|Aurora's Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program. Photo: Aurora Flight Sciences|
[Avionics Magazine 10-18-2016] On Oct. 17, Aurora Flight Sciences demonstrated automated flight capabilities with its Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) program by flying a Cessna Caravan through basic maneuvers under the supervision of a pilot. Aurora's ALIAS technology has now been successfully demonstrated on three separate aircraft, from three OEMs, in less than twelve months.
Developed under contract through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), ALIAS uses a robotic system that functions as a second pilot in a two-crew aircraft, enabling reduced crew operations while ensuring that aircraft performance and mission success are maintained or improved. In the first phase of the program, Aurora succeeded in developing a non-invasive, extensible automated system that was tested on both a simulator and in flight on a Diamond DA-42 aircraft. Under Phase II, Aurora demonstrated the adaptability of ALIAS by installing it into the Cessna Caravan. Having successfully flight-tested ALIAS on two separate platforms, work on installing the integrated ALIAS system onto a third air vehicle, a Bell UH-1 helicopter, is currently underway.