General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force (USAF) to demonstrate the Air Force Research Lab’s “Agile Condor” capability using an MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) owned by GA-ASI. Agile Condor is a high-performance computing architecture that will be used to demonstrate artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.
Agile Condor was developed by SRC under an Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) contract. GA-ASI will integrate the Agile Condor capability over a 10-month period beginning this month. The flight demonstration phase will be used to experiment with the Agile Condor payload to determine the optimum artificial intelligence and machine learning methodologies to find, identify and track select targets.
“The ability to autonomously fuse and interpret sensor data to determine targets of interest is at the forefront of unmanned systems technology,” said David R. Alexander, president, GA-ASI. “The Agile Condor project will further enhance RPA effectiveness by specifically allowing a MQ-9 to surveil a large area of operations, autonomously identify pre-defined targets of interest and transmit their locations.”
The Agile Condor capability also has the potential to dramatically reduce satellite bandwidth requirements as a result of its ability to automatically identify, classify, and nominate targets of interest. If operating in a fully autonomous mode, it would be possible to only engage in SATCOM connectivity or other data link channels to disseminate the imagery and location of those targets. This capability will be made possible by combining best-of-breed Artificial Intelligence advances along with those developed through GA-ASI’s investment in its Automation & User Experience Group, which specializes in Automation and Artificial Intelligence for the Warfighter.