Lockheed lab to help Navy manage UAVs

Lockheed Martin Corp. will help the Navy develop a framework that will enable small teams of operators to manage groups of unmanned aerial vehicles under an 18-month, $2.4 million contract.

Under the research agreement, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories will help construct and validate a framework that will assist small teams of naval operators manage groups of UAVs during complex mission.

The work will consist of building collaborative displays that will enable each operator to access services across all ground-control stations from a console. The display will allow operators to share information and various tasks, and to keep track of the tasks.

The purpose of the initiative is to shift the focus of command and control from individual UAVs to the broader mission, the company said. This ultimately will reduce manpower requirements and increase collaboration across teams managing the missions.

Once the framework is in place, operators will be able to adjust their workflows as their tasks increase or decrease, which will result in a more manageable workflow among UAV operators.

Lockheed Martin ranks No. 1 on Washington Technology's 2007 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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