Navy, Lockheed partner on autonomous controls for VTOL drones

The Office of Naval Research has awarded a $13.5 million contract to Lockheed Martin for assistance developing autonomous technologies for unmanned vertical take-off and landing aircraft, the company said Oct. 9.

The Bethesda, Md., contractor will lead a team that will produce technology that will enable unmanned VTOL aircraft to operate under supervisory control, the company said. The system envisioned will have a human operator who will interact with the system at a high level while the automation handles the low-level controls. 
The five-year technology development plan calls for an initial 18-month phase during which the team will demonstrate an architectural approach known as Open-Architecture Planning and Trajectory Intelligence for Managing Unmanned Systems, the company said.

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