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X-47B makes first trap

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posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 12:17 AM
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That's the nature of concept demonstrators. They've got something with longer legs in the works.




posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 12:25 PM
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Sprettin my shoes


Is the UCLASS going to enter service? Or it's going to keep continueing the tests? It's stunning when it landed on carrier.



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 02:58 PM
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reply to post by Spare
 


UCLASS is a separate program. The next round of RFPs go out this fall.



posted on Jul, 12 2013 @ 12:10 AM
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Aircraft 502 flew the mission yesterday. On their third attempt to trap, there was a problem with one of the three navigation computers, resulting in an automatic abort. The operator then made the decision to abort to Wallops Field, Virginia after seeing the failure.

The next attempt will be July 15, and will likely involve aircraft 501, and if it goes well, the aircraft are done, and will likely be retired. Next year a manned LearJet, using the X-47B software, will conduct autonomous refueling tests.

www.flightglobal.com...



posted on Jul, 12 2013 @ 12:18 AM
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I can't help but think they are putting 'can we' well ahead of 'should we' on a number of things happening right now. Drones with this level of sophistication are not entirely comforting for some reason. When the armed version comes along, I certainly hope no enemy nation, anywhere is able to hack or gain control of it, for instance.

How much damage can a modern carrier take if it's own drone(s) turned on it by hacking? I believe most of the ship's design is in defense for preventing threats from arriving in the first place rather than major armor to absorb direct damage?



posted on Jul, 12 2013 @ 12:37 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Hacking is the wrong word to use when talking about UAVs. They aren't hacked, where they are under someone else's control. The GPS is taken over, and false coordinates are put in (at least on the civilian version). With the RQ-170, it's believed that the GPS was jammed, which put it into a sort of safe mode (if there wasn't another malfunction which still hasn't been said officially), and it crashed while in that mode (it definitely crash landed, you an clearly see damage to the underside).

The X-47, and others of their type are going to be semi-autonomous, which means there are fewer signals to jam, and fewer access points. With an encrypted GPS signal, there is no way to get in through the GPS, which is how they "hacked" the one in front of the DHS last year. They couldn't get in any other way, except through the GPS. Fix that access point, and the problem goes away.

But even if you crash an X-47 type UAV into a carrier, it will take it and look for more. When they sank the America, they did an explosives test on board, and she stood up to everything they threw at her, until they finally fired off the scuttling charges. And they hit her with some big charges.
edit on 7/12/2013 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2013 @ 10:43 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


I hear you and I respect your opinion on almost everything but this makes little sense at this level of technology. Semi- is still under remote human control and override control. If we can control what we've built, others can duplicate that feed and substitute their own control for ours. It may be well beyond the reach of all but a couple nations for technology to achieve, but then....we happen to be peeing in the swimming pool of those couple nations who likely could manage it with enough effort.

It just doesn't sit right with me. I'd feel better if we had a fail safe destruct system on those that was 100% totally independent and totally apart from every other system on the aircraft. 100% removed and stand alone with it's own receiver and encoding. So no matter WHAT comes of the main systems and computer, that little package of joy can still spread the creation over several square miles from altitude if something goes wrong.

I know people insist this can't happen .....but then Enigma was impossible to crack. A nation based a whole war effort around that belief and in no small part, LOST a World War over that belief. I'd hate for the drones to become our Enigma.



posted on Jul, 12 2013 @ 11:45 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Semi-Autonomous means that certain aspects of flight are under human control. Weapons release, some take-offs, some landings (most of them will be under computer control, unless there's a problem with one of the computers like happened yesterday), and if they have to alter the flight route. Almost all of the flight will be under computer control. Unless you happen to know when those events are happening, the odds of being able to hack it are remote at best.



posted on Jul, 12 2013 @ 11:58 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


So, to clarify the point in general terms here, the modern drones don't have a master override "mode" for lack of a better word, where controllers back in the trailer can take 100% control of flight and weapons status from the computer? I've just assumed (I know I know) that the drones did have a way to drop all computer control and transition into what amounts to a command delayed remote control aircraft?

I suppose I feel better, at least on one level, if it's your understanding that such a "push this button for full manual control" doesn't exist in a command set that the drone can get from ground control?



posted on Jul, 12 2013 @ 12:05 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


They can, if they have to, but it's encrypted, with military grade encryption. The only thing that hasn't been encrypted is the GPS signal (prior to now). So unless you can break the encryption, then you aren't going to take it over.

It's much harder to do that to them again. And it's only going to get harder as they evolve. The next evolution (by 2020-2025), the Navy wants to develop a fully autonomous helo that is capable of recognizing threats, and avoiding them without human input.



posted on Jul, 12 2013 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


You know what I think would make me feel much better? Put together an X-Prize type event open to M.I.T. and Cal-Tech by focus but anyone with serious background to show ability to have a shot. Make it a Million for a nice round number.

The Prize goes to which team can successfully hack and take control of any modern drone in use by U.S. forces today. Give a half prize for 2nd to any team who can so successfully interfere with the operation of a drone, it cannot complete it's assigned mission.

If the best minds are put to a sandbox style challenge to use any means (remote) they can possibly imagine and make ...and they fail? I'll feel MUCH better. I believe something similar is what it took to realize cars could be hacked under the right circumstances, though without money as I recall that experiment.

I half suspect a thing like this would never be considered for fear they may actually succeed and into the crapper would go billions in R&D as they threw their mechanical pencils into the air and had a collective nervous breakdown.



posted on Jul, 16 2013 @ 08:28 PM
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The program failed in their quest for three successful traps on deck in one flight. Aircraft 501 attempted their fourth trap yesterday, but was unable to get on the deck. They successfully trapped the first and second time, but the aircraft aborted the third and fourth attempts with a minor instrumentation problem. It safely returned to NAS Pax River, while the Bush returned to port after the attempts.
edit on 7/16/2013 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 09:46 PM
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The Navy, apparently responding to criticism that they were ending the program prematurely, has announced they will fly the two X-47B aircraft into 2014. They're going to help reduce risk for the UCLASS program.

www.flightglobal.com...





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