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Proceedings Paper

Concept for an optionally piloted vehicle system
Author(s): Kenneth W. Loucks
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Paper Abstract

A concept for an optionally piloted vehicle (OPV) is currently in development using a platform that is a derivative of an all-composite, long endurance manned aircraft. This paper describes the challenges and basic advantages of an OPV when compared to the exclusively unmanned operation of conventional Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The paper focuses on system reliability and Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) issues that must be resolved to ensure aircraft recoverability and safety-of-flight when flown in air-traffic controlled airspace, including full autonomous landing and takeoff. A practical approach using a unique arrangement of redundant off-the-shelf systems incorporating artificial intelligence and utilizing Global Positioning, Microwave Landing, and Joint Tactical Information Data Systems is described. OPV applications to a wide-range of payloads and operational missions are described, including electro-optical/radar imaging, environmental, SIGINT, and communication systems. In addition, the platform is seen as the forerunner to an in-flight refuelable UAV, that would enable world-wide non-stop deployments and extended on-station times.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 February 1993
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1763, Airborne Reconnaissance XVI, (12 February 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.140835
Show Author Affiliations
Kenneth W. Loucks, E-Systems Greenville Div. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1763:
Airborne Reconnaissance XVI
Thomas W. Augustyn; Paul A. Henkel, Editor(s)

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