Lockheed Drones Demo Operational Collaboration

By S.L. Fuller | November 17, 2016
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Lockheed Martin - KMAX and SARA

During this demonstration, the optionally piloted Kaman K-MAX(TM) and the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA) engaged in collaborative firefighting and search-and-rescue with the Indago quadrotor and Desert Hawk III fixed wing unmanned aircraft system (UAS) providing information, surveillance and reconnaissance. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin's Kaman K-MAX, Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA), Indago and Desert Hawk 3.1 showed that optionally piloted helicopters and small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) can be used in tandem. The company said Tuesday that through a demonstration held in New York, the four drones were mixed and matched to carry out search and rescue, firefighting and location operations.

The K-MAX showed its collaborative firefighting abilities by, autonomously, getting water from a pond and dropping it over the fire. During the operation, hot spots were identified by the quadrotored Indago, which relayed the message to an operator, who relayed it to the K-MAX. In another demonstration, SARA conducted and directed a search and rescue mission. The Desert Hawk 3.1. identified the location of the subject for the modified Sikorsky S-76, which is controlled through Sikorsky MATRIX technology.


MATRIX technology was also used with the K-MAX during demonstrations so it could communicate with SARA. K-MAX provided SARA with information, which it used to scan the area and find a place to land. Lockheed Martin said its ultimate goal with these collaborations, and human/machine collaborations in general, is to have them functioning fully in land, sea and air operations.

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