F-35s Flying Drone Fleets - Pawlikowski USAF Offset Strategy

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spazsinbad

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Unread post16 Dec 2014, 05:33

Pawlikowski On Air Force Offset Strategy: F-35s Flying Drone Fleets
15 Dec 2014 Colin Clark

"PENTAGON: Ellen Pawlikowski helps decide what weapons the Air Force buys and manages the buying process, so when the lieutenant general says she likes autonomy and 3-D printing as the most promising capabilities for her service to develop as part of the new offset strategy, it’s worth listening.

“This is Ellen Pawlikowski speaking,” she says in her E-ring office at the Pentagon, making sure we all know this is her personal opinion. She thinks autonomy — a cluster of technologies that allows weapons to execute missions without much human intervention — can “play a major role. It can allow me to get more numbers in things than I can get now.” And, as most generals will tell you, quantity possesses a quality all its own....

...“I can see a scenario where you’ve got an F-35 orchestrating an attack with 20 RPAs [remotely-piloted aircraft] that are weapons-equipped and that F-35, with all its sensors and communications, is essentially an orchestrator,” she says.

Another facet of that would involve refueling RPAs — drones to most people: “It’s just got huge potential.”..." [PDF at URL here could not be downloaded: http://www.defenseinnovationmarketplace ... elease.pdf ]

Source: http://breakingdefense.com/2014/12/pawl ... ne-fleets/
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popcorn

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Unread post23 Dec 2014, 23:20

Obviously they think they've got the "helmet fire" problem licked and pilot brains won't go into meltdown. With this kind of on-board smarts, why have a backseater in any future fighter?
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Unread post23 Dec 2014, 23:39

Keep in mind that the the UCAVs mentioned above are RPAs and not under the complete, direct control of the F-35 pilot.

F-35's today already have the ability to direct the attacks of it's wingmen and this would be no different.
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Unread post24 Dec 2014, 00:42

SpudmanWP wrote:Keep in mind that the the UCAVs mentioned above are RPAs and not under the complete, direct control of the F-35 pilot.

F-35's today already have the ability to direct the attacks of it's wingmen and this would be no different.


Yup, but managing 20 X RPAs willbe a neat trick even if swarm logic will do most of the work.
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Unread post24 Dec 2014, 02:52

popcorn wrote:Obviously they think they've got the "helmet fire" problem licked and pilot brains won't go into meltdown. With this kind of on-board smarts, why have a backseater in any future fighter?

On that note, the Air Force is looking for improvements to the helmet. In particular, they want to shorten the latency even more, and are looking for a passive visual system for orientation detection.
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Unread post24 Dec 2014, 03:07

I think you have the wrong end of the stick for 'improvements to helmets' - these improvements are not for F-35 HMDS II/III which have been improved. Otherwise improvements are for existing helmets - your original post here: viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&p=281310&hilit=magnetic#p281310

SBIR post here:
Topic Title: Cockpit Passive Optical Helmet Tracker (CPOHT) Topic Number:AF151-017

TD/Center:Human Effectiveness | Technology Areas:Air Platforms

Objective:
Develop cockpit helmet tracker based on passive sensors together with optical feature recognition and image processing algorithms usable for all helmets/aircraft. Approach should not use magnetic sensors, cockpit mapping, or active helmet emitters.

Description:
Fighter pilot head-mounted avionics systems currently employ helmet trackers based on magnetic or active optical sensing techniques to detect the instantaneous helmet orientation with the cockpit. This detection enables symbology or synthetic imagery to be mapped from the aircraft coordinate system to the helmet coordinate system for presentation on the helmet mounted display (HMD) so that it is perceived by the pilot to register accurately to the real-world outside the aircraft. The threshold (objective) latency for this entire detection and coordinate transform process is <16 ms (<5 ms), with <3.3 ms (< 1 ms) available to the tracker update step. Magnetic trackers currently fielded in e.g. the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) require each cockpit to be mapped separately in a time-intensive procedure with special equipment, and then re-mapped frequently whenever any change is made to that particular cockpit. Active optical trackers as used in the Eurofighter Typhoon HMD system require a flashing infrared light-emitting diode array (IRLEDA) to be integrated into the outside layer of the helmet together with multiple cockpit-mounted sensors to detect their emissions for processing. Integration of active optical tracker components (OATC) into the helmet ties the tracker technology development to other digital HMD components maturing on separate timelines, prevents easy implementation for other helmet shell designs from other manufacturers, and impedes affordable retrofit to all air fleets. Both the IRLEDA and OATC approaches add head supported weight to the HMD system. Multiple imaging and processing techniques have recently evolved that enable a cockpit passive optical helmet tracker (CPOHT) technology to be developed to determine helmet position and orientation with threshold accuracy of 0.1-deg (17 mrad) forward and 0.25-deg (44 mrad) elsewhere. Potential advanced, passive optical cockpit helmet tracking system include, but are not limited to, (a) an array of unique Quick Response Code (QR code) stickers applied to any helmet and interrogated via a cockpit-mounted camera(s) and (b) video image processing based on pre-processed outputs from cameras mounted on the helmet and/or in the cockpit. The CPOHT design must (a) consider tactical cockpit space-weight-ergonomics-power-performance-integration (SWEPPI) constraints, (b) accommodate HMD night vision goggles and laser protection eyewear, and (c) enable installation with minimal aircraft modification. The CPOHT design must also have minimal impact on the helmet mass properties (total weight and net moment arm). Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) and government facilities are not required. Standard aviation helmets (e.g., HGU-55/P or HGU-56/P) are available for purchase.

Phase I:
Design CPOHT system that can be affordably implemented in any cockpit and on all helmet types. Approach should work for standard aviation helmets (e.g., HGU-55/P, HGU-56/P) without the addition of any electronics, optics, or emitters. Approach may involve stickers (such as QR codes) placed on the shell along with a cockpit-mounted video capture/recognition/processing system.

Phase II:
Fabricate an engineering prototype CPOHT. Develop a test plan. Perform threshold (objective) test and evaluation of the engineering prototype in an avionics systems integration laboratory (flying testbed aircraft). Demonstrate the prototype meets the key requirements for a combat aircraft head tracker system. Develop roadmap to mature the technology for evaluation in a tactical aircraft flight test and for Phase III commercial uses. Develop a bill of materials for a pre-production CPOHT kit.

Phase III Dual Use Applications:
Develop CPOHT pre-production product and conduct tactical aircraft flight testing. Address potential application to dismounts and command center operators. Develop commercial CPOHT product for an application such as commercial aviation, training, wearable information systems, and entertainment.

References:
1. D. N. Jarrett, Cockpit Engineering, 410 pp (2005); (b) Fred F. Mulholland, "Helmet-mounted display accuracy in the aircraft cockpit," Proc. SPIE 4711, pp 145- (2002).

2. Review of Quick Response Code (QR code) research, technologies, and applications is available at “QR code,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code (accessed 20 Mar 2014).

3. Review of computer vision research, technologies, and applications is available at “Computer vision,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_vision (accessed 20 Mar 2014).

4. Don S. Odel and Vlad Kogan, “Next generation, high-accuracy optical tracker for target acquisition and cueing,” “phasorBIRD” Proc. SPIE. 6224, Helmet- and Head-Mounted Displays XI: Technologies and Applications, 62240C. (May 05, 2006).

5. Typhoon Helmet, (accessed 20 Mar 2014) uses an array of flashing infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs) detected by 3 sensors in the cockpit."

Source: http://www.afsbirsttr.com/TopicPreRelea ... es&pn=SBIR
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Unread post24 Dec 2014, 04:59

popcorn wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:Keep in mind that the the UCAVs mentioned above are RPAs and not under the complete, direct control of the F-35 pilot.

F-35's today already have the ability to direct the attacks of it's wingmen and this would be no different.


Yup, but managing 20 X RPAs will be a neat trick even if swarm logic will do most of the work.


I think you missed my point.

Note that the pilot in the article is refereed to as "orchestrating an attack ". Much like the conductor of an orchestra, the F-35 will act as a central planner of the mission tempo, target set, route, etc. In a similar fashion to a conductor, the F-35 will act as a leader and the eyes of the RPAs rather than controlling them directly.

Remember that RPA means "Remotely Piloted Aircraft", ie Reaper which has two+ humans in control of it and does not use swarm logic.

I think too many people jumped on this one sentence and thought that the F-35 would be controlling the RPAs directly.
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Unread post24 Dec 2014, 06:39

Gotcha Spud... my bad, a case of fingers faster than neurons LOL
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Unread post24 Dec 2014, 09:19

I figure that the drones of the future will have AI and be relatively cheap compared to the main aircraft.

Ergo the Combat Conductor in the rear seat will be able to make plays an tell the aircraft what they can / cannot attack and what maneuvers or general tactics to employ.

It'll be a different mindset, but it'll be very useful since you won't have nearly as much latency as a RPA and you'll have human confirmation of attack orders and on the fly change in tactics.
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Unread post24 Dec 2014, 13:52

In regards to the helmet; isn't it already using optical (visual or IR) tracking? I just specifically remember reading or viewing a video that that said that a fixed sensor on the seat / cockpit gained orientation / position data via markers on the helmet; this was done specifically to prevent any orientation drift during flight (and is a pretty standard / straightforward way to do it).
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Unread post24 Dec 2014, 19:30

'dragon029' are you referring to the HMDS III? Yes it has been improved. Work backwards from this thread here to find the improvements and how it all works (with other threads having some more earlier info):

viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&start=495

Some explanation of the improvements to precision in HMDS III: viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&p=279865&hilit=McHale#p279865
"...Horowitz said the Gen 3 HMDS comes with improved night vision from a new Intevac Photonics sensor based on electron-bombarded activated pixel sensor (EBAPS) technology, an integrated inertial measurement unit to track head movement and automated software alignment..."

viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&p=275558&hilit=Thurber#p275558

AND... here is the reason why it is difficult to know the details about HMDS systems:
"...(3) The F–35 Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) is Secret and contains technology representing the latest state-of-the-art in several areas. Information on performance and inherent vulnerabilities is Secret. Software (object code) is Secret...."
viewtopic.php?f=62&t=16223&p=251390&hilit=Register#p251390
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Unread post25 Dec 2014, 20:38

Even if "all" you're doing is giving your flock a general idea of what to do and they execute it independently while you observe and correct along the way, that's still extra burden on not only the person but also the inputs & outputs that person is using in the cockpit.

This kind of thing will be done by B-3, not a single-seat fighter.
Last edited by delvo on 25 Dec 2014, 23:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post25 Dec 2014, 20:53

delvo wrote:Even if "all" you're doing is giving your flock a general idea of what to do and the execute it independently while you observe and correct along the way, that's still extra burden on not only the person but also the inputs & outputs that person is using in the cockpit.

This kind of thing will be done by B-3, not a single-seat fighter.


That would require you to sortie the B-3 for every single operation, especially since there will be plenty of missions that don't require a B-3, if you can do it from the back of the seat of a fighter, that would be way more flexible.
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Unread post24 Jan 2015, 12:29

:mrgreen: WOLOFMAN LIVES! Substitute that upgraded F-35 and your uncle is BOB! :devil:
Establishing the CODE for Unmanned Aircraft to Fly as Collaborative Teams
21 Jan 2015 DARPA

"The U.S. military’s investments in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have proven invaluable for missions from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to tactical strike. Most of the current systems, however, require constant control by a dedicated pilot and sensor operator as well as a large number of analysts, all via telemetry. These requirements severely limit the scalability and cost-effectiveness of UAS operations and pose operational challenges in dynamic, long-distance engagements with highly mobile targets in contested electromagnetic environments.

DARPA’s Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) program aims to overcome these challenges by developing algorithms and software that would extend the mission capabilities of existing unmanned aircraft well beyond the current state-of-the-art, with the goal of improving U.S. forces’ ability to conduct operations in denied or contested airspace. CODE researchers seek to create a modular software architecture that is resilient to bandwidth limitations and communications disruptions, yet compatible with existing standards and capable of affordable retrofit into existing platforms....

...About CODE:
CODE intends to focus in particular on developing and demonstrating improvements in collaborative autonomy: the capability for groups of UAS to work together under a single human commander’s supervision. The unmanned vehicles would continuously evaluate themselves and their environment and present recommendations for UAV team actions to the mission supervisor who would approve, disapprove or direct the team to collect more data. Using collaborative autonomy, CODE-enabled unmanned aircraft would find targets and engage them as appropriate under established rules of engagement, leverage nearby CODE-equipped systems with minimal supervision, and adapt to dynamic situations such as attrition of friendly forces or the emergence of unanticipated threats.

CODE’s envisioned improvements to collaborative autonomy would help transform UAS operations from requiring multiple people to operate each UAS to having one person who is able to command and control six or more unmanned vehicles simultaneously. Commanders could mix and match different systems with specific capabilities that suit individual missions instead of depending on a single UAS that integrates all needed capabilities but whose loss would be potentially catastrophic. This flexibility could significantly increase the mission- and cost-effectiveness of legacy assets as well as reduce the development times and costs of future systems.

“Just as wolves hunt in coordinated packs with minimal communication, multiple CODE-enabled unmanned aircraft would collaborate to find, track, identify and engage targets, all under the command of a single human mission supervisor,” said Jean-Charles Ledé, DARPA program manager. “Further, CODE aims to decrease the reliance of these systems on high-bandwidth communication and deep crew bench while expanding the potential spectrum of missions through combinations of assets—all at lower overall costs of operation. These capabilities would greatly enhance survivability and effectiveness of existing air platforms in denied environments.”"

Graphic: http://www.darpa.mil/uploadedImages/Con ... DE-CON.jpg
"DARPA’s Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) program aims to develop algorithms and software that would extend the mission capabilities of existing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) well beyond the current state of the art, with the goal of improving U.S. forces’ ability to conduct operations in denied or contested airspace. CODE would enable mixed teams of unmanned aircraft to find targets and engage them as appropriate under established rules of engagement, leverage nearby CODE-enabled systems with minimal supervision, and adapt to situations due to attrition of friendly forces or the emergence of unanticipated threats—all under the command of a single human mission supervisor. CODE envisions improvements that would help transform UAS operations from requiring multiple people to operate a single UAS to having one person able to oversee six or more unmanned vehicles simultaneously."


Source: http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Release ... 01/21.aspx
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Unread post24 Jan 2015, 13:52

“Just as wolves hunt in coordinated packs with minimal communication, multiple CODE-enabled unmanned aircraft would collaborate to find, track, identify and engage targets, all under the command of a single human mission supervisor,” said Jean-Charles Ledé, DARPA program manager. “Further, CODE aims to decrease the reliance of these systems on high-bandwidth communication and deep crew bench while expanding the potential spectrum of missions through combinations of assets—all at lower overall costs of operation. These capabilities would greatly enhance survivability and effectiveness of existing air platforms in denied environments.”"

I think we're getting a clearer idea of what Sec. Wynne was hinting at years back with his 5Gen Wolfpack vision. Back then the idea being floated was a 5Gen jet controlling unmanned -teen jets. If CODE does materialize and achieves the high degree of autonomous UAV operations envisioned, it seems the concept is closer to reality.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
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