instructions by a single operator using a vertical takeoff
and landing Evacuation and Resupply Tactical Interface
Medic Interface and UxFleet/Collaborative Mission
Planning system from Neya Systems. The injured team
member was then strapped into a seat on the side of the
K-MAX, which was able to fly the casualty to a safe area
The ground operators were all using control stations
that communicated with each other using the UCS
architecture. The aircraft flew to the Global Positioning
System coordinates provided by the UGV, but the operator at the scene was able to control both vehicles
using a single Android device to make sure the aircraft
landed in a safe location, and send the aircraft back to
base when the patient was safely on board.
The on-scene user can update the UAS with instructions as to specifically where it should land, no-fly zones,
a specific desired approach direction or angle. The
ground control station takes those constraints and generates a detailed flight plan that is passed back to the tablet
so the operator can see what the action might be.
Missions can be largely preplanned, but users can make
changes as needed, or adjustments during execution.
“The encoded a-priori mission planning and online replanning reduces the amount of communications required
during the mission, and enables fast, accurate responses to
dynamic changes within a tactical environment,” said
Parag Batavia, Ph.D., president of Neya Systems.
Batavia said Neya’s notion of modularity is all about
using open architectures and open interfaces, and not
considering those interfaces proprietary.
“If something needs to be removed and replaced,
even from another source, we can do that. The parts
that we hold as our ‘secret sauce’ are the core algo-
rithms that go into these capabilities,” he said. “As long
as we do a good job on that ‘secret sauce’ side, having
the open architecture aspect for us is a large plus.”
“This collaborative demonstration signifies how
using multiple unmanned systems can address critical
needs such as medical casualty response and resupply
without endangering additional lives,” said Kevin
Westfall, director of Unmanned Solutions for
Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. “As
technology and autonomy mature, there is significant
potential for these systems to be used for humanitarian
aid, first response and military applications.”
There are numerous unmanned systems in use
today, and virtually all of them have their own propri-
etary control systems and communications and data
links. With a common software architecture, it
becomes possible to control both unmanned aircraft
and ground robotic systems at the same time.
UCS is a “service-oriented architecture” with 150 service descriptions that support a data model that defines
system objectives, mission or tasks and resources. UCS
provides a common basis for acquiring, integrating and
extending the situational awareness and capabilities of
the control systems for unmanned systems.
The UCS architecture decomposes capabilities provided by these control systems and data links, independent of the platform. With UCS, legacy systems can
be adapted for use with common control stations by
opening up their capabilities and integrating them
with open UCS interfaces, making existing systems not
only interoperable, but readily upgradable.
The UCS architecture has a very extensive and flexible data model, which can be “extended” with additional requirements. In fact, the core UCS data model
is aimed at the unmanned air domain, but it can be
extended to add capabilities relevant to ground, surface and underwater domains.
Creating a component model that leverages the UCS
architecture can define the interfaces needed for this
particular application, but not every one of the 150
services in UCS may be needed on a particular program. UCS allows the user to choose just the applications that are needed.
“It’s an architecture of capabilities, and the interface
is to access those capabilities,” said Doug Gregory of
Neya Systems, chair of the UCS working group.
Unmanned Remote Medical Support
According to Brian Stancil, director of robotic systems
at Neya Systems, there are many elements to medical
43 WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG SEAPOWER / SEPTEMBER 2015
A March 26 flight demonstration at Kaman Aerospace in
Bloomfield, Conn., showed how unmanned air and ground
vehicles can be supervised together by a single operator
using a hand-held tablet. During the test, a Lockheed/Kaman
CQ-24A K-MAX autonomous helicopter and Neya Systems’
UxInterceptor unmanned ground vehicle were coordinated
through Neya’s UxFleet mission management platform.