Unmanned Operation of Fly-by-wire Testbed Aircraft
This program will apply Calspan"s innovative methods to develop a low cost system to create an Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) from a previously manned Fly-by-Wire (FBW) fighter aircraft. This OPV"s primary use will be as a test bed in support of the Navy for the development of avionics, weapon and advanced seeker systems. This OPV could be used in an unmanned mode to flight test systems which have not yet been"man-rated"without placing the pilot at risk. The innovative method which Calspan will employ on this project allows the remote control of a FBW aircraft without the modification of the legacy flight control system. The system identified will utilize a basic ground control station, coupled with a spread spectrum datalink and video downlink, and an on aircraft interface to the legacy flight control system to allow the remote control of a previously manned FBW aircraft. A flight test demonstration of the system will be conducted during Phase 2.
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