Lockheed Martin has conducted a demonstration to assess the capability of two unmanned aerial systems and a prototype UAS traffic management platform in a firefighting mission.
The company used the UTM system to monitor the operations of Stalker XE UAS and Kaman Aerospace-built K-MAX unmanned cargo helicopter and communicate with the air traffic controllers during the Nov. 18 demonstration, Lockheed said Wednesday.
K-MAX used geolocation data from the Stalker XE drone to put out a fire, according to Lockheed.
“This demonstration represents the path forward for flying UAS in the [National Airspace System] using Flight Service-based UTM capabilities to extend the technology and systems that air traffic controllers know and understand,” said Paul Engola, vice president of transportation and financial solutions at Lockheed.
Stalker XE has an electro-optical infrared camera and a solid oxide fuel cell-based propulsion system that works to allow the drone to fly for up to eight hours.
The unmanned K-MAX helicopter works to deliver military cargo, extinguish fires and support humanitarian relief efforts.
Lockheed teamed up with Kaman to convert the helicopter into a UAS for autonomous operations.