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ALIAS flies Cessna

19th October 2016 - 15:30 by the Shephard News Team

ALIAS flies Cessna

Aurora Flight Sciences’ Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) has flown a Cessna Caravan aircraft in a demonstration flight, the company announced on 17 October.

The flight saw the Cessna put through basic manoeuvres to demonstrate the system’s automated flight capabilities. The flight was undertaken under the supervision of a pilot.

ALIAS is being developed under a contract with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The system is designed to function as a second pilot in a two-crew aircraft, enabling reduced crew operations while ensuring that aircraft performance and mission success are maintained or improved.

During the first phase of the programme, Aurora succeeded in developing a non-invasive, extensible automated system that was tested on both a simulator and in flight on a Diamond DA-42 aircraft. 

Work is now underway to install the system on a Bell UH-1 helicopter.

ALIAS uses in-cockpit machine vision, non-invasive robotic components to actuate the flight controls, a tablet-based user interface, speech recognition and synthesis, and a ‘knowledge acquisition’ process that facilitates transition of the automation system to another aircraft within a 30-day period. 

Aurora is currently developing a product based on ALIAS technology for transition to military and commercial customers. 

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