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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

K-MAX UAS Demonstrates Collaborative Air-Ground Evacuation

Juliet Van Wagenen

K-MAX cargo helicopter UAS
K-MAX cargo helicopter UAS. Photo: Lockheed Martin

[Avionics Today 04-29-2015] Lockheed Martin, Kaman Aerospace, and Neya Systems have demonstrated the first collaborative unmanned air and ground casualty evacuation using the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) control segment architecture and K-MAX cargo helicopter.

During the March 26 demonstration, a distress call led ground operators to send an unmanned ground vehicle to assess the area and injured party. The ground operators then used control stations that communicated with one another using the UAS control segment architecture. Upon successful identification, the ground operators requested airlift by unmanned K-MAX of one individual who was injured. The UAS was then able to fly the individual to safety.

"This application of the unmanned K-MAX enables day or night transport of wounded personnel to safety without endangering additional lives," said Jay McConville, director of business development for unmanned integrated solutions at Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. "Since the K-MAX returned from a nearly three-year deployment with the U.S. Marine Corps, we've seen benefits and extended our open system design incorporating the UAS control segment architecture, which allows rapid integration of new applications across industry to increase the safety of operations, such as casualty evacuation, where lives are at stake."

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