Unmanned vertical takeoff and landing aircraft to get a boost by Lockheed Martin-led team

Lockheed Martin will lead a team of government, academic, and industry partners in developing advanced autonomous technologies suited to and landing , per a recent $13.5 million contract from the Office of Naval Research. Specifically, the new technologies will make it possible for the aircraft to function with supervisory control. The automation will render low-level control, while high-level control is provided by the system’s interaction with a human operator.

The goal of the technologies under the contract is to increase the effectiveness and utility offered by present-day unmanned vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. The new technologies will also provide supplemental decision aids for pilots, relative to legacy platforms.

The first phase comprises 18 months of a total 5 years for the contract. During this first phase, the team’s -Architecture Planning and for Managing () architecture’s capabilities will be demonstrated. The -agnostic OPTIMUS is reported to draw on the company’s unmanned cargo resupply program experience and also on the other (unnamed) team members’ expertise in , , and sensing.