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Army Black Hawk flies autonomously over California

Published: December 6, 2012
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Source: US Army



Over the skies east of San Jose, a Black Hawk helicopter was seen flying low and slow Nov. 5. There were pilots aboard the aircraft, but all maneuvers during this flight were being conducted autonomously.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Aviation and Missile Center successfully demonstrated low-level autonomous behaviors in a flight over the Diablo Range. This demonstration is critical to the next generation of technological advances in military rotorcraft: obstacle field navigation and safe landing area determination.

Terrain sensing, statistical processing, risk assessment, threat avoidance, trajectory generation, and autonomous flight control were performed in real‐time during the two‐hour test flight.

 “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 Aero Flight Dynamics Directorate.

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