Military Embedded Systems

DARPA completes third Gremlins demo with Dynetics


January 22, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Dynetics photo.

HUNSTVILLE, Ala. Dynetics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, completed a third test flight series in which the Gremlins Air Vehicle (GAV) and Gremlins Recovery System flew three more times. The system has totaled seven flight hours during the month of November. The test took place at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

This test series focused on two objectives - demonstrating the automated, manual safety behaviors and continuing progress toward multiple aerial docking attempts. The safety behaviors demonstrated safe operation of the X-61A GAV on the range in close formation with the manned C-130 recovery aircraft.

After the second test in July, the Dynetics Gremlins team was able to continue progress towards multiple aerial docking attempts with the Gremlins Autonomous Docking System (GADS). According to officials, the team ultimately achieved the program's first ever aerial docking attempts, nine attempts in total, with each attempt coming within inches of capture. 

Similar to July's test flight, the three GAVs were recovered on the ground using the parachute system. All four GAVs are presently being prepared for the next series of flights in early 2021.


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