Boeing has demonstrated its swarm technology with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in tests that it conducted over eastern Oregon. The company is conducting flight tests in collaboration with The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), a university affiliated research center.
Boeing used a Procerus Unicorn from JHU/APL and two ScanEagles produced by Insitu, its subsidiary company. The mission was conducted from July 7 to10. A larger demonstration is to be held in September.
JHU/APL has developed the swarm technology, which can be compared to communications that occur between insects when they operate as a group for performing tasks. The UAVs used the swarm technology and a mobile ad hoc network for communication during the flight mission. The demonstration proved that the UAVs could communicate with each other and simultaneously collect and utilize the data for a unified mission. The unmanned aircraft collaborated and searched the test area through terrain mapping and self-generating waypoints. The tests also demonstrated the potential of using this swarm technology for identifying enemy threats and for rescue missions.
In a recent test, a narrowband communications relay developed by Boeing was used for linking handheld radios in the mountainous regions of California. The ScanEagle system took part in the test.
Boeing Defense, Space & Security, is a versatile manufacturer of military aircraft and is a unit of The Boeing Company.