DARPA Targets Aircraft Survivability

DARPA is conducting flight tests with an Army RQ-7B Shadow remotely piloted aircraft this month to demonstrate damage-tolerant control (DTC) technology to improve aircraft survivability in the face of hostile fire or in-flight material failures. Rockwell Collins is supporting this effort. The tests are taking place at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. They are meant to verify the performance of DTC software to alter flight control systems to compensate for the effects of damage to aircraft control surfaces and engines and enable operators to land their aircraft safely. “Damage tolerance is an enabling capability to increase mission reliability in military aircraft operating in high-threat environments, but could benefit commercial and other aviation aircraft as well,” said James McCormick, DARPA program manager. (DARPA release) (For more on aircraft survivability, see CSI Kandahar from the Daily Report archives.)