Carried out by Cassidian’s Barracuda project
team, the test flights delivered vital
information regarding flight with several
networked UAS and the autonomous distribution of
roles between unmanned aerial vehicles in
complex mission scenarios. The role distribution
was predefined in each case. Coordination
between the two UAS was largely automated.
However, the missions could be adapted by
uploading new mission data while the aircraft
were in the mission zone.
This was accomplished via the new
network-centric data link. The flight test
engineers transmitted not only individual new
waypoints, but also entire mission segments from
the ground station to the UAS in flight, which
immediately responded to its new instructions.
During the 2012 test campaign over the Goose Bay
region of the Canadian province of Newfoundland
and Labrador, the jet-propelled unmanned
demonstrator Barracuda again flew completely
autonomously along pre-programmed flight
profiles including auto-taxiing processes. The
Barracuda and the Learjet simulating the second
UAS were monitored from the ground station with
respect to flight safety only.
The Barracuda demonstrator is designed as a
technology test bed with a modular structure and
a flexible configuration, enabling a wide
variety of systems and flight profiles to be
tested and a wide range of mission requirements
to be demonstrated.