US Navy developers test aircraft carrier drone control software

The US Navy has tested a software package that will allow aircraft carriers running it to use its planned drone air-to-air tankers for communications relay and surveillance duties.

The MD-5 Unmanned Carrier Aviation Mission Control System (UMCS) was tested under lab conditions using a lorry in place of the drone, according to US website Defence Systems.

In software terms UMCS is not a big leap: USN developers plugged existing mission management, planning and sensor control software into the US Navy’s Common Control System framework, tailoring each element as required to talk to the “drone” systems being used.

“We have had the opportunity to leverage many existing technologies and capabilities from other Navy platforms and integrate them into this,” said USN Captain Beau Duarte, in command of the USN’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation programme.

Testing evaluated UMCS’s ability to have multiple signals transmitted from a single source, as well as voice trunking, data

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