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Manassas-based Aurora Flight Sciences held a successful demonstration of their autonomous helicopter system at the Marine Corps Base at Quantico.

According to a release, the system was developed under the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System (AACUS) program.

Aurora Flight Sciences’ Chief Operating Officer Matt Hutchison said that they’ve been working on the technology for several years.

“It’s a helicopter that’s been equipped with the system that can automatically survey an area that it’s never been to before, self-select a landing site, and then be able to land,” said Hutchison.

This project is one of many that the company has developed under the AACUS program. Others include “the digital flight control system which enables the UH-1 to fly autonomously; and the Tactical Autonomous aerial LOgistics System (TALOS) autonomy technology. The AEH-1 was granted a Special Airworthiness Certificate by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in October, allowing the aircraft to operate autonomous with only a safety pilot onboard to monitor the controls,” stated a release.

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