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SARA (ALIAS) hitting milestones

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posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 07:18 PM
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Kinda touched on this in an unrelated topic this week, and I figured it was worth a topic if noone else made one. And today I have time.




SARA is Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft. It is part of DARPA's ALIAS (Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System) program. The buzzword right now is "Optimally -piloted". It essentially is designed to be a seamless pilot/co-pilot allowing pilots to hand off tasks to the autopilot and focus on the mission at hand. SARA has over 300 hrs of autonomous flight under its belt in the S-76 testbed. It can take off, fly a route and land autonomously. It uses LIDAR and camera interfaces to avoid unmapped powerlines, trees, vehicles, etc. Contour avoidance, NOE fight below the tree line, and the ability pick out a safe LZ are all features. It can also be directed by pilots on the ground using a tablet. SIkorsky is working hard with the FAA for certification and wants to eventually add it to all civil and military purchases.


It made headlines this week when Army aviators directed a flight of the S-76 testbed. Sikorsky is currently installing it in a UH-60, and the plan is for it to be ready for FVL aircraft.
edit on 4-11-2018 by RadioRobert because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 07:24 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

Sounds great until the bad guys hack it and land you on their air base.



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 07:40 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

No different than any other autonomous vehicle. The idea here primarily is to have it available to the pilot/crew so they can hand off tasks to SARA, not replace aircrew.



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 07:44 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

That's my point, the crew could be captured if the system is overridden by the bad guys. I guess they could jump out



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 07:47 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

On my list of concerns about autonomous vehicles, "bad guys" "overriding" a system designed for optional usage being overseen by pilots in the physical cockpit ranks real low.



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 07:52 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

So it is designed so the "bad guys" cannot stop the crew from taking manual control, I would hope so. What is at the top of your list of concerns about autonomous vehicles?



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 07:58 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

Literally everything else.


I'm more concerned about what happens when your aircrews lose proficiency and becomes dependent on the system and what happens afterward when/if it goes tits up at the worst possible time, for example.



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 08:02 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

Kinda like what has happened with Navy ships, I can see that as a concern.



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 08:55 PM
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Could be worse..Could be Airbus.



posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 09:44 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

allot of new choppers are using a more and more cockpits that utilize 'glass cockpit' methods. i'd love to see the inside of this guy.

on a side note, as a child my mom and i loved going to the New York state fair(one of, if not the biggest fair in NY where the state police and military have display areas where they show off their new wares and answer questions wide eyed kids like i was.

i got to recognize some of the officers that were there year after year and obviously my love for everything that flys got my mom and I a ride in one of there choppers(they were holding a 'contest' where the winners got a short ride up, down and a quick fly around the fair.


recently the company my dad works for got a few new choppers and he took me down when they were finalizing the contracts and was taken on 'test rides', compaired to some of the military rides i have gotten made the commercial versions seem very plush/posh.

here is a cool electric quadcopter able to fly a human around, looks like a death trap. if you were to crash you would be slashed and dashed as there are not cowlings




from interesting blade geometries, electric power, and interesting audio stealth(see bin laden raid) helicopters have captured our imaginations







posted on Nov, 4 2018 @ 10:50 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

For this purpose phase, the cockpit is pretty much standard S-76B.

They use a tablet interface for now, and are planning a n intuitive touchscreen eventually.




posted on Nov, 5 2018 @ 04:39 AM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

One of the things BAE Australia was working on was the ability of a UAV to select ‘safe’ landing zones. Like a pilot may be told to steer away from population, seek long flat earth in the direction opposite to traffic etc.

This was deemed critical in moving a UAV sbeyond an RPAS.

Assume mixture of LIDAR and all other processes were involved.

Would love to see a UAV being able to autorotate perfectly almost every time, surely something a computer would excel at?




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