The Army Research Laboratory has built an unmanned quadcopter platform designed to deliverÂ supplies to military personnelÂ in the battlefield.
The U.S. Army said FridayÂ aÂ team of ARL researchers and engineers showed theÂ Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle to Maj. Gen. Cedric Wins — commanding general of the ArmyÂ Research, Development and Engineering Command — during his visit to theÂ lab.
ARL collaborated withÂ engineering firmÂ Malloy Aeronautics and systems integrator SURVICEÂ toÂ develop a full-scale JTARV prototype.
The service branch intends forÂ the vehicle to operate at aÂ speed of at least 60 miles per hour and carry up to 300 pounds of payload during resupply missions.
Army researchers aimÂ to develop aÂ hybrid propulsion system that will work toÂ increaseÂ JTARV’s operational range and payload capacity.
Tim Vong, associate chief of ARL’s protection division, said the lab alsoÂ seeks toÂ integrate intelligent navigation and mission planning tools into the unmanned vehicle.
Vong added he believes incorporating sensors into JTARV will allow the vehicle to functionÂ in “degraded visual environments” and evadeÂ obstacles such asÂ powerlines, buildings and trees.
ARL transferred the JTARV program to the Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center but the lab retains its roleÂ as subject matter expert on aeromechanics, assessment, analysis, propulsion, intelligence, controls, materials and structures, the service branchÂ noted.
The U.S. Marine Corps also joinedÂ the program in June.
The U.S. Navy‘s Office of Naval Research and aircraft technology developerÂ Near Earth Autonomy will support the JTARV project to help the system achieveÂ full autonomy, the ArmyÂ added.