech in May. With its unique virtual pilot and distributed management architecture, SkyForce enables the planning and launching of multiple UAVs, managed cooperatively, to achieve group tactical goals in ISR and other missions."
Source: Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) - By AUVSI Staff
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