Military Embedded Systems

MUM-T capabilities testing completed by European helicopter manufacturers


April 25, 2018

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Image by Airbus Helicopters

DONAUWORTH. Engineers at Airbus Helicopters and Schiebel completed Manned Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) capabilities testing using the H145 platform and a CAMCOPTER S-100 unmanned aerial system (UAS)

Airbus, Schiebel, and the Austrian Armaments and Defence Technology Agency worked together to complete the flight tests, which included two aircraft jointly flying different scenarios demonstrating the systems can detect hidden objects in places not accessible by traditional helicopters. The S-100 was controlled and piloted by an operator sitting in the helicopter. During the flights, the control was also temporarily handed over to a ground-based control station by the pilot in order to simulate the return of the manned helicopter for refueling.

The trials carried out by Airbus Helicopters and Schiebel went up to MUM-T level of interoperability (LOI) 5. This allows the manned platform to exercise full control of the UAS including its take-off and landing. LOI 1, the lowest level, is the indirect receipt and /or transmission of sensor data obtained by the UAS to the manned aircraft.

“Manned-Unmanned Teaming multiplies the capabilities of both systems”, says Mark R. Henning, Program Manager at Airbus Helicopters. “Smaller UAS with vertical take-off and landing capabilities can, for example, fly around obstacles as trees or buildings closer than a helicopter could. They are able to explore unknown territory and deliver information to the helicopter crew which is operating from a safe position and which can then step in with the helicopter’s superior effects, having received a clear picture from the UAS."

In the framework of the test, the challenges of data transfer interference and electromagnetic compatibility of the UAS with the helicopter as well as the integration of a complete UAS mission planning and control system into the helicopter’s architecture were successfully managed. The S-100 mission planning and control system was provided by Schiebel. The next step will be to optimize the human machine interface based on a thorough analysis of the crew workload using the results of the flight tests.


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