Aurora Flight Sciences was recently selected by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for the Manufacturing Technologies for Remotely Piloted Vehicles (MaTeR) program. Over the next eighty-four months, Aurora will develop and improve manufacturing processes for all aspects of Remotely Piloted Vehicles/Aircraft (RPVs/RPA), which includes both the airborne and ground components.
Aurora's initial work will focus on affordable airframe production technology and manufacturing technology for propulsion systems. Aurora's team includes Textron, Rolls Royce North America, Goodrich Corporation, Honeywell Aerospace, Williams International, and United Technologies Corporation.
"Innovative manufacturing technologies currently under development in laboratories today will revolutionize the remotely piloted aircraft of tomorrow," stated Javier deLuis, who leads Aurora's Research and Development Center. "By applying these technologies to current and future military programs, we will significantly lower the cost of developing future vehicles as well as the cost of sustaining our current fleet. As the cost, complexity, and development time of new platforms threatens to eclipse our capability to support them, we must focus on technological innovation that will drive affordability."
The goal of the MaTeR program is to demonstrate the key manufacturing technologies in the areas of electronics, power and propulsion, advanced structures, and modeling and simulation that will significantly impact affordability, development schedules, and operational availability of Air Force RPA.
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