UCAS Carrier Landing Divert a Window Into Its Automation

RSS

An anomalous self-check of the navigation computers onboard an X-47B was behind the U.S. Navy’s decision to abort the third arrested landing attempt of the Unmanned Combat Air System onboard the USS George HW Bush July 10.

The anomaly was detected in one of three, redundant navigation computers onboard the X-47B. The aircraft routinely and repeatedly does self-checks of its navigation system during flight. Once the problem was detected, the X-47 followed its pre-programmed software for such a scenario and signaled a wave off from the landing, climbed in altitude and began a holding pattern to await instructions from the ship-based mission operator.

It was a human that made the ultimate decision to divert the X-47B to Wallops Island Air Field, the pre-programmed back-up, ashore landing site.

“We had decided that we’d run enough for the day,” says Navy Capt. Jaime Engdhal, program manager for the $1.4 billion Unmanned Combat Air System demonstration project.

The aircraft – X-47B No. 2, designated Salty Dog 502 – landed without incident at Wallops.

Program officials at the Navy and Northrop Grumman point to the event as an example not of a failed landing, but of a successful run-through of the pre-programmed software and algorithms designed to prepare the X-47B to respond to various scenarios that can happen on a mission.

Read our article on the automatic wave-off: Third UCAS Carrier Landing Attempt Diverted Ashore

July 15 is the next scheduled at-sea day for UCAS landing trials. Either of the two demonstrators is suitable to conduct the testing.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Ares?

Aviation Week's defense blog

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.

 

Jan 31, 2016
blog

Tupolev 104: Harsh Proof Of Rapid Soviet Progress (1956) 18

Since little detail was available of the Russian design and built Tupolev 104, a profile was compiled for Aviation Week, based entirely on observations from photographs, experts such as engineers knowledgeable in typical Russian aircraft design and of its landing at London Airport....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×