Aurora Flight Sciences has demonstrated an autonomous version of the UH-1H helicopter as part of the Office of Naval Research‘s Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System program.
The Boeing subsidiary said Wednesday the AACUS-Enabled UH-1H helicopter, or AEH-1, performed multiple flights at the Marine Corps Base Quantico to verify its capacity to conduct resupply missions autonomously in operationally relevant environments.
AACUS is an aircraft-agnostic platform with software that works to allow Marines on the ground to request cargo deliveries via helicopter using a handheld tablet.
Aurora built a digital flight control system and the Tactical Autonomous Aerial Logistics System under the AACUS program to support the autonomous operations of the UH-1H aircraft variant.
AEH-1 uses camera sensors and an onboard light detection and ranging system to identify and avoid obstacles as well as evaluate the landing site.
The latest flight test served as Aurora’s final AEH-1 demonstration to ONR, Defense Department and other senior officials over the course of a five-year Innovative Naval Prototype program.
The team will transition AACUS to the U.S. Marine Corps for experimentation activities and potential procurement.