Enhanced ground control system and software for small unmanned aircraft

Apr 24, 2014 by Keith Little

Lockheed Martin's Group 1 family of unmanned aircraft systems is migrating to enhanced automation capabilities using its Kestrel "Fly Light" flight control systems and industry-leading mobile Ground Control Station (mGCS) software. The increased automation allows operators to focus on executing the mission, rather than flying various aircraft.

Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin's Desert Hawk III small unmanned aircraft system (SUAS) demonstrated these enhancements by delivering improved situational awareness to operators. The mGCS enhancements also proved to substantially reduce operator workload through an intuitive interface, user-friendly touchscreen and joystick options, as well as a sophisticated set of operator warnings, cautions and advisories.

"The mGCS is a derivative of our proven VCS-4586 that focuses on providing capabilities to the small unit level," said Kevin Westfall, director of unmanned solutions at Lockheed Martin's Mission Systems and Training business. "mGCS is a single, portable system capable of conducting missions that would typically require multiple controllers and federated software applications in order to manage the many different types of UAS."

mGCS was developed on an open system using commercial off-the-shelf technology that is interoperable with a variety of portable computers, hand controllers, autopilots, data links and sensors. The mGCS software is compliant with NATO's Standardization Agreement (STANAG) 4586 and also includes a full to provide other UAS manufacturers the ability to add systems and other capabilities without restriction. This significantly eases integration while reducing support and sustainment costs as well.

Explore further: MIT team's wireless Vital-Radio could follow breathing, heart rate at home

Related Stories

World-first breakthrough for small unmanned aircraft

Feb 06, 2014

Queensland Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) researchers have made what's believed to be a world-first breakthrough for small Unmanned Aircraft (UA), developing an on board system that has enabled a UA to detect ...

Major GPS III flight software milestone completed

Feb 07, 2013

The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force's next generation Global Position System III satellites has completed a key flight software milestone validating the software's ability to provide re ...

Lockheed Martin powers on the first GPS III satellite

Mar 01, 2013

The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force's next generation Global Positioning System III satellites has turned on power to the system module of the program's first spacecraft, designated G ...

Recommended for you

Team develops faster, higher quality 3-D camera

Apr 24, 2015

When Microsoft released the Kinect for Xbox in November 2010, it transformed the video game industry. The most inexpensive 3-D camera to date, the Kinect bypassed the need for joysticks and controllers by ...

Researchers finding applications for tough spinel ceramic

Apr 24, 2015

Imagine a glass window that's tough like armor, a camera lens that doesn't get scratched in a sand storm, or a smart phone that doesn't break when dropped. Except it's not glass, it's a special ceramic called ...

Classroom acoustics for architects

Apr 23, 2015

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) has published a free online booklet for architects to aid in the application of ANSI/ASA S12.60-2010/Part 1-American National Standard Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.