The US Military are developing a new unmanned helicopters to transport supplies to US Military troops in the field.
WHAT IS IT?
The Autonomous Aerial
Cargo/Utility System (AACUS)
program explores advanced
autonomous capabilities for reliable
technologies will be platform
agnostic and be transferable to both
new and legacy manned and
unmanned rotary wing aircraft.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The AACUS system will command
autonomous approaches and
landings for unmanned or optionally
piloted VTOL platforms, using a
low-cost, multi-sensor suite. The
system will provide real time
mission management with
advanced route planning and
trajectory planning to unprepared
landing sites designated by field
operators. The field operators will
supervise the aircraft using a tabletlike
device and will have no special
WHAT WILL IT
The AACUS system will reduce
workload and training requirements
by reducing human error and
implementing an intuitive field user
device for mission management and
supervisory control. AACUS will
also expand the envelope of
operation for both manned and
unmanned aircraft. AACUS will be
integrated across a variety of rotary
wing aircraft using an open
The Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (AACUS) is an Office of Naval Research
Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) program with a FY2012 start. The need for AACUS
stems primarily from USMC requirements for “an alternate means to provide time-sensitive
logistics support to greatly dispersed locations. Cargo UASs can provide a solution to
move tailored ammunition, supplies, fuel/water, or weapons packages in adverse weather
from the sea or ashore over harsh terrain as required (24/7)”. Universal Needs Statement
(UNS) for the Cargo UAS
While rotary-wing aircraft have significant advantages over other means of resupply and
evacuation, including avoidance of improvised explosive devices and greater speed over
trucks, manned rotary wing aircraft are often limited by weather, hostile conditions, and
manning constraints, which can be mitigated by using unmanned aircraft.
Recent progress has been made in unmanned rotary-wing aircraft cargo drops and
deliveries. However, such advances rely upon the presence of prepared, obstacle-free
landing sites as well as trained operators with some level of control over flight parameters.
AACUS represents a substantial leap over both present-day operations as well as other
more near-term development programs, as it is focused on autonomous obstacle
avoidance and unprepared landing site selection, with precision landing capabilities
including contingency management until the point of landing. AACUS includes a goalbased
supervisory control component such that any field personnel can request and
negotiate a desired landing site. Moreover, this system will communicate with ground
personnel for seamless and safe loading and unloading.
Another unique aspect of AACUS is its portability—this system is designed to be platform
agnostic with an associated open architecture framework that allows it to be integrated
into either manned or unmanned rotary-wing aircraft.
Research Challenges and Opportunities:
Landing autonomously in unprepared terrain
Static and dynamic obstacle avoidance
Real time supervisory control by field personnel
Aggressive no fly-over approach to landing
Autonomous in-flight mission re-planning
The United States Armed Forces are the federal military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The President of the United States is the military's overall head, and helps form military policy with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), a federal executive department, acting as the principal organ by which military policy is carried out.
From the time of its inception, the military played a decisive role in the history of the United States. A sense of national unity and identity was forged as a result of victory in the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War. Even so, the Founders were suspicious of a permanent military force. It played an important role in the American Civil War, where leading generals on both sides were picked from members of the United States military. Not until the outbreak of World War II did a large standing army become officially established. The National Security Act of 1947, adopted following World War II and during the Cold War's onset, created the modern U.S. military framework; the Act merged previously Cabinet-level Department of War and the Department of the Navy into the National Military Establishment (renamed the Department of Defense in 1949), headed by the Secretary of Defense; and created the Department of the Air Force and National Security Council.
The U.S. military is the largest military in the world in terms of number of personnel. It draws its manpower from a large pool of