Airbus Helicopters has successfully completed manned/unmanned teaming (MUM-T) capability tests with its H-145M helicopter and Austrian defense company Schiebel’s S-100 unmanned air system (UAS), the company said April 24.
The tests between the H145 and Schiebel’s CAMCOPTER S-100 UAS is the first MUM-T test for European helicopters to demonstrate the highest level of interoperability, LOI 5.
“Manned-Unmanned Teaming multiplies the capabilities of both systems,” Mark Henning, Airbus program manager, said in a statement. “Our airborne MUM-T management system will become a highly attractive feature for our entire product range including the NH90, NFH, and the Tiger together with the H145 as it adds an extremely valuable operational capability. The MUM-T capability can be implemented in any kind of helicopter and can interact with all types of unmanned systems, in particular Airbus Helicopters’ new VSR 700 UAS.”
MUM-T tests demonstrated the H-145M’s ability to fly jointly with the S-100, while allowing for the helicopter operators to control the UAS from the cockpit.
Working in the LOI 5 interoperability level allowed H-145M operators to have full control of the UAS for take-off and landing.
“Smaller UAS with vertical take-off and landing capabilities can, for example, fly around obstacles as trees or buildings closer than a helicopter could. They are able to explore unknown territory and deliver information to the helicopter crew which is operating from a safe position and which can then step in with the helicopter’s superior effects, having received a clear picture from the UAS,” Henning said.
The flight tests were carried out with support from the Austrian military.
The next step for Airbus is analyzing crew workload data from the flight tests and then working to optimize the MUM-T human machine interface for future tests.