Military Embedded Systems

DARPA selects four teams for its Gremlins program


April 01, 2016

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

DARPA selects four teams for its Gremlins program
Photo by DARPA

ARLINGTON, Va. Phase 1 contracts of DARPA?s Gremlins program were distributed to four teams led by Composite Engineering, Inc. in Roseville, California; Dynetics, Inc. in Huntsville, Alabama; General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. in San Diego, California; and Lockheed Martin Corp. in Dallas, Texas.

The Gremlins program seeks to develop technologies and systems that enable aircraft to launch unmanned air systems (UASs) volleys that are low-cost, reusable, and that can be retrieved in mid-air.

The teams were selected because the proposals covered a spectrum of technical approaches to the Gremlins program mission, officials say.

We have assembled a group of researches and developers that can progress towards delivering airborne capabilities in a robust, responsive, and cost-effective way, says Dan Patt, DARPA program manager.

The Gremlins phase 1 will focus on the flight demonstration proof-of-concept that can validate an air recovery of multiple gremlins. Some of the technical areas the program plans to explore are:

  • Launch and recovery techniques, including equipment and aircraft integration concepts
  • Low-cost, limited-life airframe designs
  • High-fidelity analysis, precision digital flight control, relative navigation, and station keeping

Officials say the expected lifetime of a Gremlin is about 20 uses.


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