MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Reliable Robotics was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to determine how the company’s remotely operated aircraft system can support the United States Air Force (USAF). The company was chosen to participate in the program based on the technical merit and innovation of their approach to autonomous flight, as well as the qualifications of their team. Their automation technology is aircraft agnostic, allowing dual application on civil and USAF platforms, increasing mission readiness use and reducing potential loss of life in harsh environments.
Reliable Robotics currently operates a large Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) that has flown over populated regions in the U.S. with experimental airworthiness approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. During this Phase 1 contract, Reliable Robotics will further examine with the USAF, key areas of impact and opportunity for its dual-use flight technology, including:
-- Logistics support for facilitating greater aircraft utilization, global reach and readiness with faster aircraft availability. -- Increased mission frequency and efficiency in more operating environments with fewer crew, weather and maintenance limitations. -- Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) providing robust mission generation, dwell and collection opportunities.
The USAF can realize the benefits of this technology at reduced acquisition costs and commercially competitive operating costs due to the level of maturity and flexibility of the Reliable Robotics system.
"Our remotely operated aircraft system has application beyond civilian logistics; participating in the SBIR program validates the natural transition of our technology for defense applications," said Robert Rose, Co-Founder and CEO of Reliable Robotics. "We are looking forward to working with the Air Force and the rest of the Department of Defense."
Reliable Robotics is already gaining traction with automation of the world’s most popular cargo feeder aircraft, the Cessna 208 Caravan, and is taking active steps toward certification of its system. The company has proven to be a leader in designing, building and operating autonomous aircraft technology with successful landmark flights in the commercial aviation sector demonstrating unmanned flight of a Cessna 172 in 2019, and remote piloting of the Cessna Caravan from inside their control center over 50 miles away earlier this year.