On March 26, Lockheed Martin, Kaman Aerospace and Neya Systems demonstrated the first ever collaborative unmanned air and ground casualty evacuation, using the UAS Control Segment (UCS) Architecture and K-MAX® cargo helicopter.
Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin
During the demonstration, ground operators responded to a distress call by sending an unmanned ground vehicle to assess the area and injured party. The ground operators used control stations that communicated with one another by way of the UCS Architecture. Upon successful identification, the ground operators requested the airlift of one injured person using the unmanned K-MAX. From the ground, the K-MAX operators used a tablet to determine the precise location and a safe landing area to provide assistance to the team. The injured person was strapped into a seat on the side of the unmanned K-MAX, which then flew the person to safety.
While deployed with the U.S. Marine Corps from 2011 to 2014, the unmanned K-MAX successfully conducted resupply operations, delivering more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo during more than 1,900 missions. Manufactured by Kaman and outfitted with an advanced mission suite by Lockheed Martin, the unmanned K-MAX is engineered with a twin-rotor design that maximizes lift capability in the most challenging environments, from the mountainous Alps to the Persian Gulf. Its advanced autonomy allows the unmanned K-MAX to work day and night, in all-weather, even when manned assets are unable to fly. Lockheed Martin continues to extend and mature the K-MAX helicopter’s onboard technology and autonomy for defense operations, as well as demonstrate its use for civil and commercial applications.