Ground Control Systems
In the Network Centric approach, the swarm of Unmanned Aircraft form a mesh network of flying computers, interconnected through the use of a fast Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN).
The high altitude Command UA contains the WLAN hub, together with a high bandwidth, bi-directional, Free Space Optics link and a bi-directional satellite communications link.
Network Centric Ground Control System
The Satellite Ground Station interfaces the signals with the Internet. This approach enables many users to view the data, as it is gathered by the UA and to direct the operation of the Unmanned Aircraft in response to data, as it is gathered in an interactive manner.
NATO Finas Working Group
Above from a presentation by Mike Strong DCMAC at the EUROCONTROL UAS Workshop on the 7th and 8th of May 2008 at EUROCONTROL HQ in Brussels. Contact = firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ground Control Station examples
An example of a military Ground Control System, in this case, for the US Predator military Unmanned Aircraft. From http://spyflight.co.uk/Predator.htm
Staff from Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) Malat Division controlling the IAI Heron military Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aircraft. From www.iai.com.
from http://uconco.en.ec21.com for Ucon System in South Korea
- 3 Dimensional Digital Map Operation
- Pre-flight Path Analysis and Simulation
- In-flight Real time Hazard Analysis
- Control command for autonomous flight and Real time Flight Path Change
- Real Time Image Processing/Display/Editing
- Flight Data Analysis and Database
Raytheon improves Unmanned Aircraft 'pilot' awareness
The FALLS CHURCH, Virginia, 1 November, 2006(UPI)
A new remote "cockpit" has been developed to give operatorsof unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) a better view of what is going on around the aircraft.
Raytheon Tuesday unveiled the Universal Control System (UCS), which was built with heavy input from UAV operators and borrowed advanced intuitive interface technology from the high-tech video game industry.
"We took the best-of-breed technologies from the gaming industry and coupled them with our 35 years of command-and-control expertise and developed a state-of-the-art universal cockpit built around the operator," Raytheon's Mark Bigham said at an industry conference outside Washington. " We broke down the operator's tasks and objectives and constructed a system built entirely around them," he added.
The UCS is arranged in a " wrap-around" fashion, which places the operator in a virtual cockpit that allows for multiple views of what is going on around the UAV and can control multiple aircraft simultaneously.
The goal of the new control system is to reduce the number of accidents involving UAVs. Raytheon said a 2004 study by the Federal Aviation Administration found that operators were a factor in 21 percent of the accidents involving the Shadow UAV and 67 percent of Predator mishaps.
The use of intuitive user technology in the UCS should help operators learn the finer points of flying UAVs and managing the large amounts of flight and intelligence data produced by the aircraft more quickly and with less formal training.
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Army fly Unmanned Aircraft spy plane with Xbox 360 controller
November 4th, 2007 by Paul Maunders
I was just watching a British Army Jobs advert on Channel 4, and it showed them piloting an unmanned aerial vehicle with an Xbox 360 controller.
I wondered whether this was just for TV, but it seems that US marines have also been spotted controlling an SUGVs (small unmanned ground vehicle) with an XBox controller. It would make a lot of sense as the XBox 360 controller:
- Uses a common USB interface
- Has drivers available for Windows , OS X and Linux
- Has been extensively tested by millions of gamers
- Is perhaps one of the greatest game controllers ever built
The EADS DRAC Ground Control system
Above, the EADS DRAC Unmanned Aircraft developed for the French military forces, and below, the Ground Control Unit for the DRAC UA. All photographs taken at the EADS stand at the Dubai 2007 Air Show.