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DARPA Selects Lockheed, Sikorsky, Aurora Flight Sciences for Multi-Aircraft Autopilot R&D Project

ALIASAurora Flight Sciences, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Sikorsky have been awarded contracts to design, build and demonstrate an aircraft automation technology for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

DARPA said Tuesday the companies will work to develop an Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System that can be tailored to support multiple types of aircraft.

The ALIAS program’s goal is to foster human-machine interaction to manage flight operations, safety and mission performance.

“Because we want to develop a drop-in system for existing aircraft, we chose performers who could conduct actual ground and flight demonstrations at the start of the program instead of at the end, ” said Dan Patt, a DARPA program manager.

Phase one of the project will focus on developing minimally invasive interfaces between existing aircraft and modern automated systems as well as methods to allow a higher level of human supervisory control.

The contractors will also collaborate with NASA, the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Army through the ALIAS development initiative.

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