Aurora Flight Sciences was awarded a contract with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) to provide a specialized Skate(r) Small Unmanned Aerial System (SUAS), designed for autonomous operations in urban environments.
The "Urban Beat Cop" (UBC) program will demonstrate the ability of an SUAS platform to perform missions typical to that of law enforcement officers "walking a beat" along a city street. While walking the beat, a police officer becomes very familiar with areas of the city by constantly observing, understanding, and interpreting what they see on a daily basis. A system that automatically performs this same mission in asymmetric urban conflicts, absent the presence of the warfighter, can significantly reduce casualties as well as improve the situational awareness.
The Urban Beat Cop program is a twelve-month development effort that culminates in a flight test demonstration of the advanced video processing and parasitic recharging system required for the autonomous perch and stare operation. Aurora will develop and integrate capabilities to its Skate(r) SUAS to allow the system to deploy and recover autonomously from a base station, perform "perch and stare" clandestine surveillance, and provide critical real-time Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition (RSTA) data to our nation's warfighters.
"Skate's unique vectored thrust control system, along with its low visual and acoustic signatures, makes it an ideal platform for the Urban Beat Cop program," said Carl Schaefer, Aurora's Director of Small UAS Programs. "Aurora is extremely pleased to have been selected by AFRL for this rapid response program."
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