Raytheon Announces Revolutionary New 'Cockpit' for Unmanned Aircraft - an Industry First
Universal Control System dramatically improves operator performance
FALLS CHURCH, Va., Oct. 31, 2006 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company
(NYSE: RTN) today unveiled the Universal Control System (UCS) -- a first of
its kind unmanned aerial system (UAS) "cockpit" that revolutionizes
operator awareness and efficiency, while providing the ability to control
multiple unmanned aircraft, reduce potential accidents, improve training,
and decrease costs. The announcement was made during today's Shephard UV
North America 2006 conference in Tysons Corner, Va.
"We took the best-of-breed technologies from the gaming industry and
coupled them with 35-years Raytheon UAS command and control expertise and
developed a state-of-the-art universal cockpit built around the operator,"
said Mark Bigham, business development director for Raytheon's Intelligence
and Information Systems business.
"We broke down the operator's tasks and objectives and constructed a
system built entirely around them, rather than building the system around
the air vehicle first, without input from the operators. Improvements
included adding a wrap-around display to enhance operator effectiveness. We
wanted to put the operator in the UAS 'cockpit' virtually and dramatically
enhance his or her situational awareness. UCS operators will have better
situational awareness than any manned platform, which dramatically improves
"Aircrews today need UCS superior control interfaces and situational
awareness, which will dramatically improve the combat effectiveness of
pilot and sensor operators," said Michael Keaton, former commander of a
U.S. Air Force Predator squadron who is now working for Raytheon. "We
developed the essential tools and technology needed to bring UCS to
fruition, and I believe this is the only UAS control system on the market
designed specifically around the operator to enhance combat operations."
Raytheon designed and developed the UCS to meet operator demands and
decrease human factors issues when operating a UAS. The enhanced operating
system addresses ergonomic concerns and caters to the needs of the
operators to help them perform their jobs more effectively.
In addition, the system gives the operator the option of standing or
sitting and provides flexibility in controlling multiple functions.
Moreover, the technology provides a safer work environment for operators,
keeping their minds more focused to perform their missions more effectively
and safer. The UCS system can control multiple dissimilar UASs
simultaneously, with software designed and developed by Raytheon.
Raytheon developed an intuitive interface technology, which makes UAS
operators much more effective in learning the UCS system and with
significantly less training. The gaming industry has invested billions of
dollars in developing advanced human interface technologies which are
simple and intuitive; Raytheon leveraged the technologies and adapted them
to the UCS system.
A 2004 study by the Federal Aviation Administration, "A Summary of
Unmanned Aircraft Accident/Incident Data: Human Factors Implications,"
states that " ... a common theme across many of the mishaps reported
involved a problem with the command interface to the system." The study
also noted that "In the systems analyzed, human factors issues were present
in 21 percent (Shadow) to 67 percent (Predator) of the accidents ...
numbers suggest there is room for improvement if specific human factors
issues can be identified and addressed." Bigham added that Raytheon is
confident that UCS will improve operator performance statistics such as
these found in this study, and that the company looks forward to analyzing
Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems (IIS), with 2005 sales of
$2.5 billion, is a leading provider of information and intelligence
solutions to the government. IIS provides the right knowledge at the right
time to enable its customers to make timely and accurate decisions of
Raytheon Company with 2005 sales of $21.9 billion, is an industry
leader in defense and government electronics, space, information
technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft.
With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 80,000 people
Note to Editors:
The RUCS system is based on flight proven technology and an open
architecture, multi-platform, multi-sensor and STANAG 4586 compliant.
STANAG 4586 is a specification that allows members of the NATO alliance to
share information obtained by their unmanned air vehicles.
Raytheon has been a pioneer in developing a wide variety of UAS ground
control systems for the U.S. military for more than 35-years. Most
recently, Raytheon developed the Global Hawk ground system for the U.S. Air
Force and the Tactical Control System for the U.S. Navy. The Global Hawk
ground system was ranked as the "most automated of all systems," according
to the FAA December 2004 study.
Call sign; "La Z Boy".