Cognitive Automated Sensor Integrated Unmanned Mission System

UAV Guidance and Management from the Cockpit


Future helicopter technologies are studied in the CASIMUS project. The research focus lies on the cooperation of manned and unmanned aircraft (drones/UAVs) in so-called Manned-Unmanned-Teaming (MUM-T) configurations. Such cooperation approaches are developed at the Institute of Flight Systems and tested together with Bundeswehr pilots in the own helicopter mission simulator. Subcapabilities are tested on UAV demonstrators in real flight.


Research priorities of the Project:


The complexity of the mission plan and its execution is greatly increased by the requirement to command up to four aircraft simultaneously. For this reason, the pilot is supported in Mission Management by a mixed initiative planning system. This system submits suggestions and hints on the current mission plan. In particular, the type, timing, frequency and scope of Pilot Assistance are interesting research topics to be investigated in man-machine experiments.


The high mission complexity is also visible in the commanding of the UAVs. Previous approaches to reducing the workload have primarily aimed at increasing UAV Automation, for example in the form of task-based command and control. In this case, however, the operator hands over control to the machine, which can prove disadvantageous in some situations. With variable levels of automation, a balance can be achieved between workload and control and then adjusted according to the situation. The development of a Cognitive Architecture suitable for this purpose, as well as the analysis of the problems arising in this context along with the appropriate integration of variable degrees of automation are the main research areas here.


By forming several UAVs into a team, the pilot's workload can be reduced. In this type of cooperation, the aircraft independently distribute tasks among themselves in order to increase overall performance. Research topics are the increase of mission performance through cooperation, possible types of cooperation, as well as the pilot's influence on the team.


Real Flight

The project also includes an increase in the level of technological readiness of the automation functions. For this purpose, the Cognitive Architecture and the operating concept are ported to experimental platforms and evaluated in real flight tests. Due to its long flight time, integrated sensor technology and easy handling, the tests are carried out with the X-8 Skywalker. The institute's own ground control station serves as the command and control center.