CONTENT PREVIEW
Air Platforms

AUSA 2017: Army begins next phase of UAS for casualty evacuation study

12 October 2017

Key Points

  • Army set to conduct comparative research on DP-14 UAS and UH-60 Black Hawk
  • In 2019 TATRC will begin research on autonomous medical systems

The US Army’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) and Dragonfly Picture (DPI) are using the company’s tandem rotor unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to determine the feasibility of transporting soldiers injured or wounded on the battlefield using an unmanned platform.The US Army's TATRC is exploring the use of UAS to conduct emergency evacuations of injured soldiers. The agency is wrapping up the first phase of the effort using the DP-14 tandem rotor UAS. (IHS Markit/Geoff Fein)The US Army's TATRC is exploring the use of UAS to conduct emergency evacuations of injured soldiers. The agency is wrapping up the first phase of the effort using the DP-14 tandem rotor UAS. (IHS Markit/Geoff Fein)

The US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory (AARL) and DPI are coming to the end of the first phase of a four-year effort. To date the army has developed the data acquisition system to gather information on the environmental conditions inside the DP-14 Heavy Fuel Tandem Helicopter. The sensors will characterize exposure levels to sound, air quality, shock, and vibration … anything that could potentially do harm to a patient, Nathan Fisher, project manager medical robotics and autonomous systems for TATRC, told Jane’s at the annual Association of the US Army symposium, on 10 October, in Washington, DC.

DPI is completing system integration, after which there will be some testing, Fisher noted.

“We will make it out into the field to do a re-supply scenario with soldiers if we can get all the safety clearances for using soldiers, otherwise we will use contractors,” he said. “After that phase, the next demo will be focused on casualty evacuation.”

Following the data collection onboard DP-14, the US Army Medical Research and Material Command (MRMC) will conduct a similar experiment aboard a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter to compare the results.

Fisher said it is important to have an informed set of data to help quantify any dangers to a patient and whether those dangers can be mitigated using tools they have.

The tests are expected to begin in September 2018, he added.

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